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Ionising radiation

Environmental Radioactivity - Medicine - Occupational Radiation Protection - Nuclear Hazards Defence

Ionisierende Strahlung

Worldwide: CTBTO International Monitoring System

The international Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has a worldwide network.

Nuclear cloud right after ignition of a nuclear bomb

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its implementation

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is one of the central international treaties for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Although it has not yet entered into force, a global measuring network for monitoring the test ban is already being set up now and operated successfully.

View of the BfS Schauinsland measuring station

Monitoring station Schauinsland: history and tasksmission

1946, a group of scientists from the Institute of Physics of the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg began to conduct experiments to characteris the cosmic radiation on Mt Schauinsland in the Black Forest. 1953, the researchers for the first time succeeded in detecting fallout from nuclear weapons tests in precipitation samples. As a result, a permanent monitoring station was built on Mt Schauinsland for the continuous long-term monitoring of the atmosphere for artificial and natural radioactivity. In 1957 the station began operation. Today the station is also part of the International Monitoring System (IMIS) for the verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) adopted by the UN.

World map with measuring stationsSource: CTBTO

Monitoring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) monitors compliance with the treaty through seismic measurements, radioactivity measurements and special microphones in the oceans and the atmosphere. The BfS participates in the verification by monitoring radioactivity and supports the German Federal Foreign Office in the technical evaluation and assessment of the data.

All radionuclide measurement stations of CTBTO are recorded on the world mapSource: CTBTO (

Trace analysis worldwide

The international Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has a worldwide network. Once fully completed it consists of 80 radionuclide measurement stations for detection of radionuclides bound to airborne dust. In addition 40 of these stations are equipped with systems for the measurement of radioactive xenon (xenon-133).

One of these radionuclide measurement stations is operated by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) on Mt Schauinsland near Freiburg im Breisgau.

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