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Ionising radiation

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

Ionisierende Strahlung

International measuring networks

  • All member states of the European Union have committed themselves to continuously monitoring environmental radioactivity.
  • At the international level, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) operates a global monitoring network.

Within the European Union, the member states have committed themselves to continuously monitoring environmental radioactivity. At the international level, also the CTBT measuring network for the monitoring of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty provides worldwide data on environmental radioactivity.

Measuring networks at the European level

All member states of the European Union have committed themselves to continuously monitoring environmental radioactivity and operate measuring networks similar to those established by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). Austria and Switzerland have comparatively dense networks just like Germany; other countries focus on monitoring nuclear installations, that is, the measuring stations are mainly located in proximity to these facilities.

The measuring station on Mt Schauinsland is one of the four German locations of the dense network of the European Union (EU) ("Dense and Sparse Network") for monitoring environmental radioactivity. In accordance with Article 35 of the EURATOM Treaty, the data on the ambient gamma dose rate (ODL) and activity concentrations in airborne dust recorded at the station are reported to the EU.

In this context, the measurement values for these and other environmental media provided by the member states are summarised and published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Union.

The measurement values of the local gamma dose rate (ODL) and other environmental media are summarised and published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Union.

The BfS works closely together with the JRC, operates a server for EURDEP in Freiburg and is conducting a long-term inter-comparison experiment with radiation detectors from national and international measuring networks with the project INTERCAL at Schauinsland measuring station.

The worldwide monitoring network of the CTBT

At the international level, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) operates a global monitoring network. The Schauinsland radionuclide measurement station is one of currently about 60 stations able to detect aerosol-borne gamma emitters in the range of a few microbecquerels per cubic metre of air and radioactive noble gases in the range below one millibecquerel per cubic metre of air.

The noble gas laboratory of the BfS in Freiburg is also specialised in measuring radioactive krypton and radioactive xenon. It investigates their sources, the atmospheric dispersion of the released radioactivity and the so-called background radiation, in other words, the radioactivity that is constantly present in the air. Over the past few years, samples from all continents including Antarctica were analysed.

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State of 2017.06.26

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