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Ionising radiation

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

Ionisierende Strahlung

International monitoring networks

  • All member states of the European Union covenanted to continuously monitor 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 covenanted to continuously monitor environmental radioactivity. At the international level, the CTBT network for the monitoring of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty provides worldwide data on environmental radioactivity.

Monitoring networks at the European level

All member states of the European Union covenanted to continuously monitor environmental radioactivity and operate 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 monitoring stations are mainly located in proximity to these facilities.

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

Data of the local gamma dose rate (ODL) and other environmental media provided by the member states are summarised and published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Union.

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

The worldwide monitoring network of the CTBT

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) operates a global monitoring network. The Schauinsland radionuclide monitoring station is one of currently about 70 stations able to detect aerosol-boound, gamma emitters at levels of a few microbecquerels per cubic metre of air and radioactive noble gases at levels 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 released radioactivity and the so-called background radiation, in other words, the radioactivity that is present constantly present in the air. Over the past few years, samples from all continents including Antarctica have been analysed.

State of 2018.07.10

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