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Ionising radiation

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

Ionisierende Strahlung

Measuring networks

In consequence of the reactor accident in Chernobyl, a nationwide measuring system was established in Germany to measure the environmental radioactivity. The reactor accident of Chernobyl in 1986 showed that the preparations for the event of a large-area contamination of the environment were far from being sufficient. Radioactivity measurements in the environment had not been carried out systematically and had not been co-ordinated. The dose estimations and the exchange of data among the institutions had not been planned in advance and, as a result, were time-consuming. A comprehensive presentation of results was done only unsystematically. This contributed to politicians evaluating the situation differently and led to considerable feelings of insecurity in the population.

The Precautionary Radiation Protection Act (Strahlenschutzvorsorgegesetz, in German only) was created and has since provided for the continuous monitoring of radioactive substances in the environment based on binding measuring programmes. After a transitional period it will be replaced by the Radiation Protection Act (StrlSchG, in German only) which entered into force in July 2017.

Organisational structure

The Integrated Measuring and Information System (IMIS)

The task of IMIS is to continuously monitor the environment and thus be able to detect small changes in environmental radioactivity in a fast and reliable manner, as well as to recognize long-ranging trends. All results are merged, evaluated, refined and presented in well-arranged documents.

Map of the world

International monitoring networks

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.

Nuclear cloud right after ignition of a nuclear bomb

Monitoring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

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

© Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz