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Ionising radiation

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

Ionisierende Strahlung

Tasks of the Federal Government, Federal States and operators

On account of the federal structure of the Federal Republic of Germany authorities and organisations at various governmental levels cooperate in the event of a nuclear emergency in order to ensure the protection of the population.

On-site emergency planning: Task of plant operator

On-site emergency planning is the task of the operator of a nuclear installation. In the event of an emergency, the operator immediately informs the competent authorities as soon as the defined conditions for an alert are met. Detailed alert criteria have been defined for this purpose.

Averting danger: Task of Länder and local authorities

Averting danger by disaster control is a task of the Länder (federal states). The Länder authorities of the interior are responsible for the implementation which may be delegated to the regional or also to the local level depending on the Land. The nuclear supervisory authorities and the radiation protection authorities of the Länder act as a support.

After the passage of air masses carrying radioactive material (so-called radioactive cloud), the Länder are responsible for determining the contamination levels of food and feed by sampling and performing measurements. All results are transferred to the Integrated Measurement and Information System for the Monitoring of Environmental Radioactivity (IMIS).

In IMIS, the entered data are documented and further processed. Based on these measurements, for forecasts of the environmental contamination anticipated for the future, for example, are calculated and the radiation exposures of the population are estimated. The BfS makes the processed data available to decision-makers and to the public in the form of maps and tables.

Comparing forecast and measured values makes it possible to improve the results of the decision support system RODOS.

Tasks of the federal authorities

In the event of a nuclear accident, vast areas, which are outside the area where disaster control measures are necessary may also be radiologically affected below the danger threshold. For this reason, precautionary radiation protection measures are also required for these regions. In such cases, close coordination is needed between the Länder authorities responsible for disaster control and the federal authorities responsible for precautionary radiation protection.

The tasks of the Federal Government include:

  • Supporting and advising the Länder: If necessary, the BMUB (Federal Environment Ministry) makes its resources available to the Länder for support and advice. These resources include the BfS, the GRS (Association for Plant and Reactor Safety) as well as the BMUB-advisory bodies RSK (Reactor Safety Commission) and SSK (Commission on Radiological Protection).
  • Establishing limit values and measures: In the scope of precautionary radiation protection, the Federal Government can establish limit values and measures, e.g. bans on the marketing of food, measures in the agricultural sector and the decontamination of goods.
  • Monitoring the radiological situation: Supported by other Federal and Länder authorities, the BfS monitors and evaluates the radiological situation in Germany by means of IMIS (Integrated Measurement and Information System for the Monitoring of Environmental Radioactivity) during routine operation and also in the event of incidents or accidents and then with a significantly higher frequency of measuring and sampling.
  • International information and reporting obligations: The BMUB is responsible for carrying out the international information and reporting obligations set out in the treaties. These are used for example by the IAEA to derive the classification of an accident according to its severity on the so-called INES scale (International Nuclear Event Scale).
State of 2016.07.08

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