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Ionisierende Strahlung

The German Register of High-Activity Sealed Radioactive Sources

High-activity sealed radioactive sources carry a high potential risk in the event of misuse, loss, theft or discovery. With the introduction of a register of high-activity sealed radioactive sources (HRQ Register), the safety and security of sealed radioactive sources in Germany has been improved considerably. This register has been operated by the BfS since July 2006. It enables the competent authorities in Germany to maintain complete traceability of high-activity sealed radioactive sources.

High-activity sealed radioactive sources are used in a variety of fields, for example

  • in cancer therapy,
  • for the irradiation of blood in transfusion medicine,
  • in non-destructive material testing and
  • in level or density gauges in industrial production processes.

Knowing about the last user of a source can be an important contribution to controlling these sources. The HRQ Register has been established for this purpose.

The Register allows maintaining complete traceability of all high-activity sealed radioactive sources located in Germany, thereby increasing the safety and security in the handling of these sources.

Operation of the HRQ Register

Act on the Control of High-Activity Sealed Radioactive Sources (HRQ)

The Act on the Control of High-Activity Sealed Radioactive Sources entered into force on 18/19 August 2005. This Act implements the Directive 2003/122/EURATOM of 22 December 2003 on the Control of High-Activity Sealed Radioactive Sources and Orphan Sources (OJ EU number L 346 page 57). Pursuant to Section 12d Atomic Energy Act (AtG), high-activity sources are recorded in a central register ("HRQ Register") at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS).

Notifications by licence holders are made in a secure electronic format via the server of the HRQ Register in accordance with § 70 of the Ordinance on the Protection against Damage and Injuries Caused by Ionizing Radiation (StrlSchV).

Users of high-activity sealed radioactive sources have to notify the HRQ Register about receipt, transfer and regular testing of the sources using the so-called standard record sheet in accordance with the Radiation Protection Ordinance (StrlSchV) Appendix XV. Notifications are sent exclusively in electronic form via a user-specific web application allowing the secure interchange of information over the internet. They are verified by the relevant competent authorities of the Länder (Federal States). Authorities have access to the data submitted by the users via their own portal. For reasons of security, users of high-activity sealed radioactive sources do not have access to the complete database. Complete access is reserved exclusively to selected responsible authorities.

About 10,000 notifications on high-activity sealed radioactive sources by several hundreds of users are annually registered. The total number of the notifications as well as the number of registered high-activity sealed radioactive sources are published in section II. 5.2 of the parliamentary report each year.

The software of the HRQ Register is constantly being further developed. Version 4.1 has been available since late 2012, offering the system's latest stage of development. Currently a new software is being developed.

Information material "Interesting facts about high-activity sealed radioactive sources"

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection has published a document with the title "Interesting facts about high-activity sealed radioactive sources" in order to technically support working with the HRQ Register. This information booklet for authorities, scientific institutions and users of high-activity sealed radioactive sources explains the

  • legal, radiological and technical framework
  • safety and security requirements for the handling of high-activity sources
  • structure and typical applications as well as
  • equipment containing such sealed radioactive sources.
State of 2018.02.16

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