- What are electromagnetic fields?
- Static and low-frequency fields
- What are static and low-frequency fields?
- Direct and alternating voltage
- Effects of static and low-frequency fields
- Reports & Evaluations
- Radiation protection relating to the expansion of the national grid
- Basics transfer of electrical power
- High-frequency fields
- What are high-frequency fields?
- Applications high-frequency fields
- Radiation protection in mobile communication
- What is mobile communication?
- Reports and evaluations
- What is optical radiation?
- UV radiation
- What is UV radiation?
- Sun but safe!
- Effects of UV radiation
- Protection against UV radiation
- UV index
- Infrared radiation
- What is ionising radiation?
- Radioactivity in the environment
- Where does radioactivity occur in the environment?
- What is the level of natural radiation exposure in Germany?
- Air, soil and water
- Building materials
- Industrial residues (NORM)
- BfS laboratories
- Applications in medicine
- Applications in daily life and in technology
- Radioactive radiation sources in Germany
- Register high-level radioactive radiation sources
- Type approval procedure pursuant to RöV and StrlSchV
- Cabin luggage security checks
- Radioactive materials in watches
- Ionisation smoke detectors (ISM)
- What are the effects of radiation?
- Acute radiation damage
- Effects of selected radioactive materials
- Consequences of a radiation accident
- Cancer and leukaemia
- Genetic radiation effects
- Individual radiosensitivity
- Epidemiology of radiation-induced diseases
- Ionising radiation: positive effects?
- Risk estimation and assessment
- Radiation protection
- Basic informations
- Occupational radiation protection
- Nuclear accident management
- What happens in an emergency?
- Federal and state tasks
- In the event of an emergency
- Measuring networks
- Exercises for emergency situations
- Nuclear accidents
- Defence against nuclear hazards
- Service offers
- Radon measurements
- Incorporation monitoring
- Biological dosimetry
- About us
- Science and research
- Research concept
- Scientific collaborations
- EU research framework programme
- BfS research programme
- Third-party funded research
- Departmental research
- Selected research projects
- Selected research results
- Professional opinions
- Laws and regulations
- BfS Topics in the Bundestag
Air monitoring at Schauinsland measuring station
- As part of air monitoring and trace analysis, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) measures the activity concentrations of radioactive substances in the air.
- In air monitoring, natural and artificial radionuclides from the atmosphere are measured continuously; the results are available within a few hours.
- In trace analysis, minute traces of radioactive substances are detected. For that purpose, airborne dust is collected in large-area filters over seven days, measured and then analysed.
In air monitoring, natural and artificial radionuclides from the atmosphere are measured continuously with measurement systems. The measurement results from these methods are available within only a few hours. In trace analysis, airborne dust is collected in large-area filters over seven days, measured and then analysed in order to detect even minute traces of radioactive substances. The measurement results are available several days after the end of the sampling period.
In comparison to trace analysis, the sensitivity of air monitoring is clearly lower; however, a considerably higher temporal resolution is achieved.
Activity concentration of naturally occurring radon and the calculated proportion of artificial beta activity
Current measurement results
Current measurement results from air monitoring
Natural radioactivity in the air is mainly produced by the radioactive noble gas radon and its daughter nuclides. The noble gas radon diffuses from the ground into the air. The concentration varies greatly depending on the weather conditions.
The measurement systems used for air monitoring are capable of distinguishing between this natural radioactivity and additional artificial radioactivity (see first figure). A radioactive cloud with artificial radioactive substances like after Chernobyl would be identified by a significant rise in the pink-coloured curve.
The slight fluctuations in the pink-coloured curve result from the calculation method and are shown magnified once again in the second figure. These fluctuations are inherent to the measurement process and demonstrate that the system is functioning correctly. The negative values occur from the calculation due to statistical fluctuations. They do not constitute a measurement error.
In semi-automated systems, so-called fixed filter systems, the filter has to be changed by hand periodically in order to prevent it from clogging. These filter changes result in the regular data gaps observable in the diagrams.
In fully automated systems, so-called moving filter systems, a filter tape is automatically advanced within a particular time interval.
Results relating to the incident in Fukushima 2011
Air monitoring results relating to the incident in Fukushima
The figures show the air monitoring results at Schauinsland measuring station for the period from 21 March to 12 May 2011.
From March to May 2011, very small amounts of artificial radionuclides from Fukushima were measured using trace analysis on Mt. Schauinsland. These activity concentrations are not detectable with air monitoring methods. They are extremely low compared to the naturally occurring radioactivity in the air which is continuously at a few becquerels per cubic metre of outdoor air in Germany.
State of 2017.10.30