- What are electromagnetic fields?
- Static and low-frequency fields
- What are static and low-frequency electric and magnetic 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
- Radiation protection in medicine: international activities
- 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?
- 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 is an emergency?
- What happens in an emergency?
- Federal and state tasks
- In the event of an emergency
- Measuring networks
- Exercises for emergency situations
- Defence against nuclear hazards
- Service offers
- Radon measurements
- Incorporation monitoring
- Biological dosimetry
- Online library
- 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
- Science Council
- Laws and regulations
- BfS Topics in the Bundestag
Laboratories for the Analysis and Measurement of Radioactive Substances
- With highly specialized laboratories, BfS is able to measure radionuclides in virtually all media, such as water, soil, air and food.
- Depending on the radionuclide, its content in the medium to be analysed and the nature of the medium, various methods for analysis and measurement are used.
- Half of the radionuclide laboratories are also Coordinating Offices for the monitoring of environmental radioactivity.
With highly specialized laboratories, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is able to measure radionuclides in virtually all media, such as water, soil, air and food.
Its tasks range from emission control in nuclear power plants to environmental radioactivity monitoring, as well as trace analysis of radioactive substances in the atmosphere for the monitoring of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Analytical and measurement methods
- the radionuclide,
- its content in the medium to be analysed and
- the nature of the medium,
various methods for analysis and measurement are used.
The easiest to measure are radionuclides which emit gamma rays during decay (gamma emitters). Gamma radiation penetrates the sample material and the measuring vessel and is detected by the measuring instrument, mostly special semiconductor detectors (high-purity germanium detectors).
Alpha and Beta Radiation
Alpha and beta radiation
Radionuclides which only emit alpha and beta particles during their decay (alpha and beta emitters) cannot be measured in this way. Most or even all of the radiation is shielded by the sample material or the walls of the measuring vessel. In this case, the radiochemical processing of the sample is needed first. In the process, the radionuclides to be measured are separated from the sample material and other radionuclides interfering with the measurement by means of elaborate methods.
Suitable measurement instruments are
- proportional counters and liquid scintillation counters for alpha and beta emitters as well as
- special semiconductor detectors (silicon detectors) for alpha emitters.
Advancement of analytical and measurement methods
The radiochemical methods for determining alpha and beta emitters are continually improved at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). Quick methods are of particular importance here. The objective is to determine the radioactive contamination of food and the environment as quickly as possible
- after incidents during which radionuclides are released into the environment or
- in cases of defence against nuclear hazards
in order to be able to take effective countermeasures for human protection in a targeted way.
Radionuclide laboratories: Coordinating Offices for environmental radioactivity monitoring
Half of the radionuclide laboratories of BfS are also Coordinating Offices for the monitoring of environmental radioactivity. The Coordinating Offices' tasks range from measurement tasks to
- the development and determination of sampling, analysing, measurement and calculation methods as well as
- the performance of comparative measurements and comparative analyses (interlaboratory comparisons, proficiency tests).
A high value is placed on quality management and quality assurance at the BfS. All laboratories participate regularly in national and international comparative measurements (interlaboratory comparisons) or offer comparative measurements as part of their Coordinating Office function.
A quality standard conforming to the DIN EN ISO/IEC 17205 standard is the guideline. Most of the laboratories have either already been accredited according to this standard or are working towards accreditation. This proves that the laboratories maintain an efficient quality management system and attests the technical and professional expertise to provide reliable measurement and analysis results.
State of 2018.04.20