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Ionising radiation

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

Ionisierende Strahlung

Environmental Monitoring Laboratories

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection operates highly specialised laboratories for the detection of radioactive substances in various media. Activities in the laboratories focus on the analysis of radioactive substances for supervision, control, emergency preparedness and research purposes. Duties range from analyses of industrial residues and waste materials, the monitoring of environmental radioactivity to trace analysis of radioactive substances in the atmosphere.

BfS staff member at radioecology laboratory

Radioanalytical laboratories

The range of BfS responsibilities includes emission monitoring of nuclear power plants, monitoring of environmental radioactivity up to the trace analysis of radioactive substances in the atmosphere in the scope of verifying the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Radon calibrating laboratory

The BfS calibrating laboratory

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) operates an accredited calibration service laboratory of the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) for the measuring quantities "activity concentration of radon-222 in air" and "potential alpha energy concentration of the short-lived radon decay products" (PAEC) with standards directly based on the national standards (primary standards). Routinely the calibration of measuring devices of various design is carried out at request. In addition defined concentrations of radon and its decay products are provided in closed volumes for scientific issues.

Woman with stationary

The Coordinating Offices

The radioactive fallout through the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s required monitoring of the impact on humans and the environment by radioactivity. Radioactive substances in the environment are monitored by the federal states (Bundesländer) and by federal authorities. At the same time Coordinating Offices have been established, which are responsible for the monitoring of specific environmental media.

Trace analysis air-borne particle collector on the roof of the BfS branch office in Freiburg

Trace analysis at the BfS

Tasks and objectives of the trace analysis performed at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) are detecting minute quantities of natural and artificial airborne radioactivity as well as investigating its origin, distribution and dispersion in the environment and being able to monitor short and long-term changes at the lowest level of activity.

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