The Departmental radiation protection research programme: an overview
Final reports of BMU research projects

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The Departmental radiation protection research programme: an overview
In order to perform its legal tasks, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has to clarify technical-scientific questions of fundamental importance for the protection of man against the hazards of ionising and non-ionising radiation. To elaborate the scientific-technical and legal bases for this, the BMUB has available profecssional support provided by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection  (BfS) on the one hand. On the other hand, budgetary funds are provided to be granted for departmental research conducted into radiation protection by external research facilities. For this type of departmental research, the BfS has been given the task of designing and initiating, on behalf of BMUB,   investigations, reports and studies related to specific questions in radiation protection, nuclear safety or waste management to be carried out by universities, research institutions, expert organisations or commercial companies.

Research results are evaluated by the BfS, thus providing the BMUB with decision-making bases and support enabling the BMUB to prepare, implement and revise or further develop regulatory requirements and thereby fulfil its legal responsibility for nuclear safety and radiation protection within the scope of federal supervision.

Departmental research funded by the BMUB therefore involves the compilation of scientific basic principles underlying the scientific tasks of the BMUB and the advice provided as to as to these tasks. This is an important distinguishing feature compared to general research funding, which falls under the competence of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is performing separate research and development projects in the fileds of biological effects of radiation, medical radiation protection, epidemiology, dosimetry, emergency protection and environmental radioactivity. In planning and implementing the programme of departmental research involving  projects to be granted to external research facilities the BMUB is supported by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS)  both at technical and scientific level. – In the area of radiation protection the BfS is responsible for the planning, scientific preparation and supervision as well as for the evaluation of the research projects.

What is the procedure when entrusting external facilites with projects of  departmental  research ?

  • Planning of Research

    The R&D projects in the field of radiation protection are laid down on an annual basis in the Environmental Research Plan (Umweltforschungsplan UFOPLAN) of the BMUB. As a general rule, the scientific units of the BfS or of the BMUB initiate the research projects but this may also be done by third parties (for example university institutions). UFOPLAN 2014 (in German) specifies all new projects.
  • Scientific supervision of Projects

    The allocation of funds for research projects is usually done by invitation to tender. The scientific part of tendering procedures and the scientific supervision during all phases of a project up to its successful completion is an important task of the scientific staff of the BfS.
  • Evaluation of Results

    The most important findings are summarised and evaluated by the scientific staff of the BfS with regard to preparation, revision, further development or implementation of regulatory requirements, so that the results can soon be taken into consideration in the legislative work of the BMU.
  • Documentation

    The results achieved are published in the BfS series "Departmental Research Reports on Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection" or in the BMUB series "Reaktorsicherheit und Strahlenschutz" (Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection). Prior publications of the BMU series are available as print versions. In addition, an overview of results of the projects on radiation protection is periodically given in BfS publications "Strahlenschutzforschung Programmreport".


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