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Radiation protection

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Image: T. MichelRadiation protection is all about protecting man and the environment against the hazards of ionising radiation. The work of GRS in the field of radiation protection comprises the preparation of safety analyses and expert opinions for the German federal and Länder authorities as well as research and development.

Key subjects of radiation protection
Radiation protection. At the centre of so-called applied radiation protection is the recording, assessment and optimisation of the radiation exposure of occupationally exposed personnel. These are amongst others part of the personnel employed in nuclear power plants, but also people in the medical profession as well as pilots. This classic area of radiation protection is closely linked to various different issues of radiation protection technology, like e.g. dosimetry.

The work in the field of decommissioning comprises many different radiation-protection-relevant aspects of the dismantling of nuclear installations. These include i.a. issues relating to the radiation exposure of the personnel as well as waste management and the clearance of radioactive materials.

Emergency preparedness
The field of emergency preparedness comprises the facilities and measures provided for the protection of the population in the vicinity of nuclear installations. These are measures taken by the authorities, the interfaces between accident management within the plant and of-site emergency protection, and special aspects of the defence against nuclear hazards, i.e. measures to protect against so-called nuclear crimes. In addition, GRS operates an Emergency Centre for nuclear incidents and accidents.

Transport safety analyses
Another important field of work of GRS is the preparation of transport safety analyses for the transport of radioactive waste, spent fuel, drugs and other durables containing radioactive materials.

Consequence analyses
Radiological consequence analyses of operation, incidents and accidents represent another field of work of GRS. This is about the analysis of possible scenarios in which radioactive materials are released into the environment. Once the conditions of the release – like e.g. the kind and the amount of the radioactive materials – have been determined, the dispersion of these materials in the atmosphere is calculated, using models developed by GRS. Here, amongst others, GRS simulation codes are used that will also consider complex meteorological and topographical conditions.

The calculations of the radiological consequence analyses provide the basic data needed in the field of radioecology. Here, potential radiation exposure is calculated by modelling the behaviour of radioactive materials in the environment. A further subject of the radioecological studies of GRS is assessments of radiological legacies and so-called NORM residues. In these studies, the results of the analyses are supplemented by evaluations of comprehensive theoretical and experimental studies.