Measures for the protection of the public


The basis for the concept pursued in Germany for the protection of the population in the event of a nuclear accident are the regulations drawn up by the Federal Government and the Lander "Radiological Bases for Decisions on Measures for the Protection of the Population in the Event of Accidental Releases of Radionuclides", the "Framework recommendations for disaster control in the vicinity of nuclear facilities" and the recommendation of the Radiation Protection Commission on the extension of planning areas for emergency protection in the vicinity of nuclear power plants. This contains detailed instructions on when, where and how to take measures.

Planning Zones and Early Protective Measures

In the event of a release of radioactive substances, the extent of the measures to be taken depends on the distance to the plant and the weather situation. For this purpose, the environment of nuclear power plants in power operation is divided into three zones (central zone, middle zone, outer zone).

Basic disaster response measures are primarily short-term emergency measures such as:

  • the call to stay indoors for protection against the radioactive radiation,
  • Distributing and taking iodine tablets to reduce radiation exposure to the thyroid gland,
  • evacuation according to prepared plans, on the one hand as a precautionary measure and on the other hand as protection of the population if a large amount of radioactive material has settled at the place of residence, as well as
  • warning the population not to eat freshly harvested food and fresh milk.

In addition, the catalog of measures "Overview of measures to reduce radiation exposure after events with significant radiological effects" was developed as an aid for selecting measures appropriate to the situation elaborates. It compiles all measures to be considered and analyzes their efficiency as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each measure, such as feasibility, acceptance by the population, costs, etc. In addition, a newly added section of the catalog of measures addresses the issue of treatment and disposal of agricultural products after contamination by radioactive substances.

The dose values specified in the Ordinance on the Determination of Dose Values for Early Emergency Protective Measures (Emergency Dose Values Ordinance – NDWV) serve the competent authorities in the event of a nuclear accident or other radiological emergency as a radiological criterion for the appropriateness of the following early protective measures:

  1. Request to stay indoors,
  2. Distribution of iodine tablets or request to take iodine tablets and
  3. Evacuation.

The federal government takes over the procurement of iodine tablets and makes these protective substances available to the federal states for disaster control for stockpiling, distribution and dispensing to the population (§ 104 StrlSchG).

Recommendations for behavior

Your emergency response agency’s planning is aimed at ensuring that all measures to protect you are initiated quickly and effectively. In addition, you can do something for your own protection and the protection of your loved ones.

Protection of the forces

The protection of emergency forces (Sections 113 to 117 StrlSchG) is improved, among other things, by staggered guideline and reference values (20 – 100 – 250 – 500 millisieverts) based on the purpose of the respective operation.

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