Preparing for nuclear emergencies - war poses radiation risk to other countries

Agency head urges preparation for nuclear disasters - focus on war and nuclear power plant hazards

Inge Paulini, president of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, has called for preparation for nuclear emergencies against the backdrop of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine. "The war of aggression on Ukraine has made it clear to a broad public that we must be and remain prepared for very different nuclear emergencies," Paulini told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers. She stressed that radiation does not stop at borders and that many neighboring countries are planning new nuclear power plants. Furthermore, she campaigned for the Federal Office to be taken into account in the "Critical Infrastructure Protection Act," which is currently being drafted by the Ministry of the Interior. This law is intended to help reduce the dangers of a nuclear threat.

Paulini also called for the public to be trained to behave properly in the event of an emergency. She reiterated that it is important to be informed about the various possible hazardous situations because they could occur unexpectedly and quickly. Another point, she said, is for the public to develop an emergency plan to make the right decisions in the event of a nuclear hazard.

Paulini also called for governments and authorities in Europe to work together to create a coherent nuclear emergency management system. This, he said, must be supported in particular by the exchange of information and knowledge. This also includes greater cooperation between the various nations and international organizations to ensure protection against a nuclear threat, she said.

Inge Paulini is convinced that preparation for nuclear emergencies, especially through the measurement network of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, is of crucial importance for the safety of society. Therefore, it is essential that the agency is considered within the framework of the "Critical Infrastructure Protection Act". With approximately 1,700 probes throughout Germany, the measuring network of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection continuously measures radiation exposure and the associated radiation hazard. In the event of a nuclear emergency, the authority is required, among other things, to prepare situation reports to protect the population. On its website, the Federal Office provides information about the possible scenarios of a nuclear accident, which authorities are responsible in the event of a crisis and why iodine tablets are distributed in the event of a nuclear accident. In addition, the authority emphasizes that the tablets should not be taken independently by citizens at the wrong time or even incorrectly dosed.

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