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[en] In Germany, approximately 650,000 to 750,000 units containing radioactive materials for scientific, medical and technical applications are shipped annually by surface, air and water transports. Legally speaking, radioactive materials are dangerous goods which can cause hazards to life, health, property and the environment as a result of faulty handling or accidents in transit. For protection against these hazards, their shipment therefore is regulated in extensive national and international rules of protection and safety. The article contains a topical review of the international and national transport regulations and codes pertaining to shipments of radioactive materials, and of the protection concepts underlying these codes so as to ensure an adequate standard of safety and security in shipping radioactive materials in national and international goods traffic. (orig.)
[en] Electrical and I and C components of German nuclear power plants are often more than 30 years in operation with high availability. This also has to be achieved for the remaining operating time of the plants according to the 13th amendment of the atomic law. The resulting challenges are extensive: plant availability is more important than ever, facing the end of nuclear energy production in 2022. The support by vendors consequently declined drastically. Plant operators take the challenge having a solid fundament: The accumulated operating experience is seldom recognized in other branches. The experts are communicating in a professional network, relevant data are available and the quality is continuously checked by authorities and consultants. Based on this, current measures are taken: analysis of degradation mechanisms, allocation to components and documentation in a central data base, appraisal of functional capability for the whole range of input and environmental conditions, definition of upgrades and rebuilds, analysis of stored components and components in decommissioning plants, and punctual modernisation measures. (orig.)
[en] Research and development activities in the fields of safety of nuclear reactors and safety of nuclear waste management in Germany are carried out by research centers and some 32 universities. In addition, there is industrial research by vendors and research for operational safety and plant safety of nuclear power plants in operation, and by technical-scientific research and expert consultant organizations. The Nuclear Safety Research Program within the Energy Research Area of the Helmholtz Association studies scientific and technical aspects of the safety of nuclear reactors and safety in nuclear waste management. These provident research activities are conducted for society and, for this reason, are long term by nature. The work is closely harmonized with the activities of partners in the Nuclear Technology Competence Group. Effective January 2011, also the Dresden-Rossendorf Helmholtz Center (HZDR) with its 2 institutes, the Institute for Safety Research and the Institute for Radiochemistry, has been integrated into the Nuclear Safety Research Program as part of the Energy Research Area. The 2 institutes will handle subjects of safety research for nuclear reactors and safety research for nuclear waste management. In this way, the 2 institutes generate a most welcome added value supplementing the Nuclear Safety Research Program. (orig.)
[en] Presentation of these contents in the World Wide Web (WWW): - Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), www.tepco.co.jp; - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), www.meti.go.jp; - Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), www.nisa.meti.go.jp; - Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF), www.jaif.or.jp; - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), www.iaea.org; - OECD-NEA, www.oecd-nea.org; - American Nuclear Society ANS, www.ans.org; - Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit - GRS, www.grs.de; - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), www.kit.edu. (orig.)
[en] Nuclear medicine is based on the application of a variety of radiopharmaceuticals, either in the form of pure unsealed radionuclides or as radiolabeled compounds (tracers) for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes (endoradiotherapy). The production of artificial radionuclides with suitable physical properties for imaging in combination with tracers has enabled imaging a broad variety of functional (biochemical and physiological) processes in the human body and in animals. These techniques are complementing classical anatomical imaging such as radiological methods. The latest generation of noninvasive hybrid imaging systems such as PET/CT or SPECT/CT combine emission computed tomography with transmission computed tomography (CT) to almost simultaneously collect functional and anatomic information. The information is merged into so called fused (coregistered) images thus allowing to establish diagnoses on 3D data sets and, if desired, additionally overtime (dynamic). While endoradiotherapy is based on the emission of ionizing radiation of either alpha or beta particles from inside the body, radiotherapy (external beam radiation therapy) is a therapeutic discipline that uses gamma radiation, X-rays, electron beams, neutrons, protons, and heavy ions from outside the body or, when using encapsulated sources, from inside the body. Radioimmunotherapy and radiochemotherapy complement the discipline of radiotherapy. All disciplines making use of ionizing radiation are regulated by the Radiation Protection Ordinance (StrlSchV) within the framework of German nuclear and radiation protection law.
[en] Why neutrons? Neutrons are essential, precious, and powerful. Their unique properties showing the structure and dynamics of materials have led to numerous advances and discoveries in basic materials science and made them an invaluable tool in industrial product development and manufacturing. They are vital to a number of scientific disciplines, including condensed matter, materials research and nuclear physics. In addition, they are essential for materials irradiation testing and the production of materials, especially radioisotopes for industry and medicine. Thus neutrons not only enable scientific advances, but also are crucial to the development of applied technologies, production of materials and nuclear medicine.