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Radiation Types

Alpha radiation

Alpha radiation is particle radiation in the form of cores of the element of helium (alpha particles). Alpha particles have a range of just a few centimetres in the atmosphere and they neither penetrate a sheet of paper nor human skin.

Beta radiation

Beta radiation is particle radiation in the form of electrons or positrons (beta particles). Beta particles have a range in the atmosphere of several centimetres to a metre and a few millimetres to a centimetre in human tissue.

Gamma radiation

Gamma radiation is electromagnetic radiation. It is of the same physical nature as light but with a great deal more energy and with high penetration power into material. Heavy materials such as iron, lead and concrete therefore have to be used to shield against gamma radiation. Apart from the way it is created, gamma radiation is comparable to x-rays. 

Neutron radiation

Neutrons are electrically neutral elementary particles. They are an integral part of cosmic radiation and are released partically during nuclear fission - a special form of nuclear transformation.

Radiation Protection in Our Facilities

A lot of people are occupied with radiation protection in all of our companies. Their task is to detect possible radioactive sources, assess them and protect humans and the environment.  

On the basis of the Atomic Energy Act we are obliged to do everything in our power to keep exposure to radiation which is emitted by our facilities as low as possible. We have a series of measures available to us for this. On the one hand, technical barriers such as directional air flows, high-performance filters or shielding elements prevent the spread of radioactively contaminated particles and radiation. On the other, our highly qualified radiation protection specialists are responsible for ensuring that radiation can only leave our premises along approved routes and within the limit values.

Plants and their discharges are monitored by external bodies at all EWN Group sites. The data measured is regularly published by the authorities. Emission and environmental monitoring serve to check compliance with limit values for the public. This shows that all our plants significantly undercut the approved discharge values. All radiation protection measures are documented in accordance with the radiation protection regulations and the relevant directives.

Radiation Protection during Dismantling

When dismantling nuclear plants, it is important to avoid any unnecessary exposure or contamination of persons, material goods or the environment. This presents planners and radiation protection officials with constant big challenges. The protection of persons is guaranteed through restrictive monitoring of material flows, surface contamination, the room air concentration, the local dose rate and personal doses as well as through the provision of the necessary personal safety equipment.

 With all EWN Group dismantling projects there are three main aims: 

  • The reduction of radiation exposure in accordance with minimisation requirements
  • The avoidance of incorporations
  • Adherence to the permissible dose and exhaust air limits


Every dismantling project is therefore preceded by a comprehensive radiation protection project. It defines the decision criteria as to which dismantling techniques are to be deployed. The radiological state of the plant with the dose rate values on the components and in the work areas are recorded in a comprehensive register of surface contamination. The radiation protection concept is the basis for monitoring staff and for daily work planning.