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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2014 Aug;160(4):322-5. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncu204. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

From dose rate to websites: making measurements accessible, understandable and helpful to the lay public.

Author information

  • 1Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz BfS, Salzgitter, Germany mzaehringer@bfs.de.
  • 2Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz BfS, Salzgitter, Germany.
  • 3Stiftung Risikodialog, St. Gallen, Switzerland.


The key role of public information in emergency preparedness has more recently been corroborated by the experience of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident at the Fukushima NPP. Information should meet quality criteria such as openness, accessibility and authenticity. Existing information portals of radiation monitoring networks were frequently used even in Europe, although there was no imminent radiation risk. BfS responded by increasing the polling frequency, publishing current data not validated, refurbishing the website of the BfS 'odlinfo.bfs.de' and adding explanatory text. Public feedback served as a valuable input for improving the site's design. Additional services were implemented for developers of smart phone apps. Websites similar to 'ODLInfo' are available both on European and international levels. NGOs and grass root projects established platforms for uploading and visualising private dose rate measurements in Japan after 11 March 2011. The BfS site is compared with other platforms. Government information has to compete with non-official sources. Options on information strategies are discussed.

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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