On 25 April 2017, the operator responsibilities for the Asse II mine as well as the Konrad and Morsleben repositories were transferred to the Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH, BGE). This website of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) will therefore no longer be updated and displays the status as on 24 April 2017. You will find current information at the BGE: www.bge.de

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Englischsprachiges Glossar

Wash bottle show / hide

Wash bottles are laboratory devices that are included in a gas flow (e.g. in the branch of an exhaust air flow from a mine). Through an immersion tube (similar to a straw dipped into a liquid) the gas is forced to run through a liquid contained in the bottle before it leaves the bottle again. Thus it is possible to examine the composition of gases: Gases soluble in the liquid and entrapped airborne particles (aerosols) remain in the liquid and can be determined subsequently.

Washoutshow / hide

Aerosols washed out by rain.

Waste acceptance requirementsshow / hide

Determined requirements on waste packages to be disposed of, taking into account site-specific conditions.

Waste containershow / hide

Containers such as drums, flasks, containers, drums, concrete casks or casting vessels, in which the waste products are stores. For the Konrad repository, drums have to be packed in containers.

Waste container classificationshow / hide

Comprises waste containers with comparable release behaviour of radioactive materials.

Waste data sheetshow / hide

Data sheet containing repository relevant data on waste packages.

Waste drumsshow / hide

Collective term for drums containing waste.

waste formshow / hide

Processed radioactive waste without packaging or unprocessed radioactive waste placed into a container.

Waste matrixshow / hide

Hardened immobilisation material in which radioactive waste is immobilised.

Waste packageshow / hide

Collective term for waste products and packaging.

Waste package quality controlshow / hide

Proof that waste packages are in compliance with waste acceptance requirements.

Waste product groupshow / hide

Waste products with comparable release behaviour of radioactive materials.

Waste typeshow / hide

Type of primary radioactive waste accruing (such as combustible, solid materials, scrap, ion-exchange resins)

Waste watershow / hide

Water from the facility intended for discharge of which has been discharged.

Wavelengthshow / hide

The wavelength is the distance of neighbouring oscillation states of the same phase in the direction of propagation, e.g. between two wave crests following upon each other. Wavelength and frequency are connected to each other.

The measure of wavelength is metre (m):

1 millimeter (mm) = 1/1000 m
1 mikrometer (µm) = 1/1000 mm
1 nanometer (nm) = 1/1000 µm

Whole-body countershow / hide

Measuring instrument for the detection of the activity of radionuclides in the whole human body. Only radionuclides emitting gamma radiation can be measured. A whole-body counter mostly consists of

  • a couch or a chair the person to be examined is lying or sitting on during the measurement,
  • one or several detectors to measure the gamma radiation emanating the measured person's body during the measurement, and
  • a suitable shielding of the measuring instrument against environmental radiation.

Older devices use sodium iodide detectors. Instead of these, highpure germanium detectors are used increasingly, the latter having a significantly higher energy resolution (the higher the energy resolution, the better the various measured radionuclides can be distinguished from each other).

Whole-body doseshow / hide

Product of the mean absorbed dose of the whole body and the radiation weighting factor. If several types of radiation are involved the total whole-body dose is the sum of the respective components. The unit of the whole-body dose is J/kg with the special name Sievert (Sv).

Wipe testshow / hide

The wipe test is carried out by a sample manipulator using a wipe test monitor. Wipes are used to measure the alpha and beta surface contamination. 

Wismut studyshow / hide

Worldwide largest uranium miner cohort study including almost 60.000 miners who were occupationally exposed to radon and worked in uranium ore mining in former East Germany.

Working faceshow / hide

1. Target surface for production.
2. The lateral boundary surface of a mine opening.

Working Level Month (WLM) show / hide

The unit Working Level Month (WLM) is frequently used in the risk assessment of occupational radon exposure instead of a calculated dose in Millisievert. The advantage is, that the concentration can be measured directly. No further assumptions for the dose distribution in the body are necessary. To calculate the cumulative exposure to radon in WLM, the measured alpha energy concentration (unit: Working Level (WL)) in one litre air is multiplied by the time the miner has worked in this surrounding. 1 WLM equals an exposure of 1 WL (1.3 * 105 Megaelectron-volt (MeV) potential alpha energy per litre air) over 170 working hours (monthly working time), or a half WL over 2 months (340 working hours), respectively.

Working placeshow / hide

Working place in underground operation where mining works are carried out, such as heading, mining, tipple, etc.

work-overshow / hide

Rehabilitation of existing but collapsed or stowed mine openings.

Worst-case scenarios show / hide

The worst case, corresponds to the concurrence of the most unfavourable conditions occurring in reality.

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