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

Cable routeshow / hide

A cable route is a carrier for cables and wiring.

Caesium-137show / hide

Instable isotope of caesium, physical half-life ca. 30.2 years.

Cage hoistingshow / hide

Hoisting using the conveyor cage to hoist mine trucks above ground.

Cap rock show / hide

Rock generating above salt rocks when in contact with (salt) unsaturated water. When salt ascends in the course of salt dome generation it can reach and enter groundwater-bearing layers. If it gets into contact with groundwater, the salt components are dissolved. What remains are the water-insoluble components, in particular gypsum. They form the cap rock above the top of salt dome (uppermost, mostly horizontal boundary surface of a salt dome).

Carcinogenicity show / hide

is the property of substances to cause cancer (malignant tumours).

Cardiology show / hide

Section of internal medicine or pediatrics dealing with the diseases and changes of the heart and their treatment.

carnalliteshow / hide

Easily soluble, water-containing salt mineral (KCl * MgCl2 *6H2O).

carnallititeshow / hide

Salt rock consisting of carnallite, rock salt, and other salt minerals; components are bischofite (MgCl2 * 6H2O), carnallite (KCl * MgCl2 * 6H2O), kieserite (MgSO4 * H2O), rock salt (NaCl), anhydrite (CaSO4).

Case-control studies, nested show / hide

Frequently a certain disease is examined in more detail within the scope of a cohort study. All persons with this disease (so-called cases) are selected from the cohort as well as an accidental part of persons from the cohort without this disease (so-called controls) are selected. Subsequently further interrogations or polls are carried out for this subgroup. This type of study is referred to as nested case-control study since the case-control study is nested into a cohort study.

Case-control study show / hide

In a case-control study it is investigated if persons with a certain disease (so-called cases) have been exposed more or less frequently than comparable persons without this disease (so-called controls).

CASTORshow / hide

CASTOR is an abbreviation of the name "Cask for Storage and Transport of Radioactive Material" and comprises several types of containers, constructed in Germany, that are designed for the transport and interim storage of spent fuel elements from nuclear power plants and high-level radioactive waste resulting from the reprocessing of fuel elements in Germany.

Cataract show / hide

Dullness of the eye lense.

Causality show / hide

Causal correlation.

cavernshow / hide

latin caverna (= cave); ellipsoidal underground cavity.

Cavitation, acoustic show / hide

Acoustic cavitation is the sound-induced formation and the mechanic activity of cavities and vapour locks. Cavitation only occurs when a certain threshold value of the negative peak pressure is exceeded and can then trigger off a wide spectrum of physical, chemical and biological effects in the tissue. Acoustic cavitation consists of transient and stable cavitation. Transient cavitation is a short-term expansion of existing vapour locks to larger cavities during the subpressure phase of a sound wave with subsequent collapse in the following pressure phase. Stable cavitation is the resonance vibration of existing vapour locks in the exposed material over a longer period of time without collapse.

Cementationshow / hide

Immobilisation of radioactive waste in a cement/concrete matrix.

Chambershow / hide

Cavity underground produced by mining measures.

chimneyshow / hide

Inclined or vertical connection of mine openings that were e.g. driven in the period of salt production in the Asse mine, to mine salt by using gravity.

Chute show / hide

Strongly inclined or vertical mine opening of low square or round cross-cut for the downwards haulage of material which rolls down due to gravity. Chutes can also be used for ventilation and man haulage.

Claimshow / hide

Space below the earth’s surface where a deposit is mined.

clearshow / hide

Clear, to: Radioactive waste is cleared when its radioactivity is so low that it can be allocated to other waste types and then be treated or deposited correspondingly.

Clearance measurements show / hide

Clearance measurements are made of radioactive waste when its "radioactivity" is so low that it can be assigned to other waste types and can then be treated or deposited correspondingly. Clearance measurements can possibly require a previous interim storage period, so that waste with short "half-lives" can loose its activity during interim storage - also referred to as decay time.

Cleftsshow / hide

Cracks generating in rock through tectonic processes.

Cochlea show / hide

Part of the inner ear where acoustic signals (tones) are converted into nerve signals.

COGEMA show / hide

Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires, today AREVA NC, French group of companies for nuclear fuel supply and waste management, operates among others the reprocessing plant in La Hague.

Cohort study show / hide

An investigation in which a group of persons (cohort) with known exposure conditions are observed over a longer period of time and the various exposures are associated with the occurrence of diseases.

columnshow / hide

Supporting element (part of a deposit that has been left standing) between cavities in a mine.

Compacted wasteshow / hide

Solid radioactive waste pressed together under high pressure, possibly in a metal cartridge or drum.

compactionshow / hide

latin com-pangere (= together- to fix); compression/solidification of material through pressure.

Compartmentshow / hide

Part of the shaft cross-section, e.g. cage compartment.

Computed tomography (CT)show / hide

X-ray examination with relatively high radiation exposure but very high diagnostic significance due to the fact that it is represented as cross-sectional image which is free of overshadowing.

Conditioning show / hide

Conditioning is the treatment and packaging of radioactive waste suitable for interim storage and/or disposal. The most important sections of conditioning are the solidification of liquid waste and packaging suitable for handling, taking into account the necessary radiation protection for the personnel in the interim storage facilities and repositories who have to handle the waste later on.

Confidence show / hide

Within the scope of risk communication "confidence" means "to be able to rely" on the availability of competence (knowledge, ability), ensuring of fairness (openness, equality of opportunity) and the performance of social responsibility (e. g. to personnel, clients, neighbours, general public).

Confounder show / hide

Such a variable "disturbs" the correlation between influencing variable and event investigated in a study, i. e. cause of disease or death. A disease investigated in correlation with ionising radiation is generally not only caused by radiation but also by other influencing parameters. Taking such confounders into consideration is therefore an essential point in the planning and carrying out of an epidemiological study. If this is not done, a correlation that does not exist in reality can be pretended or an existing correlation can be blurred. If the influence of such additional factors that have not been taken into consideration pretends a correlation that does not exist in reality, this is referred to as "positive confounding", but if it overlaps the real correlation, this is referred to as "negative confounding". Frequently a narrow correlation between the disease frequency and the influencing variable is suggested which does not exist in reality since both are connected with a joint third variable.

Confounding show / hide

Falsification of risk assessment through confounders that have not been taken into consideration, which correlate with both the disease and the risk factor investigated.

Contaminationshow / hide

Pollution of work spaces, devices, rooms, water, air etc. due to radioactive substances. Surface contamination: Pollution of a surface with radioactive substances, comprising non-adhesive, adhesive activity and that having entered via the surface. The unit of the measuring quantity of surface contamination is the surface-related activity in Becquerel per square centimetre. Surface contamination, non-adhesive: Pollution of a surface with radioactive substances, where a further distribution of the radioactive substances cannot be excluded.

contamination-prone areasshow / hide

Areas where open radioactive substances were handled in the past and where the existence of covered residual contamination cannot be excluded.

control areashow / hide

Areas where persons can receive an effective dose per calendar year above 6 mSv or organ doses above 45 mSv for the eye lens or 150 mSv for the skin, hands, forearms, feet, and ankles.

Control group show / hide

A group of cells, animals or test persons being exposed to the best possible identical conditions as the exposed individuals, with the exception that the effect to be investigated is not administered.

Convergence show / hide

Natural process of volume reduction of underground cavities as a result of deformation or loosening due to rock pressure.

Cooling pond show / hide

Pond filled with water, where fuel elements (after having been used in the reactor) are stored until activity and heat generation have reduced to the desired level.

Coopshow / hide

Washing and changing room.

core drillingsshow / hide

drillings to take rock samples.

Cosmic radiationshow / hide

Radiation reaching the earth from sources outside the earth, e.g. from the sun and the depths of space. Cosmic radiation consists of energetic particles and gamma radiation.

COST 281 show / hide

COST is short for "European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research". COST does not support single research projects but the coordination of international research. COST 281 refers to a subgroup focussing on telecommunication. The main objective is the improvement of the information situation on possible health effects of new communication and information technologies associated with the exposure to electromagnetic fields. Presently 23 European countries participate in this campaign.

Criticality show / hide

The state of a nuclear reactor where a self-perpetuating chain reaction is taking place. Undercriticality is the state where no chain reaction can be sustained.

Crop out, toshow / hide

Constant decline of a rock layer’s thickness.

Croppingshow / hide

Cut of a rock body with the earth’s surface. Also referred to as outcrop or outcropping.

cross-cutshow / hide

Horizontal gallery running cross-wise to the main road.

Crush/lmpactshow / hide

Crushing or penetration impact to the waste packages.

Cytogenetics show / hide

Cytogenetics deals with the representation and analysis of chromosomes. Chromosomes are carriers of the dispositions and can be represented in the light-optical microscope. They are in the cell nucleus.

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