Intervention Levels and Measures

Some of the most important measures to be taken immediately after a nuclear accident include sheltering and iodine prophylaxis with tablets of stable potassium iodine. Different countries use different intervention levels for these measures. Intervention policy in Austria tends to be more cautious and uses lower dose levels than Germany or the IAEA recommendations, while Germany has lower levels for pregnant women.

    Austria (IntV 2007), in mSv Germany (SSK 2008), in mSv IAEA (IAEA 2011), in mSv
Sheltering Children, pregnant women 1 10 100 for fetuses
  Adults 10 10 100
Iodine prophylaxis Children 10 50 50
  Prgenant women 100 50  
  Adults up to 40 years 100 250 50 (former recommendation: 100 avertable dose)
  Adults over 40 years 500 Adults over 45 years should not take the iodine tablets at all  

Agricultural intervention measures

If a contamination of ground and air beyond certain thresholds can be expected, a set of agricultural intervention measures is triggered. These measures include earlier harvesting, closing of greenhouses and covering of plants, putting livestock in stables etc.

For these measures, Austria and Germany defined the following levels (AG Proben 2010, SSK 2008b):


Nuclide Deposition in kBq/m2 Time-integrated concentration in air in Bq s/m3
Cs-137 0.65 6.1E5
I-131 0.70 1.3E6

These agricultural measures are quite complex and take some time. Reactions are especially difficult if there is only very little time between the onset of an accident and the arrival of the first radioactive clouds.

For very high contaminations - above a level of about 7,000 MBq Cs-137/m2 - agriculture can be no longer be sustained and the areas will probably have to be afforestated (SSK 2008b).