If an incident occurs that includes the release of radioactivity, such as an accident in a nuclear power plant, this can be seen at first in the measuring values obtained from the ODL measuring network.
In the event of an accident the values measured at almost 1,800 ODL measuring stations will be retrieved at 10 minute intervals. The dispersion of a radioactive cloud can virtually be followed online and the most affected areas can very rapidly be made out.
On three research rigs in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) has installed measuring stations for monitoring the environmental radioactivity. They are part of the ODL measuring network. Due to their geographical position they are an essential part of the early warning system in case of radiological events, e.g. in the United Kingdom or Sweden.