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ICRP Participates in the 3rd International Expert Symposium in Fukushima

On September 8 and 9, 2014, three and a half years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the Nippon Foundation of Japan held the 3rd International Expert Symposium in Fukushima: Beyond Radiation and Health Risk — Toward Resilience and Recovery. The Symposium provided an opportunity to present internationally results of the Fukushima Prefecture’s ongoing health survey, and a forum for Japanese and international experts to share information and analysis regarding the current health status of the population.  A highlight of the meeting was a series of testimonies from residents, local professionals, experts and authorities on the living conditions in the affected areas and the ongoing rehabilitation activities. The symposium resulted in a set of written recommendations on recovery and resilience to be disseminated widely:

  1. Radiation protection criteria should provide flexibility to address local circumstances;
  2. Infrastructure should be put in place for individual radiological situations to be shared with each affected person in and understandable manner;
  3. Decision-making by individuals who have been displaces must be facilitated, and the rights of those who chose to return to their homes and those who chose other alternatives should be respected;
  4. Best practices related to reliance, recovery, and revitalization should be encourage, identified, disseminated, and implemented at local and regional levels;
  5. Ongoing efforts of health care and local providers should be supported and their numbers greatly increased; and,
  6. The Fukushima Health Management Survey, which is providing invaluable health information for the local community, should be supported and dynamically assessed.

The full text of the Recommendations from the 3rd International Expert Symposium in Fukushima: Beyond Radiation and Health Risks — Toward Resilience and Recovery is available from the Nippon Foundation website.

On September 11, 2014, the delegation pictured here, led by Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, presented the recommendations to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence in Tokyo.

From left to right: Ohtsura Niwa (Distinguished Professor, Fukushima Medical University, and ICRP Main Commission member), Etsuko Kita (Chair, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation), Fred Mettler (Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico School of Medicine), Yohei Sasakawa (Chairman, Nippon Foundation), Jacques Lochard (Vice-Chair, ICRP Main Commission), Shinichi Kikuchi (President and Chairman of the Board, Fukushima Medical University), Abel González (Senior Advisor, Argentine Nuclear Regulatory Authority), Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister of Japan), Evelyn Bromet (Distinguished Professor, Stony Brook University), Christopher Clement (Scientific Secretary, ICRP), and Carl-Magnus Larsson (Chair, UNSCEAR, and ICRP Main Commission member).

Organised by the Nippon Foundation, Fukushima Medical University, the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, and Nagasaki University, the Symposium included many current and former ICRP members. Jacques Lochard, ICRP Vice-Chair, co-chaired with Shunichi Yamashita of Nagasaki University the session “Testimony on Psychological and Social Issues from Fukushima and Abroad” and the panel session “The Way Forward”. Christopher Clement, ICRP Scientific Secretary, co-chaired with Shigenobu Nagataki of Nagasaki University the session “Analysis Reports by International Organizations” and the panel session “International Cooperation for Recovery”, as well as presenting “ICRP Experience in Fukushima: Strengthening Radiological Protection for Post-Accident Recovery” in the former and acting as a panellist in the latter. Also making presentations or acting as panellists were: ICRP Main Commission Member and Committee 5 (on Protection of the Environment) Chair Carl-Magnus Larsson (here representing UNSCEAR);  ICRP Main Commission member Ohtsura Niwa (here representing Fukushima Medical University); ICRP Committee 4 (on Implementation of the Commission’s Recommendations) members Toshimitsu Homma (here representing Japan Atomic Energy Agency), Michiaki Kai (representing Oita University of Nursing and Health Sciences), and Deborah Oughton (here representing the Norwegian University of Life Sciences); and, former ICRP Main Commission Members Abel González (here representing the Argentine Nuclear Regulatory Authority), and Fred Mettler (here representing the University of New Mexico).