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Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Fukushima Dialogue Initiative

Ann. ICRP 45(2S), 2016

From the Editorial - In 2011, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) began a series of symposia focused on the system of radiological protection to increase engagement with professionals, policy makers, and the public. An international symposium on the system of radiological protection is now held once every 2 years; the next will be in Paris in October 2017. A key feature of these symposia is the publication of proceedings as special issues of the Annals of the ICRP, so that the messages from the symposia can be shared as widely as possible. Importantly, other than for the first ICRP symposium in 2011, we have been fortunate enough to receive the financial support needed to make these proceedings downloadable at no cost to readers, further broadening the audience. In recent years, ICRP has also been organising smaller, more focused workshops, seminars, etc., on topics within radiological protection such as ethics, dosimetry, environmental protection, radiation risk, and medicine. The current publication extends the idea of producing freely available proceedings to the International Workshop on the Fukushima Dialogue Initiative held in December 2015 in Date City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The workshop was organised by ICRP, hosted by Date City, and held in co-operation with a large and diverse set of organisations: Ethos in Fukushima, French Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety*, French Nuclear Safety Authority*, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan Health Physics Society, Japanese Cabinet Office (Support Team for Residents Affected by Nuclear Incidents), Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority, Ministry of the Environment of Japan, The Nippon Foundation*, Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority*, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency*, and Radiation Safety Forum Japan (those marked with an asterisk also provided the financial support necessary to make this event a reality, and the resulting proceedings freely available). The objective of the workshop was to share the experiences and main lessons of the ICRP Fukushima dialogue initiative, focusing on the 12 main dialogue meetings held between November 2011 and September 2015 at various locations in Fukushima Prefecture. Over 4 years, the dialogue initiative succeeded in transferring experience from communities affected by Chernobyl, facilitating discussions between stakeholders, and helping ICRP to understand the challenges being faced in order to improve future recommendations. It brought together: local residents and professionals; representatives of villages, towns, Fukushima Prefecture, national agencies, non-Government organisations, and other Japanese organisations; representatives of Belarusian, Norwegian, and French organisations with direct experience in managing longterm consequences of the Chernobyl accident; and representatives of international agencies. Led by ICRP Vice-Chair Jacques Lochard and closely supported by ICRP Main Commission member Ohtsura Niwa and ICRP Scientific Secretary Christopher Clement, the dialogue initiative and the international workshop that capped it off were novel approaches to fulfilling the ICRP mission of promoting radiological protection, with the additional benefit of supporting aspects of the ongoing recovery work in Japan following the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This approach allowed ICRP members to gain a depth of understanding that would not have been possible without dedicating significant personal effort over a long period of time. The results are clearly seen in the work of ICRP Task Group 93, chaired by Michiaki Kai, established to update ICRP recommendations on radiological protection in nuclear emergencies and post-accident recovery. The work of ICRP Task Group 94, examining the ethics of radiological protection, has also benefitted greatly, as following the post-accident recovery closely has revealed many key ethical aspects that are more difficult to discern in easier times. In all, approximately 1000 people participated directly in the Fukushima dialogue initiative; many were local citizens, but many others were from elsewhere in Japan and the rest of the world. This included several ICRP members, including the key players mentioned above, members of Task Groups 93 and 94, and ICRP Chair Claire Cousins, who supported the initiative throughout and participated personally in the final dialogue meeting of this initiative. Many more have been able to learn from the initiative through social media, local media reporting, and information available through the ICRP and Ethos in Fukushima websites. The hope is that these proceedings will give an even wider audience an insight into some of the experiences and lessons of the initiative, from the perspective of those who participated actively. Although the formal, multi-stakeholder dialogue initiative has ended, ICRP continues to engage in dialogues related to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. These are now led by local organisations, with ICRP playing a strong supporting role. This shift is natural and healthy, both for ICRP and those Fukushima Dialogue Proceedings who are still dealing with the accident more than 5 years later. There is still much more to learn, and much more to share, to help with recovery from this accident, and to provide the best possible recommendations in case another accident occurs in the future. Finally, some readers may have been surprised (and hopefully delighted) to see the particularly colourful cover of this issue. The artwork was inspired by the opening image of a web documentary that tells the story of ‘Four years of dialogue for the rehabilitation of living conditions in the areas contaminated by the Fukushima accident’. The documentary uses the dialogue as a thread, but the stories are primarily those of people for whom the accident and recovery have been an ever-present and enormous part of their lives in recent years. It was commissioned by the French Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, not by or for ICRP, and so although we cannot endorse it, interested readers are encouraged to navigate to to see it for themselves.

Recommended reference format for citations

ICRP, 2016, Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Fukushima Dialogue Initiative. Ann. ICRP 45(2S).