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International Advanced Training Course in Stakeholder Engagement for Recovery after Nuclear Disasters on 21-25 November, 2022 in Fukushima

On 21-25 November, 2022 the seminar “International Advanced Training Course on Stakeholder Engagement for Recovery after Nuclear Disasters,” was held in Kawauchi Village, Tomioka Town, Ohkuma Town and Futaba Town, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. In addition to master course and PhD students of Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedicine, experts from international organization such as IAEA, PECD/NEA and ICRP participated in this seminar. 

The objective of this seminar was to learn practical experience based on the model developed by Nagasaki University in cooperation with local municipalities and residents to support rehabilitation of the areas affected by the Fukushima accident.

The March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant caused extensive human suffering and revealed the need for more effective means of communicating health risks to the public. The rehabilitation of Kawauchi provides a model for future responses. In March 2012, after tedious decontamination work in the village, radiation doses were found to be safe for residents of Kawauchi to return home, and schools and public offices were reopened. In 2013, the public authorities of Kawauchi Village and Nagasaki University, which has helped with the reconstruction work since 2011, established a satellite office known as the “Nagasaki University–Kawauchi Village Reconstruction Promotion Base.” Also, we launched satellite offices in towns of Tomioka, Ohkuma and Futaba, and one associate professor and two assistant professors are working at each satellite office.

In the seminar, supports for recovery efforts conducted by the university in Kawauchi were introduced by Professor Noboru Takamura, the co-expertise process for the recovery of the community after a nuclear disaster was explained by Professor Jacques Lochard (Nagasaki University), and the recovery process of the village was introduced by Kawauchi’s mayor, Mr. Yuko Endo, and Mr. Juichi Ide, the head of Kawauchi Laboratory. In addition, the activities of food monitoring centers in Tomioka Town were explained by their staff members. In a summary of field visits on the final day of the seminar, experts and students engaged in active discussion.

Twelve years have passed since the accident, and close to 80% of Kawauchi’s residents have returned back to their homes. On the other hand, almost 30,000 Fukushima citizens are still under evacuation. The lessons learned from the Fukushima accident are definitely important to think about for recovery from a nuclear disaster.

In the near future, Nagasaki University is going to hold similar seminars in Fukushima, especially for young professionals in the field of radiation medical sciences. Finally, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to all that participated in the seminar!