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International Advanced Training Course in Stakeholder Engagement for Recovery after Nuclear Disasters on 30 October-3 November 2023 in Fukushima

 On 30 October – 3 November 2023, 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 Ph.D. students of Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedicine, experts from international organizations such as ICRP, OECD/NEA, IRSN, CEPN, Iris Pigeot, and Universities Singapore and USA participated in this seminar.
 The objective of this seminar was to learn practical experiences based on the model developed by Nagasaki University in cooperation with local municipalities and residents to support recovery of the areas affected by the Fukushima accident.
 The March 2011 accident at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused extensive human suffering and revealed the need for more effective means of communicating health risks with the public.The recovery process 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, Kawauchi Village and Nagasaki University established a satellite office known as the “Nagasaki University–Kawauchi Village Reconstruction Promotion Base.” Also, the university launched satellite offices in towns of Tomioka, Ohkuma and Futaba, and one associate professor and two assistant professors are working at there.

 In the seminar, supports for recovery efforts of the affected communities conducted by the university was overviewed by Professor Noboru Takamura, the co-expertise process for the recovery of the community after a nuclear disaster was explained by Professor Jacques Lochard, and the recovery process of Kawauchi 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, and the situation of decommission process including the discharge of treated water from the power station was explained by Mr. Masato Kino (METI). In a summary of field visits on the final day of the seminar, experts and students engaged in active discussion.

 Thirteen years have passed since the accident, and close to 80% of Kawauchi’s residents have returned back to their homes. On the other hand, more than 20,000 Fukushima citizens are still under evacuation. The lessons learned from the Fukushima accident are definitely important to think about for recovery of the community after 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 who participated in the seminar!

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