10-11 Nov 2015 STS Technical Meeting in Nagasaki

“The 2nd Technical Meeting: Science, Technology and Society (STS) Perspectives on Nuclear Science, Radiation and Human Health: The View from Asia”

The above mentioned meeting took place on November 10-11, 2015, organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nagasaki University, in collaboration with Hiroshima University and the National University of Singapore.

The theme of this meeting was to share knowledge and expertise on radiation, human health and STS in order to enhance communication among stakeholders, including health professionals.

The meeting consisted of four symposia:
(1) Communication between health professionals and stakeholders
-The case of Fukushima and more concrete examples
-Broader examples: worldwide lessons
(2) The dynamics of an accident site
(3) The role of physicians in policy debates and education
(4) Young researchers’ presentations on Fukushima’s recovery and resilience (Hiroshima Phoenix Leader Education Program and Fukushima/Nagasaki University Program).

At the meeting, lessons learned from Fukushima Medical University (FMU) after the Fukushima Daiichi accident were key on the agenda and six FMU professors and experts made presentations:

・Prof. Akira Ohtsuru, MD, PhD; Department of Radiation Health Management
-Challenge of risk communication problem-based learning for medical students
・A/Prof. Michio Murakami, PhD; Department of Health Risk Communication/ Office of Risk Communication, Radiation Medical Science Center
-Risk analysis as regulatory science: a bridge between pure science and decision-making
・Prof. Shinichi Suzuki, MD, PhD; Department of Thyroid Endocrinology
-Childhood and adolescent thyroid cancer occurrence in Fukushima Prefecture after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident
・Prof. Koichi Tanigawa, MD, PhD; Vice President, FMU; Deputy Director, Fukushima Global Medical Science Center
-Evacuation in nuclear reactor accidents – Lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident
・A/Prof. Atsushi Kumagai, MD, PhD; Education Center for Disaster Medicine
-Communicating about radiation to Fukushima residents: Who should we support next?
・Mr Koji Yoshida, MSNRN; Education Center for Disaster Medicine Graduate School of Medicine, Master’s Program
– Changes in Radiological Imaging Frequencies in Children Before and After the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture


Read the story from IAEA


27 Nov 2015 IAEA releases a free online learning platform based on a Train-the-Trainers Workshop held at FMU

IAEA released an online learning platform based on a Train-the-Trainers Workshop held in June at FMU, attended by radiation medical physicists from around the world.  The learning platform is free to use, after following a brief registration procedure.  Please click the link below to get started:


See the original workshop report at:

22-26 June 2015 Train the Trainers Workshop on Medical Physics Support for Nuclear or Radiological Emergencies

22 Oct 2015 UNSCEAR Published Fukushima 2015 White Paper

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) released a white paper titled “Developments since the 2013 UNSCEAR Report on the levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident following the great east-Japan earthquake and tsunami”. It is an update of the 2013 Fukushima report, which assessed the radiation doses and associated effects on health and environment after Fukushima accident in 2011.

Fukushima 2015 White Paper

17 Sep 2015 Report on the KHNP-RHI International Seminar 2015

“Recent Advancement on Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness & Dose Evaluation”

The KHNP-RHI International Seminar 2015 took place on September 17, 2015, hosted by Radiation Health Institute (RHI) of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. Ltd. (KHNP). The theme of this seminar was to share experiences from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. KHNP, which has four nuclear power plants with 23 operating reactors in South Korea, is the sole nuclear power company in the country. The main topics covered in the seminar were emergency medical response and effects of radiation exposure on recovery workers following the accident. A delegation from Japan included Koichi Tanigawa, MD, PhD, Vice President, Fukushima Medical University, and Makoto Akashi, MD, PhD, Executive Director, National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS).

Dr. Tanigawa first presented the history of Japan’s radiation emergency medical system prior to the Fukushima nuclear accident. He described that since 1999, when a criticality accident occurred at the JCO uranium-conversion plant in Tokai-Mura, the system had mainly focused on response efforts for work-related injuries associated with a massive dose of radiation exposure, and had not anticipated multiple disasters compounded by a large-scale natural disaster. He also reported the following: in the event of the Fukushima accident, many lives were lost in evacuation from hospitals or nursing homes; medical facilities surrounding the nuclear power plant were rendered inoperable due to evacuation orders and fear of radiation; and general medical needs were not related directly to health effects of radiation but rather, were primary care issues: trauma, common illnesses, and psychiatric and affective disorders. Furthermore, he reported that the greatest challenge the accident posed was public health and mental health support for many residents coping with prolonged displacements from home.

Dr. Akashi introduced the initial medical response to the Fukushima nuclear accident, and radiological protection of emergency workers. Immediately after the nuclear disaster, NIRS dispatched a Radiation Emergency Medical Assistance Team (REMAT) to the Off-Site Center five kilometers away from the power plant. However, he noted that infrastructure including phone lines was damaged by the earthquake, and the team was required to provide medical care to evacuees and workers, making it difficult for the center to function as a command facility. Moreover, finding medical facilities that accepted workers injured in the hydrogen explosion on March 14 was even harder. Regarding radiological health effects among emergency workers on site, he mentioned the followings: six workers with doses over 250 mSv and one with over 160 mSv have not developed health effects, including thyroid disease, from radiation exposure; out of 2000 workers who were given stable iodine tablets for prophylaxis, 75% took less than 10 tablets in total, whereas some took 87 tablets; although follow up after that found the occurrence of temporary hypothyroidism in three of them, there were no serious side effects other than that.