29 Jun-1 Jul 2015 Training Meeting on Radiation, Health, and Society: Radiation Leading Education Change after Fukushima

Fukushima Medical University (FMU) held Training Meeting on Radiation, Health, and Society: Radiation leading Education Change after Fukushima in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 29 June through 1 July 2015.

The objective of this meeting was to support and enhance radiation medicine education by building the capacity of health professionals and medical students to address radiation anxiety and public awareness by using information and resources gathered and developed in 2013-2014.

Chaired by Dr. May Abdel-Wahab and Mr. Uwe Scholz from the IAEA, with the participation of FMU faculty and specialists from around the world, this meeting addressed the implementation of STS (Science, Technology, and Society) curricula at FMU.

The presenters included FMU Profs. Akira Ohtsuru and Arifumi Hasegawa, A/Profs. Michio Murakami and Atsushi Kumagai, as well as Nagasaki University’s Prof. Naoki Matsuda. Following the presentations, A/Prof. Kathy Hibbert from the University of Western Ontario and Prof. Penelope Engel-Hills from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, experts in the fields of education and curriculum development, ran a “Train the Trainers” workshop about STS curricula for health professionals. The STS Handbook and STS training package including training materials and instruction manuals developed by the experts will be useful tools for FMU to implement and integrate STS curriculum into general medical curricula.

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

An innovative “Train the Trainers Workshop on Medical Physics Support for Nuclear or Radiological Emergencies” was held at Fukushima Medical University (FMU) from 22 to 26 June 2015 as one of the cooperation projects between FMU and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 21 trainees from 17 countries (including Japan) participated in this workshop, together with 5 lecturers from Sweden, the UK, Germany, Malaysia, and Austria, and 3 members of the IAEA staff. Lecturers from the National Institute of Radiological Science, Japan (NIRS) and FMU also participated. Moreover, 3 exchange students from the UK and the US joined this event in the last three days of the workshop.

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(Background)

As medical physicists are not routinely involved in Nuclear or Radiological Emergency (NRE) situations, they might lack some of the specific knowledge and skills that are required in such situations, especially if such topics are not part of their training programme. To address this, the IAEA, in consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP), and the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), developed a specific training package to help prepare medical physicists to support NRE situations. The training package was developed with the kind support of the Government of Japan and in collaboration with FMU and the NIRS.
This project was implemented under the memorandum between IAEA and Fukushima Prefecture, which was signed in December, 2012.

(Objective of the Workshop)

The objective of the workshop was to provide the participants with a good understanding of their potential complementary roles in Nuclear or Radiological Emergency (NRE) situations, and to prepare them to contribute effectively to support the response to an NRE situation as identified in emergency preparedness plans. The participants are also expected to contribute to the training of other health care professionals in the response to NRE situations.
This workshop will also introduce the participants to a multidisciplinary team approach in dealing with NRE situations.

(Structure of the Workshop)

This five day workshop consisted of lectures, demonstrations, simulation, role playing, and practical sessions followed by discussions with the workshop participants. The topics to be covered include the following 14 Modules:
Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies
Module 3: Radiation Measurements and Instrumentation
Module 4: Dose Assessment and Dose Reconstruction
Module 5: Monitoring and Decontamination of People – Scene and RMU
Module 6: Monitoring and Decontamination of People – Hospital
Module 7: Large Area Surveys – Monitoring of Food and Water
Module 8: Biological Effects of Radiation – Cell and Tissue Effects
Module 9: Biological Effects of Radiation – Stochastic Effects
Module 10: Protection Strategies for the Public
Module 11: Protection Strategies for Workers
Module 12: Medical Management
Module 13: Psychosocial Effects and Impacts on Mental Health
Module 14: Effective Risk Communication

Related handbook

(Results)

Effectiveness of the workshop

Test results, before and after the workshop, indicated that the workshop brought about a very significant improvement of participants’ knowledge regarding the role of the Medical Physicist in Nuclear or Radiological Emergencies (NRE). The average grade in the after-workshop test was 61.84%. Compared to the average grade of 46.98% in the pre-workshop test, this improvement is considered to be extremely statistically significant by conventional criteria (The two-tailed P value equals 0.0005). Further analysis of test results showed a clear improvement (P<0.05) of participants’ knowledge in the domain of “Monitoring and Decontamination of People” after the workshop.
In the relevant survey, more than 85% of participants provided positive opinions on the various aspects of the workshop, related to the length and content of the modules, as well as the organizational aspects of the workshop.

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Click on graph to enlarge.

 

The survey identified some suggestions coming from the participants that could improve the content of the workshop. More specifically, participants proposed to increase the time allocated for:

  1. Monitoring and decontamination
  2. Radiological emergency training
  3. Practical sessions
  4. Discussion

Participants also proposed that overlap among modules and length of some presentations could be reduced.

IAEA’s report of this workshop, and access to their online learning platform, can be viewed at:

https://nucleus.iaea.org/HHW/MedicalPhysics/TrainingEvents/FukushimaJune2015/index.html

Presentations by FMU’s Prof. Kenneth Nollet are structured differently from the usual IAEA format, so they are available here for personal scholarship and non-commercial educational activities in accordance with “fair use” copyright and other applicable laws:

(Summary)

Participants acquired skills and knowledge necessary to contribute effectively to the response to an NRE situation as identified in emergency preparedness plans. They now have a better understanding of their potential roles in NRE situations and are in a position to contribute to the training of others in the response to NRE situations. In 2016, another workshop for medical physicists is scheduled to be held in the United States as part of the same training initiative.

 

2-3 Jun 2015 Second Asian Workshop on the Ethical Dimensions of the System of Radiological Protection

Second Asian Workshop on the Ethical Dimensions of the System of Radiological Protection was held at Fukushima Medical University on 2-3 June 2015. About 50 experts, residents and students participated in this workshop.

On the first day, first of all, Dr. Chieko KURIHARA from the National Institute of Radiological Science lectured on “State of current reflections of ICRP Task Group 94 on the ethics of radiological protection”. Her slides are here.

Subsequently, 9 experts made their presentations. Slides are available by clicking on the underlined title.

1. A line dividing people’s life. Ryoko ANDO, Ethos in Fukushima, Japan

2. The relationship among stakeholders-experts, communicators, mediators, etc. in radiological protection: comparison with the existing public health service system in Japan. Makoto MIYAZAKI, Fukushima Medical University, Japan

3. Ethical considerations on the empowerment of people affected by contamination after a nuclear accident. François ROLLINGER, IRSN, France

4. Deontological approaches to the ethics of radiological protection during the post-nuclear accident phase. Michio MIYASAKA, Niigata University, Japan

5. An ethical dimension to sustainable restoration and long-term management of contaminated areas. Deborah OUGHTON. Norwegian University of Life Science, Oslo, Norway

6. A role for medical professionals during a radiation disaster: effective risk communication. Atsushi KUMAGAI, Fukushima Medical University, Japan

7. Implementing ethics in radiological protection decision making: application to post-accident situations: Nicole MARTINEZ, Clemson University, USA

8. Paradigm shift? Post-Fukushima radiological protection in nuclear countries. Kathleen ARAÚJO, Stony Brook University, USA

9. Some ethical reflections on risk assessment in post-nuclear accident situations: Gaston MESKENS, SCK-CEN, Belgium

After 9 presentations, the participants in 4 breakout groups discussed ethical aspects of radiological disasters and their aftermath.

On the second day, the participants continued discussing ethics in 4 breakout groups. In the afternoon, the participants got together in one room and nominees from each breakout group reported their groups’ conclusions. Participants discussed the outcome of each group.
The chairman, Mr. Chris Clement, Scientific Secretary of ICRP decided that the conclusion paper would be made by some participants based on the discussions and be released.

Summary Report

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1-2 Jun 2015 FMU experts dispatched to United Nations (UNSCEAR and IAEA) in Vienna, Austria

FMU professors Seiji YASUMURA, Masaharu MAEDA, and Kenneth NOLLET spoke at a special seminar held in conjunction with the 62nd session of UNSCEAR. UNSCEAR is the United Nations Scientific Committee on the effects of Atomic Radiation. As usual, UNSCEAR delegates from around the world came to the UN’s Vienna International Center (VIC) for their deliberations. This special seminar with FMU keynote speakers was the first of its kind to be convened during an UNSCEAR session. A full room of UNSCEAR delegates and UN staff attended.

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Shown above, from left to right: Professor YASUMURA introduced the Fukushima Health Management Survey, highlighting general changes in the health status of Fukushima residents over the past 4 years. Professor MAEDA spoke specifically about the psychological consequences of Fukushima’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis. Professor NOLLET presented the latest results of thyroid ultrasound screening for those who were 18 years old or younger at the time of the nuclear accident, and those born in the year that followed. The session was chaired by Professor Wolfgang WEISS, who heads the Department of Radiation Protection and Health at Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

Access these PowerPoint presentations by clicking on the links below.
Seiji Yasumura, MD, PhD: The Fukushima Health Management Survey.

Kenneth E. Nollet, MD, PhD: Thyroid Ultrasound Examination Results.

Masaharu Maeda, MD, PhD: Psychological Consequences of the Disaster.

Before and after the UNSCEAR event, FMU experts met with leaders and liaisons from IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, also based in Vienna.

 

 Shown above, Mr. Thanos GIANNAKOPOULOS, Acting Head of the IAEA Library, receives a copy of Fukushima: Lives on the Line from Prof. YASUMURA. In attendance are (left to right) members of the IAEA Library staff, FMU professors, and IAEA Division of Human Health Director Dr. May ABDEL-WAHAB and STS Consultant Mr. Uwe SCHOLZ. Meetings between FMU and IAEA Division of Human Health on June 1 and 2 were held to discuss joint projects in professional education.

Shown above, Mr. Thanos GIANNAKOPOULOS, Acting Head of the IAEA Library, receives a copy of Fukushima: Lives on the Line from Prof. YASUMURA. In attendance are (left to right) members of the IAEA Library staff, FMU professors, and IAEA Division of Human Health Director Dr. May ABDEL-WAHAB and STS Consultant Mr. Uwe SCHOLZ. Meetings between FMU and IAEA Division of Human Health on June 1 and 2 were held to discuss joint projects in professional education.

1 Jun 2015 5th ICRP Seminar Convened

The ICRP Lecture series started upon signing of the Memorandum of Understandings by FMU and ICRP on February 19 of 2014. On June 1 2015, the 5th ICRP Lecture was given by Professor Michiaki KAI, the ICRP Committee 4 member and Professor at Oita University of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The title of his talk was “Radiation Protection of people living in the land affected by the nuclear accident – the ICRP approach“. The ICRP approach aims to protect people from deterministic effects of radiation and to reduce stochastic effects as much as reasonably achievable. For the former, measures have to be taken not to exceed threshold doses while for the former, while for the latter, measures are to reduce the risk, but making the risk to zero is impossible for stochastic effects. The ICRP system of radiation protection recognizes three categories of exposure situations such as planned exposure situation, emergency exposure situation and existing exposure situation. Dr. Kai explained why the approach of radiation protection has to be different by exposure situation. The situation people are put up with in the land affected by nuclear accident is extremely complex and all dimensions of people’s everyday life have to be taken into consideration if radiation protection to be effective. For example, the loss of self-control by people on their everyday life in the affected land inevitably leads to loss of pride and dignity. In relation to this problem, self-help action of people becomes vitally important for them to regain control of their own life. Rationales behind the ICRP system of radiation protection are discussed for the existing exposure situation of people living in the affected land.

Presentation material of Professor Kai’s lecture are here.