Yearly Archives: 2015
Officials from World Bank, based in Washington, DC, visited FMU on two occasions this summer. Mr. Hideki Mori, Rapid Social Response Program Manager, visited on 29 July 2015. Mr. Masahiro Kan, Executive Director for Japan, visited on 27 August 2015. As Fukushima natives, Mr. Mori and Mr. Kan share personal and professional interests in our recovery from the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.
11-23 Jul 2015 Institutions in Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, MN welcome FMU Professors Arifumi Hasegawa and Kenneth Nollet
Professors Arifumi Hasegawa and Kenneth Nollet traveled to Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, MN, as described in the following report to the Executive Committee of FMU’s Radiation Medical Science Center. The Radiation Injury Treatment Network (www.ritn.net) paid for Dr. Nollet’s airfare, and American Red Cross Biomedical Services paid for one night of Dr. Nollet’s accommodation in Washington, DC.
The following presentations are also available as-is for personal scholarship and non-commercial educational activities in accordance with “fair use” copyright and other applicable laws.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
- Monitoring and decontamination
- Radiological emergency training
- Practical sessions
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 15th International Congress of Radiation Research (ICRR 2015) was held in Kyoto, Japan, from May 25 to May 29, 2015. The theme of ICRR 2015 was “Radiation Science Shaping the Future of the Earth and Mankind”
ICRR 2015 was a good platform to summarize the Fukushima nuclear accident from various viewpoints, to exchange ideas and to reach a consensus among academic communities and societies.
Fukushima Medical University sponsored 3 symposia. Those were:
1. Environmental and Health Effect of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Distribution, and Environmental Effect of Radioactive Materials (May 26 9:40 – 11:50 Room B1)
Chairpersons Toshimitsu Homma (Japan), Wolfgang Weiss (Germany)
New Interpretation of Cs Sorption Behaviors on Clay Minerals in Fukushima by Multiple Utilization of Quantum Beam
Tsuyoshi Yaita (Japan)
Implication of Radiological Consequences From Contamination of The Environment Due to The Fukushima Daiichi Accident
Toshimitsu Homma (Japan)
Agricultural Implications of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident
Tomoko M Nakanishi (Japan)
Effects of Marine Pollution with Radionuclides After The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident
Tatsuo Aono (Japan)
2. Environmental and Health Effect of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Dose Estimation and Health Risk (May 26 13:45 – 16:05 Room B-1)
Chairpersons Makoto Akashi (Japan), Carl-Magnus Larsson (Australia)
Dose Estimations of Fukushima Residents After Fukushima NPP Accident
Keiichi Akahane (Japan)
Estimation of Internal Thyroid Doses to Fukushima Residents and Remaining Issues
Osamu Kurihara (Japan)
Overview of Radiation Exposure Situation Under An Initial Phase of Fukushima Nuclear Accident
Shinji Tokonami (Japan)
Internal Radiation Exposures of Fukushima Children – The Risk Is Low, But The Anxiety Is Still High –
Ryugo Hayano (Japan) Health Implications of Radiation Exposure From The 2011 Nuclear Accident in Japan: The UNSCEAR 2013 Report
Carl Magnus Larsson (Australia), Malcolm Crick
3. Environmental and Health Effect of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Health Effect of Fukushima Nuclear Accident (May 27 8:45 – 11:05 Room B1)
Chairpersons Shunichi Yamashita (Japan), Kenji Kamiya (Japan)
Lessons Learned from the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: From Viewpoint of Radiation Emergency Medicine
Makoto Akashi (Japan), Takako Tominaga, Hideo Tatsuzaki, Masashi Sagara,
Emergency Medical Responses in the Fukushima Accident
Koichi Tanigawa (Japan)
Thyroid Ultrasonography Screening after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident: Fukushima Health Management Survey
Akira Ohtsuru (Japan), Satoru Suzuki, Toshihiko Fukushima, Sanae Midorikawa,
Hiroki Shimura, Takashi Matsuzaka, Akira Sakai, Shunichi Yamashita,
Shinichi Suzuki, Masafumi Abe
Psychosocial Consequences of Fukushima Disaster
Masaharu Maeda (Japan)
Health Status Found in the Fukushima Health Management Survey and Countermeasures
Seiji Yasumura (Japan)
Prof. Elisabeth Cardis, an epidemiologist and head of the Radiation Programme at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL, http://www.creal.cat/en_index.html) in Barcelona, visited FMU to explain the SHAMISEN project she is developing and to solicit FMU’s participation.
The shamisen is a traditional Japanese musical instrument with three strings. SHAMISEN is a reverse acronym for Nuclear Emergency Situations – Improvement of Medical and Health Surveillance.
On May 11th, Dr. Cardis spoke to a diverse FMU audience about the Chernobyl accident and related research. Her slides are here.
On May 12th, she spoke in detail about the SHAMISEN project. It is to be funded by the EU through its Open Project for the European Radiation Research Area (OPERRA). The objective is to develop recommendations for medical and health surveillance of populations affected by previous and future accidents. Shamisen brings together a team of researchers from 18 institutions in Europe and Japan with complementary experience and a long record of accident management, dosimetry, radiation protection, medical follow-up and screening, population health surveillance, health economics, epidemiology, ethics and the sociology of radiation protection. Recommendations will be disseminated to decision makers and radiation protection authorities for translation into strategy and policy, as well as to scientific, medical and non-expert audiences. FMU has agreed to join the SHAMISEN project.
17 Apr 2015 World Health Summit Satellite Symposium convenes at FMU: Responsive and Resilient Health Systems to Meet Emerging Challenges
A World Health Summit Satellite Symposium, Responsive and Resilient Health Systems to Meet Emerging Challenges, convened at Fukushima Medical University on April 17, 2015, calling for implementation of substantial changes in world health systems. On behalf of the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies, a statement was released on April 22, 2015.
M8 Statement is here.
In particular, “responsiveness” and “resilience” will be emphasized as critical attributes of a health system facing multiple challenges, including natural disasters, emerging infections, economic crises, and rapid aging. Several hundred students, faculty and local leaders attended this satellite symposium at FMU. The focus on Fukushima stems from what is called the 2011 “triple disaster” in Fukushima: our earthquake, tsunami, and ongoing nuclear reactor crisis.
Three main topics permeated the presentations:
(1) Challenges in a rapidly aging society,
(2) Preparedness for and resilience after disasters
(3) Fostering new leadership in the global health community.
The World Health Summit is the annual conference of the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies.Through the Inter Academy Medical Panel (IAMP), it is organized in collaboration with national academies of science in more than 67 countries.
The vision behind the World Health Summit (WHS) is to improve health all over the planet, catalyzing that process through collaboration and open dialogue, and steering tomorrow’s agenda to improve research, education, health care and policy outcomes.
The WHS mission is to bring together researchers, physicians, key government officials and representatives from industry – as well as from NGOs and healthcare systems all over the world – to address the most pressing issues facing every facet of healthcare and medicine in the upcoming decade and beyond.