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Office of International Cooperation

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16 Nov 2016 United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) leaders visited FMU

United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) delegates, led by Mr. Malcolm Crick, Secretary of UNSCEAR, met with FMU President Shin-ichi Kikuchi and other management of FMU on 16 November 2016.

Then they had a meeting with FMU professors. FMU made presentations on (1) Overview of Fukushima Health Management Survey, (2) Current status on public dose assessments, (3) Current status on thyroid cancer examination, and (4) Current status on other health effects. The participants from the two organizations exchanged views on the situation in Fukushima and confirmed further cooperation between them.

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Mr. Crick and Dr. Kikuchi (the 3rd and 4th from the left)

 

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Minnesota 2016 October Trip Report

Professor Kenneth Nollet was in Minnesota, 30 September to 9 October 2016.  His main speaking engagement was hosted by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), part of Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety.  In addition to HSEM staff, public health, law enforcement, military, and electric utility professionals attended and actively discussed topics of mutual interest.

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Above: Minnesota’s Emergency Operations Center, during and after Professor Nollet’s presentation, Crisis, Community, and Confidence: A Minnesotan Reflects on Japan’s 3.11 Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Accident. Lower right: Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joseph Kelly receives a copy of Fukushima: Lives on the Line.

This 7 October 2011 presentation can be accessed in slide-over-notes format here:

 

Nollet also spent time with Hibbing High School students from several science classes, involving them in an interactive presentation, At the Intersection of Biology and Physics: Human Radiation Exposure in the Nuclear Age.

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Above: Hibbing High School, built in 1923, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its education program earned the Bellamy Award in 1968.

 

This trip to Minnesota also included study tours of elder care facilities, with special attention to emergency evacuation policies and practices.  The ability to evacuate residents, their medications, and their care plans is important, as is the wisdom to know when evacuation might do more harm than it prevents.  These are among the lessons from 3.11.

 

Another study tour destination was the Soudan Mine High Energy Physics Lab, recently used to detect neutrino radiation originating from a cyclotron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois.

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Above: The Soudan Mine High Energy Physics Lab is more than 2300 feet (700 meters) below ground, to shield its particle detectors (upper left) from natural cosmic radiation that penetrates the atmosphere and reaches the earth’s surface.

 

Announcement of Publication of English version “Public Health in a Nuclear Disaster”

October 18, 2016
                             
Dr. Seiji Yasumura, Professor and Chair of Fukushima Medical University’s Department of Public Health, and Assistant to the Director of the Fukushima Health Management Survey, compiled and edited a book now available in English, Public Health in a Nuclear Disaster – Message from Fukushima – (originally, 原子力災害の公衆衛生 福島からの発信), a record of 1000 days of public health activities in the prefecture since March 11, 2011. This new English version was translated with adaptations for an international audience.

The original Japanese version was published in January 2014 to describe countermeasures applicable to future accidents, which we nevertheless hope will never happen. Prefectural government officials, municipal public health officials, various professional organizations, and others wrote about facts and lessons for future generations, what happened in the field of public health, and how they felt as public health officials active in our disaster.

The English version includes commentaries on various activities performed by Hiroshima University, which dispatched a total of more than 1,300 staff including doctors, technicians, nurses, and others providing multilateral support for the reconstruction of Fukushima, and new human resource development initiatives which were born in the wake of this support to Fukushima. Regarding the activities of Hiroshima University, Dr. Kenji Kamiya, Vice President of Hiroshima University, concurrently Vice President of Fukushima Medical University and Senior Director of the Radiation Medical Science Center for the Fukushima Health Management Survey, Fukushima Medical University, served as editor.

The English version of this book was published by Hiroshima University Press on August 23, 2016. In the future, an English e-book will also be released for library e-book services.

●Outline of English version
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Title: Public Health in a Nuclear Disaster – Message from Fukushima –
Edited by: Seiji Yasumura and Kenji Kamiya
Published by: Hiroshima University Press
Contents:
Chapter 1 What Nuclear Disaster Means
Chapter 2 Initiatives of Public Administrations
Chapter 3 Situation of and Countermeasures by Each Individual Municipality
Chapter 4 Activities of Various Professional Organizations
Chapter 5 Measures taken by Hiroshima University
Chapter 6 Suggestions – Toward the Future –
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Paperback: ISBN: 78-4-903068-37-4 JPY5724
e-book(will be published): ISBN:978-4-903068-38-1 
                  

1-2 Oct 2016 The rehabilitation of living conditions in the Futaba region

kawauchi161001The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) convened 12 Dialogue Seminars for Fukushima Prefecture residents, with other domestic and international participants, from November 2011 to September 2015. Dialog Seminar reports appear on the ICRP site.

Following these 12 seminars, an international workshop on this Dialog Initiative convened in Date City, Fukushima, on 12-13 December 2015, as reported here.

This year, a follow-up study tour and Dialogue Seminar convened in Iitate Village, Fukushima, 9-10 July 2016, which is reported here.

This time, a Dialogue Seminar entitled “The rehabilitation of living conditions in the Futaba region” was convened in Kawauchi Village on 1-2 October 2016 jointly organized by Kawauchi Village and Nagasaki University.

The First day:
Session 1: The situation in the Futaba region
Administrative officials from some towns and villages in the Futaba region made presentations on their reconstruction activities and outcomes since the disaster.
Following these presentations, the chairman of a commerce and industry association in Kawauchi Village talked about the association’s efforts for reconstruction.
Nagasaki University has been active in Kawauchi Village since 2013, and their representative who has been in the village gave a presentation on the measures of strengthening risk communications with residents there.

Session 2: The socio-economic conditions for returning home
Roundtable discussion by residents in the Futaba region was held concerning the activities they have been doing since the disaster.
In the afternoon, the participants were divided in to three groups; in each group, residents discussed and exchanged various views about what has been carried out for recovery in order to ensure acceptable living conditions in their communities at this stage and what future plans should be implemented.

The Second day:
Session 3: Returning home: decontamination, waste management and environmental surveillance
A Japanese expert and a resident made presentations on decontamination, waste management and environmental surveillance, after which participants were again divided into three groups to discuss the above-mentioned issues.

Session 4: Supporting and disseminating experience for the future of Futaba region and beyond
Three experts, from the Ministry of the Environment, Fukushima Medical University, and Fukushima University, made presentations on their support of local activities in this region for a brighter future.

Finally, the two-day seminar concluded that for the way forward, a shared vision of the future is needed, along with a framework to support local products.

Second Announcement: 5th International Expert Symposium in Fukushima will be held on September 26, 27 (Program is available now)

Thirty years have passed since the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and five years since the Fukushima nuclear accident. Building on what we have discussed at previous International Expert Symposiums, this time our theme is, “Chernobyl+30, Fukushima+5: Lessons and Solutions for Fukushima’s Thyroid Question.” At this symposium, we will focus on thyroid cancer issues, deepen everyone’s understanding of the thyroid gland from the standpoint of evidence-based medicine (EBM), and discuss recent situational improvements in Fukushima, as well as the latest thinking about long-term health surveillance in the prefecture.

The schedule of the symposium is as follows:

Date: September 26-27 (Mon-Tue), 2016

Venue: The Celecton Fukushima

Organizer: Nippon Foundation

Co-organizers: Fukushima Medical University, Nagasaki University, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation

Program of the 5th Expert Symposium

 

■ Contact

Secretariat of the 5th International Expert Symposium in Fukushima

fukushima2016@convention.co.jp

 

 

16-17 Jun 2016 Radiation Medicine in Research and Practice (4th International Seminar of WHO): Health effects 30 years after Chernobyl, 5 years after Fukushima

The World Health Organization (WHO) Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network (REMPAN) convened a two-day seminar at Würzburg  University, a REMPAN Collaborating Center, June 16-17, 2016. Fukushima Medical University, a REMPAN Liaison Institution, sent Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and Dr. Atsushi Kumagai to Würzburg  as delegates and speakers. Würzburg University has been especially involved in thyroid cancer treatment following the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. As the seminar’s secretariat, Würzburg University was an outstanding venue for information sharing about health effects attributed to Chernobyl and Fukushima. FMU’s Dr. Suzuki presented the latest thyroid ultrasound screening results of children and adolescents in Fukushima.  Dr. Kumagai reported 5 years of comprehensive health management for Fukushima residents of all ages, the current status of radiation risk perception, and various challenges residents face. Other speakers from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States provided deep insights into post-Chernobyl and post-Fukushima disaster remediation, along with broadly applicable epidemiological theory and risk-mediation measures.

 

 

9-10 Jul 2016 Follow up to the ICRP Dialogue Initiative

Iidate July, 2016The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) held 12 Dialogue Seminars for Fukushima Prefecture residents, with other domestic and international participants, from November 2011 to September 2015. These are reported at the ICRP site.

An international workshop on this Dialog Initiative convened in Date City, Fukushima, on 12-13 December 2015, as reported at here.

Most recently, a follow-up study tour and Dialogue Seminar convened in Iitate Village, Fukushima, 9-10 July 2016.

The First day:

International and Japanese experts visited the farm land and homesteads of several residents who have made continuous efforts to restore their pre-3.11 lives and work..

The Second day:

International and Japanese stakeholders, including a local youth, made presentations and had a panel discussion.  The participants expressed their views about (1) the many things to do for reconstruction of the village; (2) many evacuees who would not return to the village, especially young people; (3) employment opportunities needed to enable evacuees to return to the village; (4) further decontamination of forest and mountain areas to reassure inhabitants; (5) perception gaps between the government and residents on the situation of the village; (6) diverging views, even among experts, on residual radiation; (7) how restrictions by the government can impede reconstruction; and (8) how new agricultural approaches including farming without soil, and expanding farms would be promising.

 

 


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