Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Nuclear Fuk-ed

“On 11 March 2011, Japan was struck by a massive earthquake, which initiated a tsunami that inundated a large portion of the east coast of Japan. The tsunami caused massive devastation and approximately 20 000 people were killed or were declared missing. The tsunami also led to one of the most severe nuclear power site accidents in history, at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Three of the station’s six reactors suffered core melts and the entire facility was severely damaged. The Great East Japan Earthquake, the tsunami, the nuclear accident, and the resulting release of radioactive material led local authorities to initiate an evacuation of approximately 150 000 people. By deposition, the radioactive releases contaminated a large area of both the Fukushima Prefecture and others…” These are the opening words to a new report - “Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, Ten Years On: Progress, Lessons and Challenges” - by the Paris–based global nuclear lobby group, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).( It is one of several reports published to mark the tenth anniversary of the biggest accident involving a nuclear power complex this century; and was launched with an international webinar, one of several I have attended in the past 10 days dealing with different aspects of the accident and its long-running consequences. In one, held on 27 February, titled “ 10 years of living with Fukushima,” (; pediatrician Dr Alex Rosen, a leading figure in the German branch of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) – who made a detailed presentation on the health impacts of the accident – said it was “luck and divine intervention” that wind from the west blew most of the radiological releases out over the Pacific Ocean, meaning the Fukushima accident released more radioactivity to the oceans than the Chernobyl accident and all the nuclear weapons tests together. Another webinar I attended, on 9 March, was co-hosted by Northwestern University’s Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs located in Evanston, Illinois, and the Bulletin for the Atomic Scientists, based in Chicago, to launch a new international interdisciplinary collaborative study on “Nuclear Disaster Compensation: Lessons from Fukushima: Interviews with Experts and Intellectuals, edited by anthropology professor Hirokazu Miyazaki ( Former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairperson, Allison McFarlane, now a professor and director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, pointed out in the webinar that the Fukushima accident has so far cost US$188billion, with projected final costs of US$740 bn. Another contributor to the webinar, Hidenori Konno, a former resident of Tsushima, a district of Namie - the closest town to the Fukushima plant - vented his frustrations about his situation as an evacuee. He charged TEPCO and the Japanese Government of “robbing us of our lives,” asserting he and the other Tsushima evacuees “will never be satisfied however much money is offered in compensation.” It is currently prohibited to live in this area- and many other villages and towns within the evacuation zone - due to the high radiation levels, but the Japanese government opened the main road (route 114) in September 2017, and plan to open a small area for people to return to in 2023 – despite the ineffectiveness of decontamination, and the fact that 70-80 percent of the region is forested mountain which has not been decontaminated ( Greenpeace has been monitoring inside the evacuation zone for the past ten years, and this week released new report on its findings (“The decontamination myth and a decade of human rights violations: Fukushima Daiichi 2011- 2021 (; Beyond Nuclear International, March 7, 2021; Following the catastrophic triple reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011, several tens of thousands of square kilometres in Fukushima Prefecture (and further afield across eastern Japan) were contaminated with significant amounts of radioactive caesium and other radionuclides. An area ranging between 24,000-34,000 square kilometres of mainland Japan received Cs-137 deposition exceeding 10,000 Bq/m2 / 40,000 Bq/ m2, according to the French Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Safety Research (IRSN) ( “Fukushima, one year later - Initial analyses of the accident and its consequences” Report IRSN/DG/2012-003, 12 March 2012) Greenpeace report that their radiation expert team arrived in Fukushima on 26 March 2011, and their experts have since conducted 32 investigations into the radiological consequences of the disaster, most recently in November 2020. Their report claims that the government of Japan, largely under former prime minister Shinzo Abe, has attempted to deceive the Japanese people by misrepresenting the effectiveness of the decontamination program, as well as the overall radiological risks in Fukushima Prefecture. The latest Greenpeace surveys seeks to demonstrate that the contamination remains widespread, and is still a very real threat to long term human health and the environment. The contaminated areas comprise rice fields and other farmland, as well as a large amount of forest. Many people who lived in these areas were employed as farmers or in forest, and the local residents gathered wood, mushrooms, wild fruits and vegetables from the mountain forests, and children were free to play outdoors in the woodlands and streams. Since the disaster, tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their ancestral lands. The harm extends far beyond the immediate threat to health – as well as destroying livelihoods, it has destroyed an entire way of life. Greenpeace stresses that because of the Japanese government’s actions, many thousands of evacuees have been forced to make an impossible choice: to return to their radioactively contaminated homes or to abandon their homes and land and seek to establish a new life elsewhere without adequate compensation, which, they assert, amounts to economic coercion and may force individuals and families to return against their will due to a lack of financial resources and viable alternatives. The Japanese government claims that, with the exception of the 'difficult-to-return' zones, decontamination has largely been completed within the Special Decontamination Area (SDA), which includes the municipalities of Namie and Iitate. However, Greenpeace say it has consistently found that most of the SDA, where the government has taken direct charge of decontamination, remains contaminated with radioactive caesium. Greenpeace srr tresses that analysis of the Japanese government’s own data shows that in the SDA an overall average of 15% has been decontaminated. In the case of Namie for example, of the 22,314 hectares that make up the municipality, only 2,140 hectares have been decontaminated - just 10% of the total. One major reason for this is that much of Fukushima prefecture is mountainous forest that cannot be decontaminated. The Japanese government’s long-term decontamination target level is the same as the recommended maximum level for public exposure to radiation other than from medical or natural background exposure. Confronted with radiation levels that would result in annual exposure above this level, in April 2012 the government changed the recommended maximum to the same as the yearly average allowed for Japanese nuclear plant workers under normal circumstances. At no time since has the government given a timeframe for when ‘long-term’ targets are to be reached. In its radiation surveys over the last decade, Greenpeace has consistently found readings well above the Japanese government’s decontamination target levels. The following data are a selection from the most recent surveys conducted in November 2020. • At a home in Iitate (Mr Anzai’s house) every measurement taken in fi ve of the 11 zones surrounding the property still exceeded the government target of 0.23 µSv/h, with an average radiation level across all zones of 0.5 µSv/h. • At a former school and kindergarten in the town of Namie, all of the 822 points measured in an adjacent forested area remained above the 0.23 µSv/h target and 88% measured above 1 µSv/h. In the area directly outside the school, 93% of all data points measured remain above the 0.23 µSv/h target. Nevertheless, this location has been open to the public since March 2017. • In 70% of the points measured in Zone 1 along the Takase riverbank, radiation levels would give an annual dose of 3-5 mSv/year based on the Japanese government calculation method. • At a home in the Namie 'difficult-to-return' exclusion zone (Ms Kanno’s house), which was previously subject to extensive decontamination efforts, dose rates for 98% of the points measured exceed the annual maximum exposure level of 1 mSv per year. For 70% of the points measured, dose rates could lead to an exposure of 3-5 mSv/y based on the government calculation method. The strontium-90 threat Radioactive releases from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster and the contamination measured in 2020 are dominated by radio caesiums. But other isotopes were also released by the accident, including radioactive strontium-90 (Sr-90). which is a bone seeking radionuclide, and, if it is ingested concentrates in bones and bone marrow, increasing the risks of contracting cancer. Greenpeace sampling and analysis of cedar needles collected from forests in areas of Fukushima Prefecture confirmed the presence of Strontium 90. Rather than conducting the large-scale and expensive Sr-90 laboratory analysis needed for accurate measurement, the Japanese government has used calculations based on an “anticipated constant ratio” between radioactive caesium and strontium. Greenpeace argue that research published in 2015 warned that this approach is likely to result in error, and potentially underestimate the strontium risks There are uniquely hazardous risks from current plans to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi reactors where this strontium and other radionuclides exist. A smaller but significant amount is also present in the 1.23 million tons of contaminated tank water stored at the site, and which the government is preparing to announce plans to discharge into the Pacific Ocean. According to the Washington Post (A decade after Fukushima nuclear disaster, contaminated water symbolizes Japan’s struggles;” Washington Post, 6 March 2021; beside the ruins of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, more than 1,000 huge metal tanks - containing nearly 1.25 million tons of cooling water groundwater seepage over the years — equivalent to around 500 Olympic-size swimming pools — most of it still dangerously radioactive – “loom in silent testament to one of the worst nuclear disasters in history..” Running out of space to build more tanks, the Japanese government wants to gradually release the water into the sea — after it has been decontaminated and diluted — over the next three decades. TEPCO insist that an ocean release is their preferred solution and claim that it is “perfectly safe” – and “the only thing holding them back appears to be the Olympics and the bad publicity it could generate before the Games begin in July.” But the idea of releasing the water has infuriated Fukushima’s fishing community, only now getting back on its feet after taking a battering in the wake of the 2011 disaster and the subsequent ocean contamination. “Recovery is the most important thing for us, and releasing the water will pull back the recovery process,” said Takayuki Yanai, head of the trawler fisheries cooperative association in the port of Onahama. The local fisheries industry is still only half as big as it was before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, he said. “I really want them to stop. There must be other options.” (“Stemming the tide 2020 The reality of the Fukushima radioactive water crisis", October 2020, nal.pdf 3. Greenpeace Japan) Greenpeace also claim that “Evacuation orders have been lifted in areas where radiation still remains above safe limits, potentially exposing the population to increased cancer risk- a particular hazard for children and women.” In 2020, further plans for the lifting of restrictions emerged, including the opening up an area of Iitate, a neighbouring community to Namie, that is currently part of the ‘difficult-to-return’ exclusion zone. Up until 2018, 13 million man hours of work had been applied in decontamination of the SDA, the majority by subcontractors. Greenpeace documented two years ago that that some workers are at risk from exposure to radiation above safety limits, and coerced into accepting hazardous working conditions because of economic hardship. They have also received inadequate training and protection. ("On the Frontline of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Workers and Children Radiation risks and human rights violations", March 2019, see The new Greepeace report records that during the past decade, the violations have been challenged by multiple United Nations human rights bodies, as well as UN Human Rights Special Rapporteurs, including Baskut Tuncak, who in his report to the UN General Assembly in 2018, charged that, “It is disappointing to see Japan appear to all but ignore the 2017 recommendation of the UN human rights monitoring mechanism (UPR) to return back to what it considered an acceptable dose of radiation before the nuclear disaster.” (United Nations Human Rights Office “Japan must halt returns to Fukushima, radiation remains a concern, says UN rights expert”, 25 October 2018, According to Sonoda, a Japanese woman who made her own deposition to a side meeting of the UN Human rights council on internal displacement, hosted by the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner in June 2018, reported to a webinar hosted by the Berlin-based Heinrich Boell Stiftung on 9 March 2021(“10 years Fukushima, 35 years Chernobyl - Making the invisible visible: Still a long way from becoming history;, the internal refugee status of the displaced Japanese citizens was recognized by the UN HRC. In his report, Baskut Tuncak had urged the Japanese government to halt the ongoing relocation of evacuees, including children and women of reproductive age, to areas where radiation levels remain higher than that considered safe or healthy before the 2011 nuclear disaster. He also criticised the Japanese government’s decision to raise by 20 times the level of radiation exposure it considered acceptable, stating that it, “was deeply troubling, highlighting in particular the potentially grave impact of excessive radiation on the health and wellbeing of children.” ( 5) At the NEA webinar ( organized on 3 March 2021 to complement the launch of the new report of Fukushima, ten years after the accident, Dr Claire Cousins, Chair of the International Committee for Radiation Protection explained how ICRP had organized in December 2020 an international webinar – with over 2000 participants- on recovery from nuclear accidents (, building on the earlier Fukushima Dialogue, a series of 22 meetings held in three phases across the past decade in Fukushima Prefecture, during which she said ICRP worked “with” affected people not “for” them. ( She gave the impression that the ICRP, with its focus on co-expertise, building on ICRP Task Groups (TG) 84 and 93, really resonated with the victims of the Fukushima accident. But the testimony of local people participating in several of the webinars attended, and documented in the new Greenpeace report, suggests the people of the evacuated communities do not believe they have had the real support they need, either from the Japanese Government, TEPCO, or international bodies like ICRP. Indeed, two award-winning Japanese investigative reporters, Mako and Ken Oshidori, recently released a two hour-long investigative video on YouTube, compiling their very detailed research on the aftermath of the Fukushima accident across ten years. Titled “Digging Behind the Headlines About the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster” (, they claim, based on a comparative analysis of official data from the nuclear plant operators in Japan, that Fukushima’s wrecked nuclear reactors are still releasing in a single hour the equivalent amount of radioactivity released by similar sized nuclear plants in a year in normal operation. A new paper, “New highly radioactive particles found in Fukushima” published in the Journal Science of the Total Environment on 17 February 2021 documents discovery new, large (> 300 micrometers), highly radioactive particles that were released from one of the damaged Fukushima reactors. ( The study involved scientists from Japan, Finland, France, the UK, and USA, led by Dr Satoshi Utsunomiya from the Department of Chemistry at Kyushu University. Particles containing radioactive cesium (134+137Cs) were released from the damaged reactors, with small (micrometer-sized) particles (known as CsMPs) being widely distributed, reaching as far as Tokyo, 141 miles (227 km) away It recently became apparent that larger Cs-containing particles(>300 micrometers), with much higher levels of activity (~ 105 Bq), were also released from reactor unit 1 that suffered a hydrogen explosion. These particles were deposited within a narrow zone that stretches ~8 km north-northwest of the reactor site. But to date, little has been known about the composition of these larger particles and their potential environmental and human health impacts. The particles, reported in the study, were found during a survey of surface soils 3.9 km north-northwest of reactor unit 1.From 31 Cs-particles collected during the sampling campaign, two have given the highest ever particle-associated 134+137Cs activities for materials emitted from the Fukushima plant (specifically: 6.1 × 105 and 2.5 × 106 Bq, respectively, for the particles, after decay-correction to the date of the accident). The researchers say that the composition of the surface embedded micro-particles likely reflect the composition of airborne particles within the reactor building at the moment of the hydrogen explosion Dr Utsunomiya observed “The new particles from regions close to the damaged reactor provide valuable forensic clues. They give snap-shots of the atmospheric conditions in the reactor building at the time of the hydrogen explosion, and of the physio-chemical phenomena that occurred during reactor meltdown,” adding “whilst nearly ten years have passed since the accident, the importance of scientific insights has never been more critical. Clean-up and repatriation of residents continues and a thorough understanding of the contamination forms and their distribution is important for risk assessment and public trust.” Study co-author, Professor Gareth Law from the University of Helsinki added, “clean-up and decommissioning efforts at the site face difficult challenges, particularly the removal and safe management of accident debris that has very high levels of radioactivity. Therein, prior knowledge of debris composition can help inform safe management approaches”. Another co-author, Professor Rod Ewing from Stanford University in California stated “this paper is part of a series of publications that provide a detailed picture of the material emitted during the Fukushima Daiichi reactor meltdowns. This is exactly the type of work required for remediation and an understanding of long-term health effects”. It was announced two days ago that the owners of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, TEPCO, is finally going to take a responsible position on managing the aftermath of the accident ( “TEPCO president vows to responsibly scrap Fukushima nuclear reactors,” Mainichi , 8 March 2021; The Kyodo news agency reported: “The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, has vowed to responsibly scrap the crippled reactors and revitalize the economies of its host communities ahead of the 10th anniversary of the accident. In a recent online interview with Kyodo News, Tomoaki Kobayakawa said the utility is "making all-out efforts" in the decommissioning work and to achieve economic revitalization for the local communities. He also said radiation levels at the crisis-hit plant remain relatively stable. Inside three of the Fukushima Daiichi's six nuclear reactors, however, melted fuel debris remains highly radioactive, leaving decommissioning a challenging task even 10 years after the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident. "I feel very sorry" for the fact that the nuclear crisis has left some land around the plant uninhabitable to this day and forced residents in the contaminated areas to evacuate, said Kobayakawa. The president said he hopes work related to the Fukushima plant's decommissioning will become a major industry in the region and prompt local companies to join it. The utility will place high priority on developing local human resources to engage in the scrapping of the plant, while promoting Fukushima products in the Tokyo metropolitan area to help expand their sales, Kobayakawa said. He also said the company will thoroughly teach young employees who were not working at the utility at the time of the nuclear crisis about the lessons from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. "It is important to learn why we failed to prevent the nuclear accident and what happened in the plant," Kobayakawa said. The president said educating young employees about the issue will involve visits to the TEPCO Decommissioning Archive Center, which was set up in 2018 in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, and catalogues how the nuclear accident unfolded as well as the latest status of decommissioning work. Kobayakawa said he is aware that it will take a long time to regain public confidence in nuclear power generation in Japan and that TEPCO needs to show its commitment through its actions. "Ultimately, it is we, the operators, who ensure the safety" of nuclear plants, he said. Trust will be retrieved "only after (Japanese) society recognizes what we have achieved." . Backstory Annexes: Fukushima 10 Years On – An Overview Peace Boat, March 7, 2021; Dix ans après la catastrophe de Fukushima, plongée dans l'enfer de la centrale ravagée : "Je nous voyais tous morts" Article rédigé par Robin Prudent France Télévisions, Publié le 07/03/2021 “Ten years after the quake: Between recovery and remembering;” Japan Times, March 8, 2021; BY ROBERT D. ELDRIDGE; “Legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disaster;”East Asia Forum, 7 March 2021; by Tatsujiro Suzuki, Nagasaki University; “Isolated and Alone”;Beyond Nuclear International, 7 March 2021; Nuclear energy, ten years after Fukushima; Nature, 5 March 2021; by Francesca Giovannini “Nuclear Disaster Compensation: Lessons from Fukushima” – report: Meridian 180 Forums, Interviews with Experts and Intellectuals Edited by Hirokazu Miyazaki NUCLEAR DISASTER COMPENSATION: A CALL FOR ACTION Nuclear energy provides 10% of electricity world-wide, a percentage that is likely to increase as nation-states work to fuel growing economies while limiting the devastating environmental effects of carbon-based energy sources. Yet, on the tenth anniversary of Japan's devastating triple disaster, we are reminded that nuclear energy imposes unique risks and burdens on citizens. Between 1979 and 2011, three reactor meltdowns, with distinct causes and effects, have forced communities to deal with the insidious consequences of radiological contamination. Radionuclides, in contrast to many other by-products of energy production, require the interventions of experts to sense and assess their danger. They cannot be readily smelled, tasted, heard, seen, or felt. The pathways of exposure, moreover, are multiple and include full body exposure, inhalation, and consumption of contaminated food sources. Many of these radionuclides linger in environments for decades, centuries, and even millennia in some cases. These features of radiological harm place people affected by radioactive fallout in a difficult position. They must rely on experts to regulate the risks of a disaster and, afterward, to assess its effects and provide a means of redressing their injuries. Across three major disasters—Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Fukushima in 2011—those affected by nuclear reactor meltdowns have been forced to navigate complicated administrative and legal compensation regimes in an attempt to rebuild their lives and communities. Tax-payers and power companies’ rate-payers, meanwhile, have borne many of the financial burdens of these disasters. When a major nuclear disaster occurs, its effects reach deeply into economy and society, and more often than not these effects extend to people far away from the accident's geographic location. The fact that up until now, severe nuclear accidents have occurred only rarely, along with the stigma attached to anticipating and planning for nuclear catastrophe, means that public debate on nuclear disasters tends to recede into the background quickly. However, there are important issues that deserve to be addressed in more than an ad hoc fashion; one of them is compensation for victims of nuclear disasters. This report shows that compensation plans have not met the needs of victims of nuclear disasters for three primary reasons: 1. Compensation plans have been devised by unelected officials and without full public knowledge or participation. 2. Governments have often capped the liability of the owners of nuclear facilities, which distorts cost-benefit analysis and creates a moral hazard. 3. International conventions limit compensation and responsibility for nuclear disasters. Both Chernobyl and Fukushima demonstrate that these limits may be too low. Due to the complexity of nuclear technology and our limited understanding of potential failures, our starting assumption is that there will be additional severe accidents at nuclear reactors in the future.1 In this context, we suggest that issues of compensation be part of nuclear emergency preparedness and response planning. In this report we call for the creation of a forum that enables laypersons and experts to engage in an ongoing conversation about nuclear disaster compensation issues before the next disaster occurs. The forum should include the many groups that are affected by nuclear power and disasters, including nuclear industry representatives, government officials, project finance specialists, political leaders, victims of past disasters, potential victims, taxpayers, and ratepayers. Many methods for enabling conversation between experts and their publics have been developed and so this forum may take a variety of forms, including as a consensus conference. It could take place online and/or include online components. With this report we invite your suggestions for methods of achieving this conversation, as well as your participation in this dialogue. The final form of the forum must enable three goals. First, a deliberative conversation about nuclear disaster compensation must be anticipatory—that is, it must take place prior to the disaster occurring. Many dedicated professionals are working to prevent future disasters, but the case studies presented later in this report show that governments on the whole have not fully prepared for nuclear disasters before the disasters have occurred. In short: • Plans have failed to anticipate the magnitude and types of harms that people experience after disasters, or precisely how people will be compensated. • Some plans have created loopholes for “natural” disasters, which may not ensure that owners of nuclear facilities adequately prepare for environmental hazards. • Organizational sociologists have shown that interactive complexity and tight coupling, as well as our limited understanding of system properties, make disasters “normal,” even with the best possible management and governance structures in place—and the real world is far from the best possible world. • The problem of nuclear disaster compensation has often been marginalized by assurances that the probability of a disaster is very low. As a result, citizens have too often accepted plans for nuclear power because they are assured that a disaster is extremely unlikely, and citizens have not understood the possibly catastrophic consequences of a disaster. However, history shows that this assumption is flawed. Nuclear disasters have repeatedly occurred, and they will almost certainly continue to occur. The tendency to explain each nuclear disaster as an anomaly—an unusual case of operator error, irresponsible governance, poor engineering, or all of the above—only serves to reinforce the misguided faith that nuclear disasters can be entirely prevented. This leads to the second goal of a forum on nuclear disaster compensation issues: deliberations must be participatory—that is, they must include the ordinary citizens who have been impacted or are likely to be impacted by a nuclear disaster, as well as nuclear engineers, medical doctors, environmental scientists, and other experts who have specialized knowledge relevant to disasters. We recognize, though, that participatory governance of science and technology faces challenges, especially as experience with participatory governance shows that not all groups are able or permitted to contribute equally. Citizens who participate in decision-making about nuclear power are often economically disadvantaged. They do not “choose” to accept the risks of living and working in proximity to nuclear power and nuclear waste disposal. While those who work in the industry are eager for the jobs and economic opportunities that nuclear power and waste disposal are seen to offer, others are often constrained by financial and historical circumstances. Even when these citizens “participate” in nuclear decision-making, for example as rate-payers, they are rarely on equal footing with governments and corporations. The experts who play an outsized role in framing problems and solutions instead give citizens simple yes-or-no votes in otherwise complicated processes. A truly participatory forum would recognize the extremely broad group of people who are affected by nuclear disasters and enable them to help frame problems and solutions. Nuclear disasters affect not only the people living close to nuclear facilities, but also everyone in the path of the fallout, which can spread around the entire globe. It affects the costs and reliability of electricity for all persons on the electrical power grid. And it affects the livelihood of agricultural workers and the supply of food that they provide. A participatory forum would also ensure that all of these citizens understand what they might lose in a nuclear disaster. The impacts of previous disasters must be fully visible to those considering accepting such risks. We can begin to create a more participatory forum by broadening conceptions of expertise to include forms of knowledge that have historically been marginalized in decision-making about nuclear power. This includes local knowledges about natural and built environments as well as economic practices and interdisciplinary knowledge about disaster response and recovery. This leads to the third goal of a conversation about nuclear disaster compensation: it must be transnational because nuclear disasters do not respect national borders. Although methods for participatory governance have proliferated in recent years, most of these experiences have been confined to single nations or localities.2 Nonetheless, there are models for a transnational forum.3 Nongovernmental organizations often gather alongside intergovernmental meetings on climate change. A transnational conversation should include decision-makers and citizens from nations that are considering investing in nuclear power. Such nations should explicitly consider the risks of nuclear disasters in their planning. The costs of disaster compensation may go beyond compensating citizens in the state where a catastrophe occurs. Large-scale nuclear disasters may also impact neighboring nation-states, others in the international community, and international environments, such as the high seas. Again, current international agreements strongly limit compensation and responsibility for disasters. In sum, we are calling for a dialogue that is anticipatory, participatory, and transnational to best enable wiser decisions about nuclear power and its many consequences. We invite your ideas about possible forums that can move the conversation forward. • Yuki Ashina • M. X. Mitchell • Hirokazu Miyazaki • Annelise Riles • Sonja D. Schmid • Rebecca Slayton • Takao Suami • Satsuki Takahashi • Dai Yokomizo ________________________________________ 1. See Downer 2011 ↩︎ 2. See, e.g., Chilvers and Kearnes 2020, 347-380; Irwin 2006, 299-320; Laurent 2011, 649-666; and Lezaun, Marres, and Tironi 2017, 195-221 ↩︎ 3. See Riles 2018, 175-185 for an articulation of a model of dialogue between experts and citizens.” ↩︎ BIBLIOGRAPHY • Chilvers, Jason, and Kearnes, Matthew. “Remaking Participation in Science and Democracy.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 45, no. 3 (2020): 347-380. • Downer, John. “‘737-Cabriolet’: The Limits of Knowledge and the Sociology of Inevitable Failure.” American Journal of Sociology 117, no. 3 (2011): 725-762. • Irwin, Alan. “The Politics of Talk: Coming to Terms with the ‘New’ Scientific Governance.” Social Studies of Science 36, no. 2 (2006): 299-320. • Laurent, Brice. “Technologies of Democracy: Experiments and Demonstrations.” Science and Engineering Ethics 17, no. 4 (2011): 649-666. • Lezaun, Javier, Noortje Marres, and Manuel Tironi. “Experiments in Participation.” In Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark A. Miller, and Lauren Smith-Doerr (eds). The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. 4th edition. Pp. 195-221. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 2017. • Riles, Annelise. 2018. Financial Citizenship: Experts, Publics, and the Politics of Central Banking. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Contents • Preface — Hirokazu Miyazaki • Report o Introduction: Nuclear Compensation — Hirokazu Miyazaki o The Compensation Scheme for the Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Fukushima — Yuki Ashina, Satsuki Takahashi, Nobuyo Fujinaga, and Takao Suami o Mapping Three Mile Island: Nuclear Liability and Compensation in the United States — M. X. Mitchell o Nuclear Liability and Compensation Models after Chernobyl — Sonja D. Schmid o Compensation for Transboundary Claims in Nuclear Disasters — M. X. Mitchell, Annelise Riles, and Dai Yokomizo • Appendix One. Meridian 180 Forums o Cry from the Scene — Naoki Kasuga, Cynthia Bowman, Grace Guo, Clark R. West, Tai-Li Lin, Grace Kuo, and Naoki Kamiyama o A Grand Coalition for a Rise in the Consumption Tax is the Only Way — Yugi Genda, Naoki Sakai, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Shigeki Uno, Cynthia Bowman, Tom Ginsburg, and Annelise Riles o Crisis of Relationality — Yugi Genda, Chika Watanabe, Shuhei Kimura, Anne Allison, Steffi Richter, Naoki Kasuga, Satsuki Takahashi, Shigeki Uno, Annelise Riles, Hiroyuki Mori, Hirokazu Miyazaki, John Whitman, Ghassan Hage, and Naoki Yokoyama o Nuclear Energy and Climate Change — Hirokazu Miyazaki, Amy Levine, Satsuki Takahashi, Vincent Ialenti, Gabrielle Hecht, Haejoang Cho, Shuhei Kimura, Yuki Ashina, and Hiroyuki Mori • Appendix Two. Interviews with Experts and Intellectuals o The Role of Civil Society — Chika Watanabe o The Role of Architects and Engineers — Shin Sakurai and Hirokazu Miyazaki o Fukushima within the Configuration of the U.S. Cold War Strategy — Yuko Yamaguchi, Naoki Sakai, and Ichiyo Muto o The Role of Lawyers in Nuclear and Natural Disasters — Yuki Ashina and Hirokazu Miyazaki o The Role of Economists — Yuji Genda and Naruhito Cho The Role of Civil Society Chika Watanabe This is the transcript of a presentation and an interview conducted in March 2012 as part of the Cornell East Asia Program symposium, “Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami One Year Later: How Can We Bring Closure to Crises?” CHIKA WATANABE “THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL NGOS (INGOS) IN JAPAN” Watch the video of the interview The Role of Japanese International NGOs The Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), a networking and information center for NGOs in Japan, identifies the first international NGOs (INGOs) in Japan as Christian medical groups that traveled to China in 1938 to provide care to refugees who were forced to flee by the Japanese military invasion (JANIC 2007). A couple of decades of inactivity followed due to the Second World War and its aftermath, but in the late 1950s, new aid activities began to emerge. By the 1960s, the first INGO-type organizations were established, such as the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual, and Cultural Advancement (OISCA, 1961), the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP, 1968), and the beginnings of the Asia Rural Institute (ARI or Ajia Gakuin) in 1960. The precursor to the government aid agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was also established in 1962 (under the name of Overseas Technical Cooperation Agency (OTCA)). In the 1970s, the growth of INGOs continued, particularly those with liberal and advocacy orientations. A number of them appeared in response to the large number of refugees from Indochina and Cambodia who arrived to Japan during this time period. Throughout the 1980s, development aid INGOs grew in number, as well as those addressing environmental, human rights, and other issues. The 1990s saw the greatest increase of INGOs, partly due to the impact of global calamities such as the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the Rwandan genocide, which raised public consciousness on the need for international aid interventions. The Kobe Earthquake of 1995 and the upsurge of volunteer activities afterwards also spurred the growth of nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations in general, particularly due to the creation of the 1998 Law to Promote Specified Nonprofit Activities (“NPO Law”), the first legal framework for nonprofits in Japan (Osborne 2003). This new law enabled groups to register as formal organizations, which facilitated their cooperation with other organizations and government agencies, the expansion of funding possibilities, and “a shift in state-society power balance” (Pekkanen 2003:53). Nevertheless, nonprofits in Japan remain operationally and financially small compared to Euro-American contexts: as of 2011, about half of the approximately 44,000 registered nonprofit organizations had an annual income of 50,000 USD or less (Cabinet Office 2013). The late 1990s and early 2000s were also the beginning of professionalized emergency INGOs in Japan. In addition to INGOs that had been working with refugees in Southeast Asia since the 1970s and 1980s such as Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA), new organizations such as Japan Emergency NGO (JEN, 1994) and Peace Winds Japan (PWJ, 1996) appeared on the scene. These INGOs worked in war-torn countries such as the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, often in the midst of armed conflicts, and responded to natural disasters around the world. In 2000, Japan Platform was created out of the lessons learned in Kosovo, where Japanese INGOs realized that multi-lateral cooperation between NGOs, governments, the business community, media, and the academic community was essential for conducting effective aid activities. Thus, Japan Platform today is composed of members from NGOs, corporations, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who administer funds and resources that can be mobilized rapidly by member NGOs in times of disaster and emergency aid. When a calamity strikes, the Japan Platform Board of Directors and INGO representatives meet within 24-48 hours, if not earlier. Interested domestic NGOs and INGOs submit proposals to conduct preliminary assessments and implement emergency relief activities, which are approved by the board (they are rarely rejected since consultations happen before decision-making). Funds are dispensed in a very short amount of time. Unlike Western-based INGOs such as World Vision and Save the Children, which tend to have extra funds for emergency situations, Japanese INGOs do not have extra resources that they can quickly tap into. Moreover, whereas other types of funds such as from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and corporations—the two biggest sources of funding for most Japanese INGOs—take time to process, the moneys available through Japan Platform has made rapid responses by Japanese INGOs possible. Although some observers are concerned about the links between corporate interests and NGO activities that became visible in the wake of the 2011 disasters (e.g., Robertson 2012), it is a fact that without such financial backing, either through or outside of Japan Platform, professional nongovernmental aid organizations in Japan would not be able to exist or respond to emergency situations. Moreover, if one follows the collaboration between corporations and INGOs ethnographically, it becomes clear that it is not simply the government and corporations that are setting the humanitarian agenda. Humanitarian and disaster aid in Japan is made up of a set of exchanges and deliberations that move between local people's concerns and state interests in complex ways. Overview of JEN Japan Emergency NGO (JEN) was established in 1994 in the midst of the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. It began as a consortium of different Japanese INGOs to respond to the refugee crisis and other humanitarian needs in this region, but it eventually became one organization and expanded to projects worldwide. As of 2013, it conducts relief and rehabilitation efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Sudan, Haiti, Japan, and Jordan for Syrian refugees. Its projects are funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government schemes, corporate donors such as UNIQLO and Ajinomoto, the UN, and individual donations. Although JEN is not a religious NGO, the Buddhist-based new religion, Risshō Kōsekai, has also been a long-term supporter, given the religious group's participation in the initial consortium in the former Yugoslavia. JEN's activities include infrastructural projects such as the reconstruction of schools, but it focuses mainly on “soft aid” activities that enable “efforts [to restore] a self-supporting livelihood both economically and mentally” among people affected by conflicts and disasters. A characteristic activity was, for instance, a workshop for fishermen in Sri Lanka to make and mend fishing nets after the tsunami of 2004, which took away their livelihoods, family members, and even entire communities. Instead of handing out already-made fishnets, JEN provided the raw materials so that the fishermen could engage in an activity that helped them regain their sense of self-reliance. The men were able not only to create the material resources necessary to restart their fishing activities, but also to use the workshops as spaces of healing. To this end, JEN hired social workers to facilitate these activities and encourage conversations that might help the fishermen process their losses and strengthen relationships with their neighbors. All of JEN's activities aim in these ways to encourage both economic self-reliance and psychosocial care. Although JEN's projects are usually outside of Japan, the organization has also conducted activities in Japan. The first was a rehabilitation project in Niigata, an area north of Japan, after the Niigata Chūetsu Earthquake in 2004. JEN focused on a small aging community in a rural area and sought to revitalize the community by tackling the effects of the earthquake, but more importantly, the long-term problem of depopulation. JEN and the villagers worked together to implement volunteer programs that brought urban participants to help with agricultural and other labor, and to encourage villagers that their village was worth keeping alive. Six years later, young people and families had moved to the village. The villagers decided to manage the volunteer and other revitalization programs on their own. Thus, in 2010, JEN closed its Niigata project, although it continues to maintain relations with the villagers. When the March 2011 disaster happened, people from this community were among the first to contact JEN to offer their help in the devastated areas of Tohoku. Japanese INGOs in Tohoku after March 11, 2011 When the earthquake struck on March 11, 2011, Japanese INGOs quickly took action. Unlike in most other disaster situations in the developing world where the United Nations coordinates relief activities, in this case, the Japanese government facilitated nongovernmental and volunteer aid activities through the quasi-governmental Volunteer Centers of the Social Welfare Council (Shakai Fukushi Kyōgikai, or shakyō). Unfortunately, the administrators at the municipal and shakyō offices were themselves victims of the disaster, and the coordination of the various groups and individuals proved to be a challenge. As Leo Bosner, a former employee of the US government's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found in his research in Japan in early 2012, prefectural and municipal officials were expected to be the first responders to disasters, but they received almost no training in disaster response (Bosner 2012). Furthermore, he points out that “the government did not appear to have a plan for incorporating NPOs [nonprofits] or donation management into the disaster response” and it relied too heavily on news reports rather than information from on-the-ground specialists at disaster sites. This led to the misallocation of relief items, and in some cases, the government's rejection of goods that were in fact much needed on the ground. Bosner also found that the actual experts in disaster aid were found outside of the government agencies in charge of managing the response, such as in INGOs and the fire service, but the government did not draw on their expertise. Staff members at INGOs such as JEN had ample knowledge managing and implementing large-scale disaster aid projects. However, seen in the same rubric as “volunteer groups,” the government relegated them to simple activities such as mud and debris removal through the Volunteer Centers. Thus, there was a general sense among INGO aid workers that their programmatic expertise from years of experience worldwide was not used to the fullest extent, echoing Bosner's findings. Despite these challenges, as soon as the disaster hit, JEN staff prepared to go to the most severely affected regions of Sendai and Ishinomaki city along the coast in Miyagi prefecture. Although there were some delays due to the sudden threat of radiation coming from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, staff members from Tokyo were in the region by the thirteenth, distributing food, clothes, and other needed items identified through their assessments. On March 25, 2011, JEN established its Ishinomaki office and hired local staff members who have since been conducting a variety of livelihood assistance and other rehabilitation projects. As time has passed, JEN staffers have been able to cultivate trusting relationships with local communities, enabling the implementation of mid- and long-term projects beyond the tasks allowed by the government. Programs involving volunteers have also continued, similar to the Niigata projects that aim to address wider problems of rural depopulation in conjunction with disaster rehabilitation efforts. The interview that follows is an excerpt from a conversation that took place at the JEN office in Tokyo with the Secretary General, Ms. Keiko Kiyama, in January 2012. For more information please visit: References Bosner, Leo 2012 Can Japan Respond Better to its Next Large Disaster? The Asia-Pacific Journal 10(21)(1). Electronic document,, accessed May 25, 2012. Cabinet Office 2013 “Let's Get to Know NPOs (Statistical Information)” [NPO wo shirou: tōkei jyōhō]. Electronic document,, accessed December 8, 2013. Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC) 2007 NGO dēta book 2006: sūji de miru nihon no NGO [Data Book on NGOs 2006: Japanese NGOs Seen Through Numbers]. Tokyo: JANIC. Osborne, Stephen, ed. 2003 The Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector in Japan: The Challenge of Change. London: RoutledgeCurzon. Pekkanen, Robert 2003 “The Politics of Regulating the Non-Profit Sector” In The Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector in Japan: The Challenge of Change. Stephen Osborne, ed. Pp.53-75. London: RoutledgeCurzon. INTERVIEW WITH KEIKO KIYAMA, INTERVIEWED BY CHIKA WATANABE Note: In January 2012, when this interview took place, JEN had finished their work with emergency relief and had begun working on providing livelihood assistance and the renewal of community events like tea and coffee hours (ochakkonomi in local dialect) in the temporary housing established after the March 11disaster. At present, in the spring of 2015, they are involved in psychosocial care for children, livelihood assistance, and community revitalisation. Could you tell us a little bit about the work JEN is doing in Tohoku? On March 11, when the earthquake and tsunami struck, our first thought was that we had to get help out there. Naturally, we were also affected by the disaster, but on the eleventh we found ourselves busy getting things ready. The first group went out on the thirteenth. In the first few months, in what's known as emergency relief, the support we provided was primarily essential supplies and helping out with things. And by things I mean, for instance, dispatching volunteers to help clear the mud the tsunami had caked on to houses, that kind of thing. That's the kind of emergency relief with which we started, but now things are moving in the direction of getting things back to normal. JEN also does work overseas. Has that been different to what you've been doing in Japan, or have they been similar? They've been surprisingly similar. I felt the same way when we were providing relief during the Chūetsu Earthquake in Niigata in 2004 —that what we do overseas can be put to use domestically as is. When we go overseas, the assumption is that the cultures are different, so we should not impose our own ideas onto people. I believe that, since we are people who will eventually leave, success means being able to withdraw aid as soon as possible. When you try to achieve sustainable results, based on the idea that you're going to eventually leave, the important question is how to promote activities based on local people's agency and ownership. All of this was the case in Niigata, and it is now what we are attempting in Tohoku. While we're focusing on Ishinomaki in Miyagi at the moment, the environment in which the people of Ishinomaki originally lived and the one we lived in is different, and the culture that had developed there over time is different as well. Obviously we speak Japanese, but there are dialects and words particular to the region, and even if we get to talk to people, if we only do this while thinking about the kind of lives we lead in Tokyo, we'll never understand their needs. In the sense that the support we offer is to get people to become more actively involved, I think the work we've been doing overseas to make people self-reliant is exactly the same as what we're doing in Japan. Is the earthquake in Tohoku comparable to the one in Chūetsu? Obviously in Chūetsu the people the earthquake hit were severely affected, but in terms of the region and areas, I think the damage was more limited there than in this case. If there hadn't been a tsunami following the earthquake, I don't think as many people would have died as have at present. So many things have been damaged by both the earthquake and the tsunami that, in terms of degree and scale, the damage is different. But as the individuals involved are precisely that, individuals, even though in Ishinomaki alone almost ten thousand people have died and others remain unlocated, they each have a family. In terms of one-to-one involvement, I think they're the same. When someone feels positive, it affects someone else, and I think that getting the entire region back on its feet is what happens when you make all the people inside it feel that way. Naturally, there are cases where people feel better because the area has been revitalised and such, but I think it's important to focus on both. It's obviously pointless to try and make all of Ishinomaki feel better, but by giving people back their lives, one person at a time, as things ease up, it eventually starts to spread, and I think that's when a town starts to get its spirit back. What exactly do you think you do to make those affected by the disaster feel better? While it pains me to say it, I don't think what those affected by the disaster lost is something they will ever get back. For the families that have lost loved ones, sad as it is, they'll never see them again. But even as you hold on to that sadness as you move forward, if you can get your hope for the future back, and if you can feel like you're not alone in this, you also feel like maybe you can keep on going. Which isn't to say that there's nothing to be done, and we just give up on the people whose houses were washed away. But those people themselves have given up on the idea that there is anything to be done, and if they don't look toward something else, they'll remain trapped in that grief forever. They can't take the next step so long as they're stuck wondering why they had to lose these things. Because it's important for these people to accept this themselves, to come to terms with it, efforts have to be made that provide them with something that makes this possible. While JEN has, for a very long time, been talking about “psychosocial care and supporting self-reliance,” we believe that a certain amount of emotional recovery is an important prerequisite for the process of becoming self-reliant. In order to bring about that kind of recovery, it's necessary to feel that you've come together with the people around you to accomplish something. And that comes about when you feel that you are truly connected with other people, when you feel that other people understand the grief you're going through, that kind of connection. While people have been talking a lot about recovering kizuna for this sense of connection, we believe that it's absolutely vital that people get back this connection or kizuna as a psychosocial one. There are, for example, movements in the temporary housing for this purpose. Particularly in the case of Ishinomaki, as the number of people affected by the disaster is exceptionally high, this meant that even the people at the municipal office were in an extraordinary state of disarray. It was terrible. While it would have been great for people who had become close in the evacuation zones to be relocated together when moved into temporary housing, there just weren't enough people at the city office to arrange it. And as a result, the relocation of people from the evacuation zones was all done by lottery to decide where each individual household should go. In these really small towns and cities, you want to listen to people who only move in community units and move them in those units, but in Ishinomaki this wasn't possible and the people who were moved into temporary housing together didn't know each other. Obviously, they said hello to each other, but it's part of the local culture to be unassuming, and we've heard that even if people wanted to invite someone over for tea, they were worried that it might seem like they were taking the upper hand in the situation. And so, JEN invited everyone to have a cup of tea together at an ochakkonomi, and they all came drink tea and introduce themselves in a more formal setting. After that they started going over to each other's houses, and then people became friends, and could share what was weighing them down. It seems that it was a matter of people meeting up to share what was getting to them. I see. But the areas affected are very large, and there are limits to what a single person or group can do. How do you continue your work given those limitations? That's also something that's been on my mind. That we're dealing with such wide area, with this many people, that it's this severe. If it had escalated gradually then people would have been prepared for it, but it happened so quickly that it ended up being the way it has. Everything changed overnight. And so we had to rush, because we wanted to support more people, quickly, over a wider area. We know that's not really possible. But I had a teacher once who used to tell me whenever I was struggling with a dilemma, “Light up even a corner of the world.” Whenever I heard this, I thought that there was truth in it, this idea of ‘lighting up even a corner of the world.’ When you want to help support people in the way they live their lives, a portion of time and materials is necessary. My little story isn't going to heal anyone's heartbreak but, even if we assume that it could, this would still only be limited to a certain number of people in a given area, and after I told them this story, they would all go to their own homes, where the same kind of life is waiting for them. If we assume there is a limit to the amount of people it can affect, even if measures are taken to change the way people do things, then there's nothing to do but do what you're doing now, with all your heart and soul, and believe that this will have a ripple effect. You do it all the while thinking that when you meet another person, that nothing exists apart from them. You do it that way, person by person, politely, properly. You light up even just a corner of the world. Even if, in this vast darkness, I can light up only one little corner of the world, then someone can carry on from there, in the space lit up, and can light up another corner. Convinced that if we kept it up then before we knew it things would light up, we stopped being in such a rush to fix things. What can you do exactly to expand the effects of this ‘lighting up a corner of the world’? What's important for JEN is, like we say, whether or not the project is about supporting self-reliance. Can the people involved in that project establish JEN's three watchwords for self-reliance, can they involve themselves in the community, and can they come up with solutions? This is actually something the people can do themselves, but because they find themselves in situations that make them think they can't, JEN is involved. I don't think the really big issues are ones that can be solved. But if you take those big issues and break them down, they become a more manageable size. You take what you can, bit by bit, and if people come along who feel like they can really solve one of the big issues, the community starts to work alongside them. One example of this is fishing nets. We're giving support with fishing equipment right now, but it isn't just a matter of just handing it over, like ‘here you go,’ but of making sure that you show people how to use the equipment and how they can use it to get their livelihoods back while also trying to form a bond with them. If people's emotional state is any worse than it is already, then even if they want to really make a go of it with the fishing then there will still be days where nothing goes right, and days when they're just miserable. You have good days, and you have bad, but to have to suffer from a bad catch or a day when the fish won't bite, after you've already lost everything in the tsunami, makes people tend to give up and there's no point in them going on. This loss of self-confidence, this giving up, isn't something you can stop, but if people have strong bonds, if they have kizuna and people to look after them, and if you can make sure that they have friends, then I think it's easier for people to get back on their feet. And so it's not a matter of just giving fishing equipment, but annoying people by asking whether or not everyone's using the equipment they've been given together, or asking people to hurry up so we can eat their oysters. We end up being quite harsh. We expect people to engage with it out of a kind of resentment they feel toward us, a kind of, ‘I'll get you something to eat since you're bugging me so much’ attitude. We try to involve ourselves with the idea that, since they're the ones who grow the oysters, we're just people who want to eat them. For a start, we don't know the first thing about growing oysters; people have to develop methods of producing a better product by themselves, because they're the ones who have, from the get-go, been capable of doing this. And even when we do get to eat them, if the oysters aren't good, we have to just come out and say it. When we say it, we get people to try harder to produce something better. In the end, when they've managed to produce something truly delicious and they cry tears of joy, maybe it's because they realize that there was a reason for all the work they put into it. And when you put something wonderful out there that people all over the world can make use of, then the scope of the future you see in front of you sort of pans into widescreen. At first circulation comes back within Japan itself, and as a result that might lead to expanding globally. We are accompanists, and our partner performs the main role. It's important to us how our partner put things in motion, and when they do that and things go well, we're happy. To take joy out of this, or to put it in everyday terms, the joy we get out of something like being able to experience many successes, is, I think, connected very much to a sense of independence. That kind of involvement is something that can only be done with a limited number of people. When people keep that up, when they do things because they take an interest in it, the people around them begin to do the same. It's a small level of involvement, but still, I think it sets the light in motion. Speaking of light, the impression I have of what JEN is doing in Ishinomaki is that the local staff take centre stage and are doing a variety of jobs shared between them. I thought that that kind of thing might be the reason why people are starting do so well there. JEN began with the former Yugoslavia. There were no jobs for refugees and so we started from the idea of taking on as many refugees as possible. We didn't consciously do this to make them feel better. But we realized that just the very fact of being made refugees is extremely psychologically damaging. Through their work at JEN, these people began to do things for other people. That's what draws out psychological strength. What I'm always surprised at is that at the interview stage these people are completely depressed, pale, have no ambition, but after one or two months working at JEN, they begin to look much better. That is, just as you're saying, in doing things for other people, their own lives begin to light up. Because those affected are also emotionally devastated, what I want, and what JEN is actively devoted to achieving, is for them to start to feel better by doing things for other people. There's still a world of possibilities out there for young and old alike, and it makes me happy if we can help draw those possibilities out. The ideal is that people start to get back on their feet while thinking that they've been given nothing by JEN. Obviously, we do a wide range of things, but I'm inclined to think that it's the people who can think to themselves that they're getting nothing from us that are probably most self-reliant. Because the support JEN provides isn't the kind that's given, but one that supports, the shortest way to get survivors to be self-reliant is to have a variety of voluntary projects that give them the sense that they're doing everything themselves. Even if you take people somewhere and have them to experience something, and they end up thinking this way on their own, then of course people will go, but it's not a matter of telling people they should go, but of putting it out there in a way that tells them that they should go if they might be interested in what's there. And, when people want to have a look at something because they find it interesting, and then decide that they want to do this thing or that thing, and can act on it, then this means that though the impetus may have come from JEN, the person decides for themselves what they want to do. They have a sense of ownership in what they go on to do. If they feel that sense of propriety, it's sustainable, they change things, and there's a high rate of success. And what would you like to do following on from this? While I really don't like the division of people who support and people who are supported, what we who have the opportunity to provide support have to remember is how necessary it is to have local people be in charge. At the same time, obviously getting things back to the way they were is what we try to do, but these places were already in the process of depopulation. Even if we could restore, 100%, how things were, all that lies beyond that is further depopulation. And so, if the local people have to hope for something, I think, fundamentally, that it would be better if they hoped to work together for a different future. They say that there are ‘three things’ necessary for village renewal — young people, outsiders, and idiots. Which means that you need the reckless energy of young people and the different viewpoint of outsiders, along with the blissful ignorance of idiots. If we can put those three things out there in some form, I think the end result is village renewal. “Build back better” is a phrase used a lot in the world of emergency aid, but in places originally underpopulated, if you just build it back it's not going to get any better. The original meaning of build back better is to build a better place than before, but this unfortunately doesn't extend to making it an economically and materially better place. And that being the case, we outsiders think that there's nothing to do but create a different future. But to tell people whose heads and hearts weren't looking for it that now is the time for change, and that now, when people have been emotionally devastated by the disaster, that we should do something new, is extremely difficult. This is precisely the reason why local people must have an active role, and why I also think it's important to support people being able to shape their own future. What kind of future we can make together, for these places damaged by the disaster that have been emotionally and physically weakened, is the challenge facing those who support and those who are supported, the challenge facing everyone. And yet if we don't do this then nothing will change, and all that's left is hope. It's inconceivable for us to do nothing just because it's difficult, and so it's important that we take things one step at a time. You often hear people in Tokyo say that disaster is a chance, and sometimes it feels as if people don't actually understand how difficult the situation is. I get the sense that maybe the fact that there are struggles, and that the local people are frustrated, is being ignored. I feel like maybe what's needed isn't necessarily just connections or kizuna... but what do you think? I feel like it's the same as environmental issues. And incidentally, I think the expression “being kind to the earth” is a misunderstanding; we are alive because the earth is kind to us. Putting up with insufferable circumstances and living in horrible conditions doesn't necessarily mean that you have a keen sense of the environment. But if you're earth-friendly because you really want to do be, and because it's fun, then what you get out of that is people who are actually ecological, and a way of going about things that doesn't destroy the environment. At the moment, people are being divided into those who support, and those who are supported, which means those ‘poor survivors’ of the disaster. But, as has been said before, if you take the country known as Japan as a single body, when the left hand is injured and no longer works, but the right still functions, it feels as if the whole body is healthy just because the right is. The entire system of Japan could only be put in motion so long as Eastern Japan was a part of that body. If it's damaged to the extent it has been, this doesn't mean there's no effect felt elsewhere, even economically. It's not true that just because the right hand is undamaged that nothing has happened. What the left has been holding on to comes to be placed on the right, and to think that this means the right hand has become more active in response is also a mistake. This is precisely why sustainable renewal of Eastern Japan is beneficial for the whole country. And so it's just not a matter of kizuna or ganbare, of connection or giving it your all, but of what we can do ourselves. Those of us in Tokyo, people in Kyushu — I want us to think about what we can do. And I don't think this is just the case for Japan. If we expand this idea, that somewhere out there in the world there are people like this, dying, then you realize that it doesn't make any sense. You come to imagine people living together on the same planet. I think we can give more than a passing thought to imagining that we can change the way things are now, which tells us that just by virtue of being born in a poor country, people have to live with heartbreak. The idea that you can convert anything into money and put a price on things is a bad habit. Maybe the chance we have is to change that. The people who live in Tohoku as well as the people who were there sightseeing, aren't finding any joy or value in something that's purely monetary through volunteering. It's a difficult thing to express, because it can't be converted into money. I think that though many people understand that this is a difficult thing to express, they just pretend that they don't. If this weren't the case, that people find something that isn't money in the volunteer effort, then the idea that so many would take pleasure out of volunteering in such a terrible situation, or would exhaust themselves for other people while putting up with bad food, would make no sense. People enrich their own lives by doing things for other people, for that support to be more direct makes the people who receive it happier too. Think every day about what you can do for someone far off, try doing what you can. Even if you fail, when you get it in your head to do it differently next time and try harder, I think that can change a person and society as a whole. I think that's caused this change in values. In the wake of the present incident, a lot of things have been talked about under the bracket of ‘Japan.’ How do you think we can think about relief and this disaster from an international perspective? In terms of the flow of information, and economically, Japan isn't isolated in the slightest. And so, if you look as Japan as a single person, it may seem like a matter of the left hand being injured, but if you look at the whole world as a person with a single body, Eastern Japan, and Somalia too, are injured. Haiti is still injured. The entire body is riddled with wounds. So in supporting places that we're involved in, first by using what we're directly involved with to positively influence the people around us, it's my hope that those people influence other people who influence other people, and that goes on to change the world. That's why, in that sense, I think Eastern Japan has become a wakeup call for a lot of people living in Japan. Looked at on a global scale, given that it was a large disaster that occurred in a developed country, I wonder if it hasn't been an important chance for an awareness to spread out through the developed world. Everyone wants the people close to them to be happy. In English people often say, “I wish the best for you and your loved ones.” Who are these “loved ones”? They may be your family. Maybe your friends as well. The people who matter to your friends should also be important to you. And so, when you speak about just how far out your nearest and dearest are, then isn't a matter of that term extending to the entire world? Is there anything else you'd like to add? I feel like for relief, a lot of it comes from the feeling that people want to do something, and a lot of support comes from the desire to give support in a way that makes someone else happy. Superficially, for instance, you could give someone a sweet to make them happy. But when everyone has sweets it's impossible to eat all of them. In that case, I'd like people to think about what would make people happy whether or not they got a sweet or not. Maybe it's more the case that these people want to give other people sweets. This means it's not a matter of wanting to give, but of wanting to receive. That's the kind of support I want to give. The idea of getting to eat oysters I talked about earlier is part of that support. In other words, it's important to provide a role for people so that they can feel like they're doing something. There is no one who can't be useful, but, when they lose their faith in themselves, or are feeling down, then they get convinced that that's the case. There are many people who have lost their confidence simply from the experience of losing pretty much everything they had managed to get, loss of that degree. People might feel like, “Oh, I used to buy this and that by myself, with money I saved and put aside myself, but now I have to be given everything.” So in order to get people to believe in themselves again, it's important to support without giving. It's support, but it's a strict kind of support. Presenting people with requests like, “Do this for me, please” — I think that's probably a good way to go about giving aid. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, Ten Years On: Progress, Lessons and Challenges This year marks 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. On this occasion, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) will launch a report that surveys the aftermath, lessons, and achievements in Japan and the global nuclear community in the decade since the accident. The report also analyses the current challenges stemming from the accident, and makes policy recommendations to the international nuclear community in nine different areas. The NEA will host an expert roundtable discussion on 3 March 2021 to present its new report, review the effects of the accident and reflect on future perspectives. The discussion will be chaired by NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV. Discussants • Claire Cousins, Chair, International Committee for Radiation Protection (ICRP) • Ingemar Engkvist, Chief Executive Officer, World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) • Olivier Gupta, Director General, the Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire – ASN) • Richard Meserve, Senior of Counsel, Covington & Burling, LLP, and former Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) • Hajimu Yamana, President, the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF) • Rosa Yang, EPRI Fellow, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) • Mike Weightman, Consultant; former Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations and Chief Executive Officer, the United Kingdom Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, Ten Years On Progress, Lessons and Challenges Much has been learnt in the ten years since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, but significant challenges still remain. This report presents the current situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the responses by Japanese authorities and the international community since the accident. It will assist both policymakers and the general public to understand the multi-dimensional issues stemming from the accident. These include disaster recovery, compensation for damages, nuclear safety, nuclear regulation, radiation protection, plant decommissioning, radioactive waste management, psycho-social issues in the community and societal resilience. Building on two previous reports released by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency in 2013 and 2016, the report examines the plant’s future, that of the affected region and population, as well as outlining areas for further improvement and how the international community can help. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, Ten Years On: Progress, Lessons and Challenges NEA No. 7558 Much has been learnt in the ten years since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, but significant challenges still remain. This report presents the current situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the responses by Japanese authorities and the international community since the accident. It will assist both policymakers and the general public to understand the multi-dimensional issues stemming from the accident. These include disaster recovery, compensation for damages, nuclear safety, nuclear regulation, radiation protection, plant decommissioning, radioactive waste management, psycho-social issues in the community and societal resilience. Building on two previous reports released by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in 2013 and 2016, the report examines the plant's future, that of the affected region and population, as well as outlining areas for further improvement and how the international community can help. Foreword The purpose of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is to foster co-operation among its member countries and many partners around the world to advance policy, safety, technology, and science related to nuclear technology. The NEA serves as a forum for sharing and analysing information and experience; supports the development and maintenance of knowledge and the development of human resource capacities; and provides policy analyses relevant to nuclear energy. The NEA has supported its members in understanding and responding to new developments in the nuclear field for more than 60 years. Typically, this work involves addressing changes in technology and policy; and often it involves absorbing operating experiences related to nuclear facilities around the world. The 11 March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is but one example, but it is an experience with significant global policy and regulatory impact. The NEA published reports on the accident in 2013 (The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident: OECD/NEA Nuclear Safety Response and Lessons Learnt) and in 2016 (Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: Nuclear Safety Improvements and Lessons Learnt). Those mainly discuss safety improvements and legal matters. This new report covers more comprehensively the effects of the accident and future perspectives. It provides information about the achievements of the international community and the NEA, gives analyses on current challenges and suggests future activities of international programmes of co-operation. As the work of decommissioning the power station and remediating radiological effects and socio-economic impacts on the affected areas continues, there are many areas for international communities to learn, assist Japan and support each other. This report is intended to provide clear information to policy makers involved in providing clean energy, a clean environment and healthy societies through the peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as any member of the general public wishing to engage and understand the accident and its aftermath. William D. Magwood, IV Director-General Nuclear Energy Agency Acknowledgements This report was prepared under the overall guidance of Mr William D. Magwood IV, Director-General of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). The NEA wishes to express its gratitude to the following principal authors of the contents of this report: Dr Len Creswell (United Kingdom), Dr Randall Gauntt (United States), Mr Victor M. McCree (United States) and Dr Mike Weightman (United Kingdom). The NEA team of experts was led by Mr Nobuhiro Muroya, NEA Deputy Director-General, with contributions from Mr Shin Morita, Senior Advisor to the NEA Deputy Director-General, Ms Yeonhee Hah, Head of the Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety (RP-HANS), Ms Ximena Vásquez-Maignan, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Dr Tatiana Ivanova, Head of the Division of Nuclear Science (SCI), Ms Véronique Rouyer, Head of the Nuclear Safety Technology and Regulation Division (SAF), Ms Rebecca Tadesse, Head of the Radioactive Waste Management Division (RWMD), Dr Edward Lazo, Deputy Head of RP-HANS, Mr Andrew White, Deputy Head of SAF, Dr Jacqueline Garnier-Laplace, Deputy Head of RP-HANS, Dr Martin Brandauer (RWMD), Dr Didier Jacquemain (SAF), Ms Florence Maher (RP-HANS) and Dr Yuji Kumagai (SAF). Ms Claire Mays and Ms Valentine Poumadère served as editors of the final version. Mr Laurie Moore, Ms Elisabeth Villoutreix and Ms Fabienne Vuillaume (Central Secretariat) were in charge of the production and layout of the report. The NEA also wishes to thank the following senior experts and nuclear leaders from around the world for their valuable insights and the generous time they spent in discussions with the team: Dr George Apostolakis (Head, Nuclear Risk Research Center of Japan [NRRC]), Dr Nobuhiko Ban (Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan [NRA] and Chair of the Working Group on Safety Culture of the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities [CNRA]), Mr Michael Boyd (Director of the Center for Science and Technology in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Radiation Protection Division and Former Chair of the Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health [CRPPH]), Dr Claire Cousins (Chair of International Commission on Radiological Protection), Mr Roland DussartDesart (Retired Head of the Legal Service of the Belgian Ministry of Economy and Chair of the Nuclear Law Committee), Dr Toyoshi Fuketa (Chair of NRA), Mr Taro Hokugo (Director for Atomic Energy and International Affairs Bureau of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Japan Cabinet Office and Nuclear Law Committee Bureau member), Mr Toshio Kodama (President of Japan Atomic Energy Agency), Mr Tom Mitchell (Chair of the World Association of Nuclear Operators), Mr Ho Nieh (US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Former Head of NEA SAF), Dr Jean Christophe Niel (Director General of the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety of France and Chair of the Committee on Safety of Nuclear Installations), Mr Akira Ono (Chief Decommissioning Officer of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings), Dr Kemal Pasamehmetoglu (Executive Director of the Versatile Test Reactor Project at the Idaho National Laboratory and Chair of the Nuclear Science Committee), Dr Thierry Schneider (Director of the Nuclear Protection Evaluation Center [CEPN] and Chair of CRPPH and of Expert Group on Recovery Management), Mr Tatsuya Shinkawa (Director-General for Nuclear Accident Disaster Response of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), Ms Haidy Tadros (Director General, Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment of Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Chair of the Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management), Mr Petteri Tiippana (Director General of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland and Chair of CNRA), Dr Hiroyuki Umeki (Executive Director of Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan and Chair of the Radioactive Waste Management Committee), Mr William E Webster (Chair of Japan Nuclear Safety Institute), Prof Hajimu Yamana (President of the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation) and Dr Rosa Yang (EPRI Fellow, Electric Power Research Institute). Executive summary On 11 March 2011, Japan was struck by a massive earthquake, which initiated a tsunami that inundated a large portion of the east coast of Japan. The tsunami caused significant devastation and loss of life. The tsunami also led to a severe accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Post-accident analyses have verified that the radiation from the accident has not led to any direct impact on human health. However, the health and well-being of more than 150 000 people living in surrounding areas was affected to different degrees (including some early deaths) as a result of evacuations from the area due to both the tsunami and the nuclear accident, lack of access to health care or medicines, stress-related problems, and other causes. The accident also caused disturbance to the daily life of many people and businesses and other activities. In the immediate aftermath and during the ten years since the accident, Japanese authorities have undertaken very challenging work to address the on-site and off-site consequences, and rebuild the social and economic fabric of the areas impacted by the earthquake and resulting tsunami and the nuclear accident. The global community has come together with Japan to both offer assistance and draw lessons to further improve nuclear safety worldwide. This endeavour has been greatly facilitated by the openness of the Japanese government and industry leaders as well as the co-operation of international organisations, governments and companies. The present report, the third in a series of major studies on the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), surveys the research initiatives and the expanding knowledge and action made possible by such openness and co-operation. The operating reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant quickly and effectively shut down as designed when the earthquake struck on 11 March 2011. However, the tsunami generated by the earthquake inundated the site approximately 50 minutes later to devastating effect. Primary and auxiliary reactor cooling circuits and electrical power were lost. Over the course of three days the cores of Units 1, 2 and 3 (which had been in full operation before the earthquake) overheated and much of the nuclear fuel in the reactor cores melted. The high temperatures led to chemical reactions that released significant amounts of hydrogen gas, which exploded and caused structural damage to Units 1, 3 and 4 (the latter of which on 11 March was in a planned outage). The accident was categorised at Level 7 of the International Nuclear Event Scale due to high radioactivity releases. Addressing the considerable challenge of decommissioning the complex nuclear clean-up site, the Japanese government’s flexible Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap reflects both the priority for safety and the implementation system. The 2019 (fifth) revision focusses on managing the contaminated water and the treated water stored on site and other radioactive waste, as well as on removal of both stored fuel and fuel debris. Environmental remediation is performed to allow wherever possible the safe return of the population to affected off-site areas; the decontamination in the Special Decontamination Area had been performed as planned by the end of March 2017, and the work in the Intensive Contamination Survey Area was completed in March 2018.12 Institutional shortcomings uncovered in the aftermath of the accident prompted the government of Japan to completely redesign its approach to nuclear regulation and oversight. It established the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) and assured its organisational, cultural, financial and political independence. The NRA quickly established new regulatory requirements to assure the safe operation and improved resilience of Japanese facilities in the face of conceivable events. The NRA continues to learn and is currently adopting a new risk-informed oversight process whose implementation includes essential discussions and interactions with operators. Japan has also adapted or supplemented legislation as needed in order to enhance safety, emergency preparedness and the nuclear liability framework enabling compensation. At the international level too, much has been learnt. NEA projects supported by participating member countries and the government of Japan, as well as other NEA joint efforts, have delivered cross-cutting safety research. A common understanding of the accident has led to improved tools to support decommissioning and a better quantification and understanding of plant safety margins. Potential improvements have been identified in several areas such as fuel designs that are more tolerant of accidents and electrical power systems that are more robust. Comprehensive safety reviews were done across NEA countries to assess readiness for severe accident conditions, and have identified plant and process improvements to mitigate the potential impact of external hazards. As highlighted in the 2016 NEA report Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: Nuclear Safety Improvements and Lessons Learnt, many such measures have been implemented. To address near-term challenges in handling very low-level post-accident radioactive waste, the NEA examined how to develop a complex waste characterisation and categorisation process. NEA activities have also focussed on post-accident recovery management, including balancing decisions in radiological protection, as an important pillar of ensuring public health and well-being. Human aspects of nuclear safety, such as regulatory safety culture and broader stakeholder involvement in decision making, have been a significant focus of NEA activities. This report details the range of such initiatives and the lessons learnt. The activities of other international organisations are acknowledged and referenced as well. Significant issues remain to be faced as Japan continues the difficult, long-term effort to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi site and revitalise the surrounding communities impacted by the earthquake and resulting tsunami and nuclear accident. Technical challenges concern, inter alia: fuel debris removal; decontamination methods; environmental remediation; and related waste issues. Regulatory and legal challenges include, inter alia: regulation under uncertainty; reinforcing institutional nuclear safety systems; legal preparedness; holistic optimisation decisions; and effective regulatory engagement with a broad range of stakeholders including licensees and the public. The ongoing task of rebuilding and revitalising communities and local economies should benefit from a guidance framework outlining a consensual process to facilitate recovery and enable the communities to develop greater societal resilience. Reflection and action will be needed on preserving intergenerational knowledge and experience, and also on clarifying ethical values and challenges. This report finds that significant progress was achieved by Japan in vigorously addressing the accident through actions and reforms at both the technical and institutional levels. With co-operation from the NEA and other international organisations, the technical understanding of the accident event has progressed significantly, thereby aiding all countries to improve safety and preparedness. Environmental, social, political and economic aspects, including safety culture, must be a continued focus if nuclear power is to play its part in addressing the world’s need for clean, safe, reliable energy. This report concludes by noting that the NEA will continue its strong support for the long process ahead to address the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident and continue developing knowledge that can be gleaned from the experience the accident has generated. Recommendations are offered in nine areas, with advice on how to pursue and enhance: • effective and balanced regulatory transparency, openness and independence; • systematic and holistic approaches to safety; • participation in international development of decommissioning technologies; • well-planned waste management and disposal; • improvements to damage compensation practices; • stakeholder involvement and risk communication; • recognition of mental health impacts in protective action and recovery; • opportunities for economic redevelopment; and • knowledge management. These key areas highlight the many opportunities for Japan to provide important and needed leadership on the international level. Introduction On 11 March 2011, Japan was struck by a massive earthquake, which initiated a tsunami that inundated a large portion of the east coast of Japan. The tsunami caused massive devastation and approximately 20 000 people were killed or were declared missing. The tsunami also led to one of the most severe nuclear power site accidents in history, at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Three of the station’s six reactors suffered core melts and the entire facility was severely damaged. The Great East Japan Earthquake, the tsunami, the nuclear accident, and the resulting release of radioactive material led local authorities to initiate an evacuation of approximately 150 000 people. By deposition, the radioactive releases contaminated a large area of both the Fukushima Prefecture and others. While post-accident analyses have verified that the radiation from the accident has not led to any direct impact on human health,1 the series of events impacted the well-being of individuals and the community, and the evacuation is reported to have resulted in early deaths from the lack of health care or medicines, stress-related problems, etc. (ICRP, 2016). After nine months, the immediate risks posed by the damaged reactors were brought under control by achieving cold shutdown of the facility. In the years since, Japanese authorities have undertaken very challenging work to address the on-site and off-site consequences, take forward the decommissioning of the site, conduct the remediation of the affected areas in the Fukushima Prefecture and neighbouring prefectures, and rebuild the social and economic fabric of the areas impacted by the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear accident. During and after the accident, the global community has come together with Japan to both offer any needed assistance and draw lessons to further improve nuclear safety worldwide. This endeavour has been greatly facilitated by the openness of the Japanese government and industry leaders as well as the co-operation of international organisations, governments and companies. This is the third major report by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) on the Fukushima Daiichi accident. In 2013, the NEA published its first report, “The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident” (NEA, 2013d). This document focused on the NEA’s and its member states’ immediate response to the accident. The second major NEA report, “Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident” (NEA, 2016b), discussed the measures taken or in progress in NEA member states to improve further the safety of nuclear facilities in line with the underlying principle of “continuous learning and improvement.” All high-risk industries, including nuclear, strive to learn and improve from all experience. The accident at Fukushima Daiichi has highlighted the need to ensure the lessons learnt are broadly shared and addressed now and in the future. This report is intended to assist Japan’s recovery from the accident for a better future for all, and more generally enhance the safe use of nuclear energy worldwide. It summarises, in a ten-year retrospective: the circumstances of the accident, the initial response in Japan and worldwide, and the societal impact (Chapter 2); the current status of the Fukushima Daiichi site, including the progress on its decommissioning and the environmental remediation of the surrounding areas, the technical issues associated with these combined activities, and the wider social and political aspects (Chapter 3); the activities of the NEA, other international organisations and NEA member countries (Chapter 4); the global impact and lessons learnt (Chapter 5). Looking forward, Chapter 6 addresses further challenges and, finally, Chapters 7 and 8 identify conclusions and make policy recommendations. This report, as did the other major reports, seeks to complement the work of other international and national organisations including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) which have also contributed greatly to further understanding and safety improvements stemming from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. This report has been written using available information and the insights gained from interviews conducted with a broad group of experts and nuclear leaders in Japan and from around the world. While the report may be of interest to a wide range of individuals and organisations, including the general public, it is intended to be useful in particular to policy makers and leaders involved in assuring a healthy and safe society through the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Even more fundamentally, this report may assist those leading the rebuilding of society and communities after major catastrophic events, such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, and in developing effective recovery plans. 1. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) assessed radiation exposures of the public, workers and non-human biota that resulted from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Findings, including discussion of health implications, were presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2013 (UNSCEAR, 2014; (, accessed 22 October 2020). UNSCEAR has gone on to discuss more detailed analyses and new information that subsequently became available (UNSCEAR, 2015; 2016; 2017); a revised report is in preparation (UNSCEAR, forthcoming). The International Conference on Recovery After Nuclear Accidents: Radiological Protection Lessons from Fukushima and Beyond was an on-line event organised by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), hosted by Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), and in association with several Japanese, International, and other organisations. The objective was to share experiences and lessons related to radiological protection aspects of recovery from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, the Chernobyl accident, and other events to improve international understanding of the current state of recovery in Japan, consider strategies that may accelerate recovery, and improve preparedness for recovery from possible future major nuclear accidents. From 1 to 18 December 2020, attendees experienced 4 days of livestreamed presentations and panel discussions, and on-demand content including video presentations, posters, exhibits, and virtual tours. Thanks to the support of the organisations listed below registration was free, enabling more than 2500 people from over 100 countries to participate. ( Nuclear Safety and Security After Chernobyl and Fukushima: Lessons Learned and Forgotten RSVP REQUIRED PAST EVENT Wed., Mar. 3, 2021 - Fri., Mar. 5, 2021 The Project on Managing the Atom will host a three-day virtual conference March 3-5 to mark the 10th and 35th anniversaries, respectively, of the Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl nuclear disasters. Experts and officials from around the world will provide reflections on progress made in nuclear safety, security, and governance in the years after these accidents and highlight evolving challenges in these crucial areas. The conference will feature a special session with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. The Project on Managing the Atom is proud to present this conference as part of its 25th year of activities. DAY 3: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:30 am ET: Welcome Aditi Verma, Stanton Nuclear Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom & International Security Program, Harvard Kennedy School 8:45-9:45 am: Are We Ready for the Unimaginable: Ensuring Nuclear Safety Post-Fukushima Rumina Velshi, President and CEO, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Moderator: Aditi Verma, Stanton Nuclear Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom & International Security Program, Harvard Kennedy School 9:45 am-11:15 am: Panel 5 — Nuclear Governance Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary, African Commission on Nuclear Energy Kyoko Sato, Associate Director, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Stanford University Christer Viktorsson, Director General at Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, United Arab Emirates Julius Weitzdörfer, Junior Professor in East Asian Law, University of Hagen Moderator: Ali Ahmad, Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program, Harvard Kennedy School 11:15-11:30am: Break 11:30am-1:00pm: Roundtable on Nuclear Frontier Issues: At the Interface Between Technology and Societies Climate Change and the Resilience of Nuclear Power Plants Ali Ahmad, Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program, Harvard Kennedy School The Future of Nuclear Technology Innovation Rita Baranwal, Chief Nuclear Officer, Electric Power Research Institute Nuclear Energy: The Need for Radical Innovation Jacopo Buongiorno, TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Nuclear Accidents and Compensation Hirokazu Miyazaki, Kay Davis Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University Multi-level Governance and Disaster Response Malka Older, Faculty Associate, Arizona State University School for the Future of Innovation in Society Moderator: Francesca Giovannini, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard Kennedy School 1:00-1:30 pm: Conference Lessons Learned (And Not to Be Forgotten) Matthew Bunn, James R. Schlesinger Professor of the Practice of Energy, National Security, and Foreign Policy, Harvard Kennedy School Aditi Verma, Stanton Nuclear Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom & International Security Program, Harvard Kennedy School


  1. "...that wind from the west blew most of the radiological releases out over the Pacific Ocean, meaning the Fukushima accident released more radioactivity to the oceans than the Chernobyl accident and all the nuclear weapons tests together..."

    You know 99% of the radionuclides released at Fukushima was Xe-133 gas, with a ~5 day half life, which 'disappears' in 2 months. It is not absorbed by the body or the environment - it's harmless.

    I-131 was 9% of Chernobyl; Cs-134 38%; CS-137 18%.

    You've qualified to PhD level in nuclear related subjects. You should be ashamed of yourself for printing such garbage.

    Being anti-nuclear is one thing. Feeding nonsense which heightens the fears of radiophobes is life-threatening. It will bolster the prospects of radiophobes turning away from life-saving radiotherapy - and 1 in 2 of them will contract cancer at some stage in their lives.

    It does beggar the question as to whether or not Dr David Lowry is radiophobic? Would Dr David Lowry turn away from radiotherapy treatment if, or when, he gets cancer. No flannel - an unambiguous yes or no answer.

  2. Adam Antatheist is wise. Lowry's credibility is marginal at best, and his "wall of text" approach to blogging shows a serious lack of usefulness.

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