Lessons learnt by IRSN about the Involvement of Experts towards the Population in Contaminated Areas in Fukushima Prefecture


Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Fukushima Dialogue Initiative. Date City Silk Hall, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, 12-13 December 2016. Annals of ICRP, Vol. 45, n° 2S 2016, pp. 99-104


Since November 2011, Institut de radioprotection et de suˆ rete ́ nucle ́ aire (IRSN) experts have participated in the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s (ICRP) dialogue initiative for the rehabilitation of living conditions after the Fukushima accident. In 2013, IRSN and Centre d’e ́ tude sur l’Evaluation de la Protection dans le domaine Nucle ́ aire (CEPN) launched a study to identify the main lessons that can be learned from these dialogues, and benefit French IRSN experts in the event of a postaccident situation. The main lesson is that in order to protect the inhabitants of contaminated areas efficiently, experts must work in cooperation with local actors to develop a co-expertise process. The availability of measurement devices for inhabitants is crucial to allow them to assess their own radiological situation. Measuring radioactivity makes it visible, and allows individuals to discuss the results in their communities and develop local projects to improve their daily life. Eventually, inhabitants create a practical radiological protection culture to manage their situation. However, helping people to protect themselves does not mean that authorities and experts have no responsibilities, and this calls for strong ethical principles such as not making deci- sions for people about their future. To be helpful, scientists need to understand that, as necessary as radiation protection is, it is not the only problem that inhabitants are facing and it cannot control people’s lives. Radiation protection experts must commit themselves to be at the service of individuals and the community, and the issues they want to address.

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