Sometimes in my research work I come across outstanding research scholarship. This week, to mark the eighth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan, on 11 March 2011, two Paris –based researchers released a remarkable piece of extended research analysis. Dr Christine Fassert of the advisory body (IRSN) for France’s official nuclear safety organization (ASN) and Japanese academic Reiko Hasegawa (of the Sciences Po médialab) in association with the Tokyo Institute of Technology- were the responsible authors. Their admirable report is titled: Shinrai (”Confidence”) Research Project: The 3/11 accident and its social consequences – Case studies from Fukushima prefecture. I recommend everyone to read – and learn from – this unique study, that should inform all nuclear policy makers and emergency planners worldwide. This report summarizes the research result of the Shinrai project, which deals with social consequences of the Fukushima accident. Based on three case studies led in the Fukushima Prefecture, it analyses the loss of trust of citizens towards governmental authorities, and essential questions linked to return or non-return to the evacuated territories, offering a categorization of inhabitants according to their decisions. It also deals with the dilemma to which governmental officials, medical doctors and radioprotection experts have been confronted, and focus on the role of Mayors. The report concludes by making some reflections on the normative foundations of post accidental policies, as currently defined by the institutions in charge of managing nuclear accidents, and on their confrontation to the Fukushima experience and to the international criticism made by some of the UN institutions.
David Lowry’s Blog 15th March 2019 read more »