In its recommendations for the protection of people living in the long term in contaminated territories after a nuclear accident, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICPR) underlines the effectiveness of the direct involvement of the affected population and local professionals in the management of the situation, and the responsibility of the authorities, at both national and local level, to create the conditions and provide the means favoring the involvement and empowerment of the population.
In this perspective, the ICRP initiated in autumn 2011 a dialogue between representatives of the prefecture of Fukushima, local professionals, local communities, and representatives of Belarusian, Norwegian and French organizations.
Between 2011 and 2020, a series of "dialogue" meetings took place to find ways to meet the daily challenges of long-term rehabilitation of living conditions in the territories affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
This in-depth feature tells the story of these dialogues' origins and progress, and highlights the main findings and lessons that can be drawn in terms of post-accident management in the event of a nuclear accident.
This first part presents the dialogue program initiated in 2011 by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) between representatives of the prefecture of Fukushima, local professionals, local communities, and international experts. This story is based on a webdocumentary produced in 2016 by IRSN which recounted this experience of meetings and exchanges between experts in radiation protection and a community of residents of the prefecture of Fukushima eager, more than anything, to regain control of their life.
Following the initiative led by the ICRP between 2011 and 2015, a group of local Japanese actors took over and organized, from 2016 on, new meetings in order to support the inhabitants of the communities for which the evacuation order had been or was about to be lifted.
This last part presents the main lessons that can be drawn from these dialogue experiences in terms of management of the aftermath of a nuclear accident.
The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant led to the dispersion of radioactivity in the environment, radioactivity that has become an unwanted component of residents' daily life. The experience of the Dialogues has shown that while the implementation of radiation protection is essential, it is not sufficient to resolve the problems encountered on a daily basis.