A two-day meeting for dialogue between Japanese stakeholders (citizens, associations, local elected officials, teachers, etc.) and international experts, including two IRSN representatives, was held in the first half of 2012 in Fukushima prefecture at the initiative of the Japanese members of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).
Devoted to the restoration of living conditions following the Fukushima Daiichi accident and extensively covered in the local press, the meeting was held to help residents construct solutions to the challenge of the long-term rehabilitation of their radioactively contaminated lands. Invited to the meeting, IRSN provided the perspective it has gained from 15 years of participation in programs such as ETHOS and CORE, which are designed to help Belarusians develop a “radiological knowledge base” enabling them to devise a strategy for restoring living conditions in areas contaminated by fallout from the Chernobyl accident.
In addition to illustrating residents’ awareness of the difficulty of returning to live in the contaminated areas and their determination to overcome these difficulties, particularly by creating the “ETHOS in Fukushima” association, the Japanese initiative also highlights the potential of social networks to solicit knowledge and experience from researchers and scientists in Japan and abroad.
By participating in the discussions during the two-day meeting, IRSN was able to see first-hand how a society as advanced as Japan’s can rally together in the wake of a major catastrophe, and to learn from this experience.