Journal Article Post-crisis efforts towards recovery and resilience after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

Yamashita, Shunichi  ,  Takamura, Noboru

45 ( 8 )  , pp.700 - 707 , 2015-08 , Oxford University Press
One of thewell-known radiation-associated late-onset cancers is childhood thyroid cancer as demonstrated around Chernobyl apparently from 1991. Therefore, immediately after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident on March 2011, iodine thyroid blocking was considered regardless of its successful implementation or not at the indicated timing and places as one of the radiation protection measurements, in addition to evacuation and indoor sheltering, because a short-lived radioactive iodine was massively released into the environment which might crucially affect thyroid glands through inhalation and unrestricted consumption of contaminated food and milk. However, very fortunately, it is now increasingly believed that the exposure doses on the thyroid as well as whole body are too low to detect any radiation-associated cancer risk in Fukushima. Although the risk of radiation-associated health consequences of residents in Fukushima is quite different from that of Chernobyl and is considerably low based on the estimated radiation doses received during the accident for individuals, a large number of people have received psychosocial and mental stresses aggravated by radiation fear and anxiety, and remained in indeterminate and uncertain situation having been evacuated but not relocated. It is, therefore, critically important that best activities and practices related to recovery and resilience should be encouraged, supported and implemented at local and regional levels. Since psychosocial well-being of individuals and communities is the core element of resilience, local individuals, health professionals and authorities are uniquely positioned to identify and provide insight into what would provide the best resolution for their specific needs.

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