Responding to a Nuclear Power Disaster

What can medical practitioners do?

Ensure the safety of patients and prevent unnecessary resident worries about radiation.

If a nuclear power disaster occurs, in addition to evacuating the disaster area, contamination by radioactive substances must also be prevented. That requires daily efforts to learn basic knowledge about radiation, so that you can act in a calm, rational, and flexible manner. Disaster response measures are normally prepared by a crisis management office at each municipality, but medical practitioners can acquire disaster response skill, such as by participating in disaster preparedness training through their local medical association or other organization or by participating in emergency radiation exposure healthcare training courses, such as those offered by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) or Nuclear Safety Research Association (NSRA).

In particular, medical practitioners can serve as a trusted authority by patients and residents feeling anxious about radiation exposure. Based on learning from the disaster-related deaths that occurred during evacuation of elderly residents and critical patients during the Fukushima nuclear accident, we need to engage routinely in risk communication, so that we are able to broadly communicate the optimal measures for protecting peoples' lives.