Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center’s Activities
Based on experiences and lessons learned from JRCS’s relief activities in Fukushima Prefecture during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident (Fukushima Daiichi accident), the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center (NDRC) was established in October 2013. The purpose of the NDRC is collecting information on nuclear disaster preparedness and response and sharing the information. At the same time of the establishment, the NDRC Digital Archives (Digital Archives) was launched in order to share the collected information through the Internet.
Timeline of NDRC’s activities
Activities performed by the NDRC from its establishment until now are chronologically summarized by each year. For more on the activities, please click on each year below.
The NDRC was established in October 2013 in the JRCS National Headquarters. At the same time, the JRCS started sharing information on nuclear disasters via the Digital Archives. At this time, about 500 pieces of content were archived. Also, two special webpages were published to introduce the relief activities conducted by the JRCS right after the outset of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. In December 2013, the First Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Seminar was held to share information on nuclear disasters with related parties inside/outside the JRCS.
“JRCS Nuclear Disaster Guidelines for Preparedness, Response and Recovery” (Guidelines) started to be developed on a full scale. To reflect knowledge and views collected internally and externally on the Guidelines, a committee with external specialists was established to discuss the Guidelines.
At the same time, the JRCS began creating arrangements for nuclear disaster preparedness. As part of the efforts, the JRCS gathered related medical personnel from Japanese Red Cross hospitals designated as radiation emergency hospitals to a meeting dedicated to exchanging their opinions. The JRCS also started providing “JRCS Nuclear Disaster Response Basic Training Session” for JRCS relief team members.
Furthermore, an international meeting was co-hosted with the the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and held in Fukushima. The meeting was joined by the IFRC and National Societies. By hosting and organizing this meeting, the JRCS made an international contribution in the field of nuclear disaster preparedness.
For the Digital Archives, “Information Portal on Nuclear Disaster”, which is a list of links to websites and webpages run by other organizations, was released and the smartphone and tablet versions began to be offered.
The development of the Guidelines was completed in March. The Guidelines were informed to related personnel within the JRCS and also published via the Digital Archives. Over the course of developing the Guidelines, some challenges that need to continue to be considered emerged. The JRCS will continue to discuss these challenges at “Meeting of Radiation Emergency Medical Care Advisors.”
On the sidelines of the IFRC General Assembly held in December 2015, the JRCS hosted a side event for nuclear emergency preparedness. During this event, the JRCS’s efforts and the outcome were presented to the National Societies.
For the Digital Archives, the JRCS focused on sharing information about nuclear disaster preparedness and published special webpages on its nuclear disaster guidelines and efforts for nuclear disaster preparedness.
This year marked the 5th anniversary of the GEJET. On the Digital Archive, the recovery assistance programs by the JRCS Fukushima Chapter were introduced in a special webpage including how the programs were started, the challenges and the program details. Another special webpage was also published to present the efforts for nuclear disaster preparedness that the JRCS has made so far.
In March 2016, the Fourth Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Seminar was held. At this seminar, the participants tried to explore possible challenges in their communities by referring to the status quo of Fukushima Prefecture and the current issues facing the prefecture. They discussed what they could do for the future.
Over the past two years, JRCS Nuclear Disaster Response Basic Training Session was held at the JRCS National Headquarters several times. Following the actual training program provided during the two years, the trainings were held in each of six JRCS blocks across Japan from FY 2016. Regarding alliances with the IFRC, the JRCS participated in the 3rd Asia Pacific National Societies Disaster Management Conference and a workshop on preparedness for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear events, where we presented the JRCS initiatives for nuclear disaster preparedness and response.
The program of the Nuclear Disaster Response Basic Training Session is ongoing separately in the 6 respective blocks across the country. Commencing in the FY 2017, the session is held over 2 days taking account of the travel time of participants and to enhance the contents of the program, thereby allowing to add some lectures such as those on the nuclear disaster preparedness measures and nuclear disaster medical care system established by each prefectural government.
Copies of the booklet, Communication with Affected People during a Nuclear Disaster, which had been elaborated since last year and was completed through discussions at the Meeting of Radiation Emergency Medical Care Advisors, were distributed to the relevant personnel. The Meeting will continue their discussion and evaluation of the Japanese Red Cross Society’s initiatives for nuclear disaster response.
The review report produced by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to debrief the Chernobyl Humanitarian Assistance and Rehabilitation Programme (CHARP), was published in the Special Contents webpage. It provides evaluation and analysis of the 22-year experience of Red Cross/Red Crescent in the humanitarian relief activities for the victims suffering the Chernobyl accident.