Participation in IAEA’s “International Conference on Global Emergency Preparedness and Response”

2015/12/11

Dr. Masao Tomonaga, Honorary President of Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Genbaku Hospital, participated in “International Conference on Global Emergency Preparedness and Response” which was organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and held in Vienna, Austria from October 19-23, 2015. Dr. Tomonaga serves as a radiation emergency medical care advisor for the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS).

This international conference was positioned to conclude what was discussed at “Consultancy Meeting on Medical Follow up and surveillance of persons following radiation emergencies” which had taken place at the United Nations Office at Vienna in June earlier this year. The purpose of the conference was to share the current situation and response capabilities to emergencies of participating countries and discuss further enhancement of nuclear and radiological emergencies.

The session in which Dr. Tomonaga participated was entitled “Emergency Medical Care in Nuclear Emergency Situations from the perspectives of a Humanitarian Relief Organization”. During the session, he made a presentation about the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and how JRCS relief teams responded to the accident. He also presented the “Nuclear Disaster Guidelines for Preparedness, Response and Recovery” developed by the JRCS based on its lessons learned from the response. From the conference floor, a question was asked to Dr. Tomonaga of whether the JRCS does not think that 1mSv per year or its safety standard, which is based on a recommendation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), is very low. Dr. Tomonaga answered to this question that since not all JRCS responders are medical staff who have knowledge about radiation, the JRCS applies the same standard as for the general public. He also explained: “Each activity period of JRCS responders is limited (within one week). This means that it is effectively possible for the JRCS to conduct activities in an area equivalent of 50mSv per year. Furthermore, the JRCS provides activities on a continuous basis during a disaster by dispatching replacement relief teams from across Japan. This allows the JRCS to provide sufficient medical activities over a long period.”

Dr. Tomonaga’s presentation materials are available from the link below.
Emergency Medical Care in Nuclear Emergency Situations from the perspectives of a Humanitarian Relief Organization [PDF]