1st Anniversary of
Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center
The Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center (NDRC) commemorated the first anniversary of the center and the Digital Archives on October 1, 2014.
The anniversary message from Tadateru Konoe, President of the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) and the main activities conducted by the NDRC are posted.
For the background of the center establishment, please refer to 1st Anniversary of Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center.
At the timing of the 1st anniversary, Mr. Fumio Murata, Vice Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, offered his message to the JRCS who has been providing assistance activities since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. For the message, please click on Message from Fukushima Vice Governor.
Message from President of the JRCS
Thanks to the assistance and cooperation from many people, the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center (NDRC) commemorated its first anniversary in October of this year.
It has been three years and nine months since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. In Fukushima Prefecture, a number of people were affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident (Fukushima Daiichi Accident), and as many as 126,000 people are still forced to live under evacuation circumstances within and outside of the prefecture. The rehabilitation from the disaster is still underway. In order to prevent this disaster experience from becoming obsolete and pass it down to the future generations, the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) hopes to continue to disseminate information on nuclear disasters and the status of the affected areas through our Digital Archives (Archives) and other means.
The Archives have eight special contents that were released for the purpose of sharing the contents stored in the Archives in a simple manner. The NDRC has also organized some interactive seminars and disclosed the contents on the Archives. Furthermore, a function of the information portal was created and then enhanced. At the present time we have as many as 307 portal links. The portal function allows the public to view and/or use not only Red Cross activities but also records on nuclear disasters of the government and related organizations just by visiting our website.
The JRCS has been conducting various recovery assistance activities mainly in three affected prefectures in Tohoku Area since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. However, shortly after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident, we were unable to provide sufficient assistance due to lack of our knowledge and preparedness and lack of equipment necessary for relief activities. That left us with problems to consider as a humanitarian organization. Thus, we painfully became aware of the necessity to prepare for response during nuclear disasters. Therefore, based on our experience in Fukushima, we began to prepare “(Tentative) Guidelines for Red Cross Activities during Nuclear Disasters”.
Globally, there are 435 nuclear power plants in operation and the number is expected to rise. The demand for preparedness for nuclear emergencies will increase. With these thoughts in mind, the JRCS and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) co-hosted the Third Reference Group Meeting on Nuclear & Radiological Emergency Preparedness in October of this year in Fukushima City. About 40 Red Cross and Red Crescent staff members from 16 countries participated in the meeting and deeply understood the current situation of Fukushima Prefecture affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. They then discussed to improve the draft for "Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Guidelines" which are needed to provide Red Cross and Red Crescent activities for survivors during a nuclear emergency. The guidelines draft will be continued to be worked on for a resolution at the IFRC General Assembly scheduled for December 2015.
In regards to the JRCS nuclear emergency preparedness in Japan, we organized and held a meeting with related medical personnel of Japanese Red Cross radiation emergency hospitals in August at the JRCS Headquarters. Relevant medical personnel from eight Japanese Red Cross hospitals designated as radiation emergency hospitals, Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital & Atomic-bomb Survivors Hospital, Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Genbaku Hospital and Fukushima Red Cross Hospital got together, which was a first of this kind meeting for the JRCS. The meeting was comprised of four sessions: 1) reports from Japanese Red Cross hospitals in prefectures with nuclear power plants on their radiation emergency medical care arrangements; 2) a lecture by Dr. Makoto Akashi, Executive Director of National Institute of Radiological Science; 3) discussion on the roles of radiation emergency hospitals and collaboration arrangements among the hospitals; and 4) discussion on content of planned JRCS basic training sessions for response to nuclear disasters. The participants shared the recognition of how important it is to enhance cooperation for radiation emergency medical care within the JRCS.
There has become more consciousness of nuclear disaster prevention/reduction and radiation protection among the public. Following the trend, the NDRC will strive for gathering useful and easy-to-understand information in order to share it with the public, as well as the JRCS staff and other relevant people of healthcare and relief organizations whom the NDRC assumed as main users of the Archives when it was launched. In addition, the center will work on more activities including dissemination of the JRCS guidelines mentioned.
Japanese Red Cross Society
Contents in the Digital Archives
The Digital Archives contain information on nuclear disasters of Japan and other countries. As of the end of November 2014, the total number of the contents (in Japanese, English or Japanese-English) in the archives is 1,006. For a list of the main contents by subject, please click here.