Lessons from past nuclear accidents…
“The uniqueness of this project is that it adopted a holistic approach that went beyond the technical aspects of radiation protection and placed special emphasis on responding to the needs of the affected populations,” explains Elisabeth Cardis, project leader and head of the Radiation Programme. This meant including social, economic, ethical and psychological factors that may arise as a consequence of the accident.
The project started in late 2015, at a time when some adverse effects resulting from decisions made in Fukushima, concerning evacuation and thyroid screening, were starting to be reported. “For example, the negative health consequences of evacuating the elderly turned out to be much higher than the risk of radiation exposure,” says Cardis.
The special issue includes a guest editorial and a final paper, which describes the main deliverable of the project: 28 recommendations for improving the preparedness and health surveillance of populations affected by a radiation accident.