Understanding and Communicating Risks Post-Fukushima

  • DATE / TIME:
    2015•11•13    15:00 - 17:00

    On 13 November 2015, the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) will organise a public seminar on Understanding and Communicating Risks Post-Fukushima. A panel of experts will discuss the specific challenges of understanding and discussing risks related to nuclear accidents, and what forms of risk communication are appropriate and effective.


    The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has highlighted the urgent need to seek and implement better ways of communicating about such issues, both in Japan and beyond. While most initial studies suggest that the direct physical health consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident will be limited, ongoing concerns and a range of positions on radiation risks are complicating the recovery process. Tensions have arisen between and within communities — and even within households. Many of these problems are connected to difficulties in understanding and discussing risks related to nuclear radiation.

    The seminar will share key findings from a UNU-IAS research workshop on the topic, which will conclude earlier in the day. It will consider how radiation issues have been understood in society and the potential of participatory forms of risk communication as an alternative to traditional, top-down methods of communication. The discussion will draw upon experiences and analysis from the Fukushima nuclear accident, where rebuilding trust remains a considerable challenge, as well as comparable cases such as Chernobyl. With an international and interdisciplinary group of panellists, the event will provide a diverse range of perspectives on challenges and strategies for risk communication in the context of nuclear accidents.

    Following short presentations by the panellists there will be an interactive discussion with the audience. Light refreshments will be available after the seminar.

    Simultaneous Japanese–English translation will be provided at this event.


    Advanced registration is required (by 17:00 on Thursday, 12 November 2015). Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page. Please note that registration will close once the maximum number of registrants is reached.


    15:00–15:10  Opening Remarks

    • Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Senior Vice-Rector, UNU)

    15:10–15:50  Panel Presentations

    • Rika Morioka (Myanmar Partners in Policy and Research)
    • Gaston Meskens (Belgian Nuclear Research Center/University of Ghent)
    • Tanja Perko (Belgian Nuclear Research Centre/University of Antwerp)
    • Makoto Miyazaki (Fukushima Medical University)
    • Martin Krottmayer (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)

    15:50–17:00  Interactive Discussion

    17:00  Reception


    This event is part of the UNU-IAS Fukushima Global Communication Programme, a research initiative examining impacts of the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident of 11 March, 2011 on people and society, the challenges of the recovery process in Fukushima, and related issues of risk and information provision.


    United Nations University
    Elizabeth Rose Hall (5F)
    5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
    Tokyo 150-8925