International Symposium on Decommissioning, Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Food Safety: Rebuilding Post‑Accident Confidence
Background

In making steady progress on the decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (hereinafter, "Fukushima Daiichi"), building confidence and trust from companies and experts from abroad, in addition to domestic institutions and local residents, is necessary. In doing so, precise understanding on the current status of Fukushima Daiichi as well as the surrounding local area (e.g. reconstruction of nuclear disaster‑affected areas, the safety of food products) by proper and effective information dissemination and sharing, is increasingly important.

Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi and reconstruction of affected areas are steadily progressing. However, such information has not been effectively shared domestically or internationally. As such, the impression/image of Fukushima Daiichi and the surrounding areas broadly remains unchanged since 2011 when shocking scenes of the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent accident were commonplace.

This negative impression has contributed to the reluctance of consumers to regain their pre‑accident confidence in agricultural and food products from the Fukushima prefecture. This is also contributing to a reluctance of residents to return to the affected areas. This issue is becoming one of the barriers to the smooth progress of Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning. To resolve such barriers, the wisdom/experience of experts from foreign countries/regions would be of value.

With a view to highlighting the quality of decommissioning and agricultural product production and monitoring, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan proposed a joint symposium with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to share and discuss issues and challenges regarding food safety concerns and the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi. This was expected to help convey an accurate image of the situation in Fukushima and pave the way towards more successful decommissioning progress.

Objectives

The overall objective of the joint symposium was to help to foster an accurate and common understanding of the situation in the Fukushima prefecture, including the reconstruction progress being undertaken, in order to rebuild an informed domestic and international understanding of post‑accident food products. To achieve this, the symposium:

  • shared and discussed Fukushima progress, future plans and remaining issues with the international and OECD communities;
  • discussed aspects of Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning and reconstruction activities that could affect the image of food products;
  • learned from the practical experience of managing radiologically contaminated food, including public and stakeholder communication to address the perception of food safety.
Organisers

This workshop was co‑organised by the NEA, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and Japanese government organisations.

Venue

OECD Headquarters
2, rue André Pascal
75016 Paris

Topics and speakers

  • current status and way towards a successful decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi including decontamination and reconstruction of surrounding areas and the ocean (METI or TEPCO);
  • current status and safety of food products (e.g. rice, beef, vegetables, marine products) including the result of laboratory analyses produced primarily in Fukushima (MAFF);
  • rebuilding confidence after a nuclear disaster (government officials from OECD member countries and the EU).

Participation and target audience

The symposium was intended for experts working in:

  • radiological protection;
  • nuclear safety;
  • decommissioning;
  • communication;
  • media;
  • international organisations (e.g. ICRP, IAEA, Codex).

Furthermore, those particularly interested in the trade and agriculture of food produced in the Fukushima Prefecture and the image improvement of post‑accident food supply also benefited from the symposium.

Language

The symposium was conducted in English.

Symposium organisation

  • Japanese government ministries
    • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
    • Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
  • OECD Trade and Agricultural Directorate (TAD)/Agricultural Codes and Schemes (COD)

Showcase and tasting of food produced in Fukushima

In order to show the quality and safety of Fukushima agriculture, food produced in Fukushima was provided during coffee breaks and the symposium reception.

Contact information

Dr Ted Lazo
Nuclear Energy Agency
Deputy Head, Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety
Tel.: + 33 (0)1 45 24 10 42

Ms Ursula Arnal Diffu
Nuclear Energy Agency
Assistant, Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety
Tel.: +33 (0)1 45 24 10 43

When?
26 March 2019
OECD Headquarters, Paris, France
Contact
Dr Ted Lazo Nuclear Energy Agency Deputy Head, Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety Tel.: + 33 (0)1 45 24 10 42 Ms Ursula Arnal Diffu Nuclear Energy Agency Assistant, Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety Tel.: +33 (0)1 45 24 10 43