Japan’s nuclear regulators have come up with a revised plan to provide emergency medical care to residents after accidents at nuclear power plants. The government has until now helped set up hospitals near nuclear plants to treat small numbers of workers exposed to radiation in accidents.
But in the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, local medical facilities were unable to adequately treat the many residents thought to have been exposed to radiation. At their meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, the NRA, presented a draft of revised guidelines for creating a network of medical facilities. The plan proposes that prefectures within 30 kilometers of plants designate 1 to 3 hospitals as base facilities to deal with nuclear disasters.
The hospitals are to have teams of experts treat patients after accidents and go to other prefectures where nuclear accidents occur.
The draft also calls for designating hospitals and other facilities within around 30 kilometers of nuclear plants as “cooperating organizations.” The facilities would check evacuees for exposure to radiation and treat the injured and sick. The NRA is to decide on the revised guidelines after soliciting opinions from the public for 30 days from Thursday.
The top official of a group of nuclear energy experts says the Fukushima Daiichi accident has made it difficult for Japan to properly train enough nuclear specialists.
Hiroshi Uetsuka, the new president of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, told reporters on Wednesday that every research reactor housed at universities and other institutes across Japan is idled.
Uetsuka said the operators of those institutes are unable to meet regulations that were revised following the nuclear accident. He said the budgets and staff for the research reactors have been cut.
The president called the situation very serious because of the challenges that both decommissioning and restarting reactors present.
He said his society will put together proposals to address the problem.
Uetsuka said the cause of the Fukushima Daiichi accident is well understood, but investigations have yet to determine what exactly is going on inside the reactors.
Uetsuka said the society will continue to study the accident. He said its members, along with officials of the Nuclear Regulation Authority and power companies, will discuss how to apply their findings to reactor regulations.
Source : NHK