WMO support to nuclear emergency from the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident

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Lessons from responding to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Stations

Adapted from presentation by Dr Geoffrey Love  – Director, Weather and Disaster Risk Reduction Services

Delivered to IAEA Ministerial Conference keynote address on Emergency Preparedness and Response

Vienna, 20 – 24 June 2011

The Earthquake occurred at 05.46 UTC, Friday, 11th of March 2011, and at 09.39 UTC the WMO EER System was first requested to provide advice to designated authorities on the likely evolution of the radioactive cloud that was being accidentally released from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Within few hours the first dispersion charts were available, and were produced routinely until no longer required.

Lesson #8 – Public Information

The tools exist, in the public domain to reproduce the EER products, albeit without the products that result having sufficient “metadata” attached to truly assess their utility.

The public demand for information is intense.

– and even if the metadata were there, could the public make informed assessments and decisions?

The coordination of advice to governments is difficult enough, under the pressure of an ongoing emergency coordinating information to the publics in a number of countries, across language barriers is truly very difficult – but critical if governments wish to maintain the confidence of their publics.

Current Situation

•Still a ‘General Emergency’ but stabilized
•RSMCs on full alert and preparedness
•UN System-wide study on implications
•WMO to review nuclear EER procedures and standards
•WMO to continue cooperating with IAEA on Nuclear Safety standards and WMO technical guidance
•WMO (including CBS) to work with the UN Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (Study for Fukushima Daiichi accident)
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