The Role of Experts in Post-Accident Recovery: Lessons learnt from Chernobyl and Fukushima


Annals of the ICRP – Vol. 47 – N° 3-4, pp. 254-259, October 2018


Following a nuclear accident, a major dilemma for affected people is whether to stay or leave the affected area, or, for those who have been evacuated, whether or not to return to the decontaminated zones. Populations who have to make such decisions have to consider many parameters, one of which is the radiological situation. Feedback from Chernobyl and Fukushima has demonstrated that involvement and empowerment of the affected population is a way to provide them with the necessary elements to make informed decisions and, if they decide to return to decontaminated areas, to minimise exposure by contributing to the development of a prudent attitude and vigilance towards exposure. However, involving stakeholders in postaccident management raises the question of the role of experts and public authorities in supporting the inhabitants who have to make decisions about their future. Based on experiences in Chernobyl and Fukushima, this paper will discuss various principles that have to be taken into account by experts and public authorities about their role and position when dealing with stakeholders in a postaccident recovery process.