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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 135-142

Fukushima Daiichi - 2011 : Nuclear disaster : Lessons learned : Where we stand in India


1 Emergency Specialist, Medical Department, Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Group Medical Advisor, Medical Departmet, Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Hitesh N Shah
Emergency Specialist, Medical Services (Mumbai), Reliance Industries Ltd, 2nd Floor, Maker Chamber IV, 222 Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-9019.129136

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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was an energy accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, initiated in greatest part by the tsunami portion of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. The damage caused by the tsunami produced equipment failures, and without this equipment a Loss of Coolant Accident followed with nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials beginning on March 12. It is the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 and the second disaster (along with Chernobyl) to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), releasing an estimated 10-30% of the radiation of the Chernobyl accident. This event, in the long-term could have a tremendous impact on the health of the population, environmental impact, food and water, and long-term health issues. Assessment of lessons learned and reviewing it in the context of Indian nuclear safety measures and the way forward. The health impact assessment (HIA) of the nuclear disaster in relation to humans, food, water, and environment is also reviewed. Several Reports from various agencies, like International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Japanese Government Report, World Health Organization (WHO), and others, from 2008 onwards data were retrieved and studied, following which a synopsis was drawn. Several lessons learned from the disaster management of the event were drawn. The Indian nuclear safety and liability scenario was also studied in the same context. The current status of the Indian Nuclear Programme, and the Nuclear Liability Act Section 17 was reviewed. The HIA of the disaster, which includes the general population, environment, aquatic life, food, and water was also reviewed. The international domain shows several lacunae in the safety measures. The most important basic principle in securing nuclear safety is "defense in depth". A gap analysis for all the aspects of Fukushima disaster was done pertaining to the design, emergency preparedness. The Indian nuclear safety measures in various plants have been found to be reasonable but need to be upgraded. HIA needs to be in place and risk mitigation measures need to be assessed
  1. There are several lessons learned in the field of health and safety.
  2. There is a need for more closer and constant correspondence between the end-user country and operators around the world to ensure higher safety standards.
  3. Also damage control measures for HIA need to be reviewed. In nutshell Fukushima Daiichi 2011 was an "eye opener" for the entire world in the area of nuclear safety and nuclear disaster management.


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