World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

Session Schedule & Abstracts

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Common abbreviations

Wednesday 22-07-2015

Risk Perception Related to Nuclear Radiation

Room: Breakthrough   15:30–17:00

Chair(s): Yoshitoku Yoshida


Abstract: Objective : On March 11, 2011 we had the devastated earthquake, tsunami and subsequent Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan. The total number of dead person and missing person caused by the earthquake disaster was 18,506 as of May 2014. In Tohoku region, to order to reduce the anxiety or the stress especially from the radiation exposure, risk communications about radiation exposure to human body were held. But there were a few studies to describe and evaluate assessment of the efficacy of the risk communication. Therefore the purpose of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of them with the recognition level of technical terms relevant to the radiation exposure to human body. Methods : Each 170 residents who live in Miyagi, Fukushima, Tokyo, Aichi, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were collected as the subject. 6 cities were categorized into 3 groups of Miyagi and Fukushima, Tokyo and Aichi, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as devastated area group, reference group and A-bombed area, respectively. The collection of the answer was performed using an Internet survey. The chi-square test was applied to analyze data. Results : In the present study, we obtained responses from 1030 respondents (548 men and 482 women). Before East Japan Great Earthquake, there was no significant deference in number of participation to the meeting of the risk communication relating to the effect of radiation to the human body. On the other hand, after East Japan Great Earthquake, there was significant deference in number of participation to them among 3 groups. The differences were statistically significant for technical terms relevant to the radiation activity and its effect to human body among three groups. 93.0%, 73.0% and 93.0% of respondents in Miyagi and fukushima know the radioactive cesium, half-life, becquerel, respectively. Conclusion : In Tohoku region, to order to reduce the anxiety or the stress especially from the radiation exposure, risk communications about radiation exposure to human body were held vigorously and rigorously based on this research.

2    Structural Models of Risk Perception of Radioactive Substances: Effects of Information Provision. Kito Y, Kyoto University; Niiyama Y, Kyoto University (219)

Abstract: It has been approximately four years since the Fukushima nuclear accident. Since then, the public have harbored anxieties about health effects of radioactive substances along with a distrust of mass media and government. An additional problem is the insufficiency of scientific information available to the public. This situation requires risk communication to allow an interactive exchange of opinions and information among stakeholders. However, there are many cases where it is necessary to provide information via websites or printed forms to broadly disseminate accurate information. This study examined structural models of public risk perception and the influence of information on structural models regarding radioactive substances in food about three years after the Fukushima nuclear accident. We conducted an internet survey in Japan in January 2014 on 1647 women. We surveyed perceived risks, risk adjustment, risk characteristics, and items in both personal and social contexts. One half of the participants were provided with information before answering the questionnaire and the other half (the control group) were not. The information included estimated radiation exposure and effects of radioactive substances on the human body. This information was provided on screen using text, tables, and graphs. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate causal relationships among perceived risk and other factors for each group. Results showed that, without information, “association” had a major effect on perceived “severity of health effects.” The latter had a limited effect on the perceived magnitude of risk, while perceived risk was determined by “association” and “trust.” Results also showed that while providing information has little impact on the strong effect of association, it might promote the consideration of risk characteristics in judgment of risks.

3    Chinese public perception of nuclear power: a case of Guangdong Jiangmen anti-nuclear activism. Kim N.Y, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University (225)

Abstract: After the Fukushima accident, many countries have examined their nuclear power plan. China, however, holds their perspective on nuclear power expansion, and will expand nuclear generating capacity to 40 GWe by 2020 for the increasing electronic demand. With aroused public attention to safety and environmental issue, Chinese government faced to necessary of changing their policy enforcement process. Jiangmen anti-nuclear activism is the only observable nuclear-about-collective action in China and analysis this activism is important. Some researchers assume that new media like SNS, microblogging, used to mobilize this activism. Although the previous literature emphasis public dissatisfaction from limited public participation in decision-making process is a significant cause of environmental activism, but the activism of Jiangmen was mobilized and framed by economic elite only after they perceived their profit has been harmed. To explain how this activism has succeed in Jiangmen, not in other nuclear expectation city in Guangdong, this study analyses social media and newspapers at Jiangmen activism period.

4    Nuclear accident consequence index and its application on evaluation of a reactor design safety criterion. Silva K, Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology; Okamoto K, University of Tokyo (156)

Abstract: Risk of a nuclear accident is the combination of frequency of an undesired event and consequences of such event, same as other risks. Both frequency and consequences of the accident are assessed by a method called probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). This study focuses on the assessment of accident consequences. As it is clearly stated in the Fundamental Safety Principles of the international Atomic Energy Agency that “the fundamental safety objective is to protect people and the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation”, the consequences assessed in PRA must also include the consequences to both people and the environment. However, assessments performed until today tended to focus on consequences to people which are normally represented by the radiation doses people received from the accident. The authors thus form a “nuclear accident consequence index (NACI)” in order to be able to simultaneously take into account various consequences to people and to the environment. Diverse consequences of an anticipated accident are converted into specific indices using accident cost unit, and summed up to obtain the NACI of that accident. We found that three indices dominate the NACI: (1) radiation effect index, which is estimated from collective radiation dose; (2) decontamination index, which sums up the contributions from decontamination work and the management of wastes generated; and (3) relocation index which is calculated from income losses and capital utility losses due to relocation. They represent over 90% of the NACI. We exclude all other indices in order to simplify the calculation of the NACI. As an example of its application, we use the simplified NACI to evaluate the applicability of 100 TBq Cs-137 release as a safety criterion for accident consequence assessment at reactor design approval stage. The NACI of 100 TBq Cs-137 release is so small that we can conclude that the release is small enough to be used as a safety criterion.

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