Fukushima Daiichi Reflection

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March 11th, 2021 marks the ten-year anniversary of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan. The accident has had a tremendous impact on people’s lives locally, globally and within the nuclear engineering community at large. Over the past ten years, the region has achieved a remarkable recovery, thanks to extensive restoration work performed in the area and a strong focus on environmental mitigation efforts. The impact radiological exposures and the surrounding circumstances had on humans and the environment are now better understood, leading to better mitigation strategies. Currently, efforts on decommissioning the power plants and revitalizing the economy, as well as overcoming socioeconomic and psychological challenges in the region are still underway. 

In parallel, the nuclear industry has done extensive analysis on the accident progression in the reactors and on how the consequence could have been mitigated with different strategies and measures. A series of new analyses have provided detailed understanding of what happened in the reactors. These analyses led to a suite of measures to enhance reactor safety implemented in the current fleet of Japanese nuclear reactors as well as the improved regulatory structure. At the same time, the US nuclear power plants and relevant regulations have been upgraded to address similar risks. In addition, the accident has prompted a series of innovations in nuclear engineering to prevent similar accidents and to make nuclear energy safer. 

This 10-year anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the accident, its environmental and health consequences, as well as its impact on nuclear reactor safety and regulations. It also gives us a moment to think more broadly about the interactions between nuclear energy, the environment, and society. Lessons learned from the Fukushima accident and its aftermath will drive the future of nuclear energy.

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Photo Credit to Mr. Kazuma Obara

The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 11th, 1pm-5.30pm

Panel Discussion 1:
What happened in the reactors? How thas he accident changed nuclear power plants and industry?

Naohiro Masuda, Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited
Joy L. Rempe, Rempe and Associates, LLC
Bill Kastenberg, UC Berkeley
Per Peterson, UC Berkeley

Panel Discussion 2:
What is the impact on the environment and society? How did they recover?

Kai Vetter, UC Berkeley
Naomi Hirose, TEPCO
Kimiaki Saito, JAEA


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Photo Credit to Mr. Kazuko Yajima

Enter an essay or any form of original art reflecting on the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, which began on March 11, 2011. Submissions can focus on the history of the event or on the impact that the event has had on shaping the future such as "How should this event be remembered?" or "How do you remember this event?".

Two $500 prizes will be awarded. The work will be judged on its level of research, creativity, and analysis,

The contest is open to graduate and undergraduate students in all fields. Submissions can be made by single authors or collaborating authors. For collaborating authors, the prize will be divided among the co-authors.

The deadline to submit your work is 9:46 pm PST March 10, 2021.