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Nuclear emergencies and natural disasters

Jean-Francois Lafortune, PhD, Edward Waller, PhD

Abstract


The Fukushima disaster following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan demonstrates the complexity of responding to nuclear emergencies during a natural disaster. Current international safety standards and guidance do not specifically address this type of situation. The potential conflicts between the response to the conventional impacts and the radiological consequences, real and perceived, can impede the effectiveness of the overall emergency response. The present article discusses the strategic and operational challenges likely to be encountered in such a complex emergency, and draws conclusions on how countries should better plan for the low probability but high consequence impacts of natural disasters coincident with a nuclear accident at a nuclear power plant.


Keywords


nuclear emergency, natural disaster, preparedness, response, complex emergency

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.2019.0425

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