At an expert meeting hosted by UNU-IAS on 11 June 2014, international advisors to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority emphasized the need to foster a “safety culture” in the nuclear energy industry. Under the framework of the UNU-IAS Fukushima Global Communication Programme (FGC), the meeting brought together a distinguished group of experts from Japan and other countries for an engaging discussion focused on public perceptions of nuclear energy.
Advice from the experts emphasized the need for a deeper commitment from the nuclear energy industry to actively engage and listen to a wide range of stakeholders and to communicate more effectively in an accessible, non-technical manner. The experts highlighted the vital role of a “safety culture” in which safety and integrity are afforded the highest priority and related concerns can be openly raised and addressed.
Among the topics discussed, emphasis was placed on the effective sharing and dissemination of information to citizens concerned with the risks of nuclear power following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the associated accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In line with the objectives of the FGC programme, the discussions were informed by a human security approach complemented by insights from the science and policy community.
The discussions benefited from the participation of Commissioner Kenzo Oshima (Nuclear Regulation Authority, Japan), as well as input from international advisers including Mr. André-Claude Lacoste (former Chairman of the French Nuclear Safety Authority), Dr. Richard A. Meserve (former Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission), and Dr. Mike Weightman (former Head of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, UK).
Opening remarks were delivered by Commissioner Oshima and Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Senior Vice-Rector, UNU), who emphasized the importance of the FGC in fostering exchange between Japanese and international experts while serving as a politically neutral and globally networked platform. The proceedings and open discussion were moderated by Dr. Kazuhiko Takemoto (Director, UNU-IAS).
For more information on the FGC programme, including events, publications and video interviews, please visit the FGC programme website.