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Transition of Occupational Health Issues Associated With Stabilization and Decommissioning of the Nuclear Reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Through 2013

Mori, Koji MD, PhD; Tateishi, Seiichiro MD; Kubo, Tatsuhiko MD, PhD; Okazaki, Ryuji MD, PhD; Suzuki, Katsunori MD, PhD; Kobayashi, Yuichi MD; Hiraoka, Koh MD; Hayashi, Takeshi MD, PhD; Takeda, Masaru MD; Kiyomoto, Yoshifumi MD; Kawashita, Futoshi MD; Yoshikawa, Toru MD, PhD; Sakai, Kazuhiro PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: November 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 11 - p 1145–1152
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000306
Original Articles

Objective: To clarify the occupational health (OH) issues that arose, what actions were taken, and the OH performances during the disaster involving the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and thus improve the OH management system with respect to long-term decommissioning work and preparation for future disasters.

Methods: We used information in advisory reports to the Tokyo Electric Power Company by an OH expert group, observation through support activities, and data officially released by the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Results: Occupational health issues transitioned as work progressed and seasons changed. They were categorized into OH management system establishment, radiation exposure control, heat illness prevention, infectious disease prevention and control, and fitness for workers’ duties.

Conclusions: Occupational health management systems involving OH experts should be implemented to manage multiple health risks with several conflicts and trade-offs after a disaster.

From the University of Occupational and Environmental Health (Drs Mori, Tateishi, Kubo, Okazaki, Suzuki, Kobayashi, Hiraoka, Kiyomoto, and Kawashita), Kitakyushu; Hitachi Health Care Center, Hitachi, Ltd (Drs Hayashi and Takeda), Ibaraki; and The Institute for Science of Labour (Drs Yoshikawa and Sakai), Kawasaki, Japan.

Address correspondence to: Koji Mori, MD, PhD, Occupational Health Training Center, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1–1 Iseigaoka Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807–8555, Japan (kmori@med.uoeh-u.ac.jp).

This project was financially supported by the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, and the Tokyo Electric Power Company. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine