Implications of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Man-Made Hazards, Vulnerability Factors, and Risk to Environmental Health


The objective of this article was to examine the environmental health implications of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster from an all-hazards perspective. The authors performed a literature review that included Japanese and international nuclear guidance and policy, scientific papers, and reports on the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters while also considering all-hazards preparedness rubrics in the U.S. The examination of the literature resulted in the following: a) the authors’ “All-Hazards Planning Reference Model” that distinguishes three planning categories—Disaster Trigger Event, Man-Made Hazards, and Vulnerability Factors; b) the generalization of their model to other countries; and c) advocacy for environmental health end fate to be considered in planning phases to minimize risk to environmental health. This article discusses inconsistencies in disaster planning and nomenclature existing in the studied materials and international guidance and proposes new opportunity for developing predisaster risk assessment, risk communication, and prevention capacity building.

Speaker / Author: 
Eriko Sase, PhD
Christopher Eddy, MPH, REHS, RS, CP-FS
Month Year: 
July 2015
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
July/August 2015
EH Topics: