Nuclear Disaster Assessment and Recovery Summit: Lessons to be Learned from Chernobyl and Fukushima

October 30-31, 2015, Washington, D.C.
ICC Auditorium, School of Foreign Service (
Organizing committee members: Tomoko Y. Steen, GUMC; Heather Meeks DTRA; Astrid Lewis, US Department of State; Richard Love, NDU/DoD; Richard Calderone, GUMC; Evagelia Laiakis, GU

The 1986 Chernobyl and the 2011 Fukushima accidents provoked world-wide concern about the ability of current incident response programs to adequately protect the public and the environment in the event of a nuclear disaster. Limited knowledge of nuclear physics and engineering within the general populace as well as fears about possible health effects resulting from radiation exposure spurred widespread panic among impacted and potentially impacted populations, whether proximal to or far-removed from reactor sites. Lack of centralized communication among experts was a probable driver of the rampant spread of misinformation that followed the accidents.
The Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters measured Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but most members of public are unlikely to understand the meaning of such a measure or its implications. Moreover, nearly thirty years of collective evaluation for Chernobyl have provided only limited context. We still do not fully understand the nature and extent of the accidents or the probable long-term consequences, nor are we certain what actions we should take to prepare for future such disasters.

Statement of Purpose
The Nuclear Disaster Security Summit proposes to address the following:
• Preventing nuclear accidents
• Preparing for and securing nuclear facilities in the event of catastrophic natural disasters
• Assisting survivors in impacted areas for short and long-term periods
• Addressing near-term environmental consequences
• Developing measures to facilitate environmental and economic recovery
• Implementing standardized policies for disaster preparedness and recovery
The primary objective of the Nuclear Security Summit and Workshop is to bring policy leaders, emergency preparedness and response planners, economists, scientists, and engineers together to foster interdisciplinary and multi-national discussions on nuclear physics and engineering, biology, policy, security, and health care issues associated with nuclear disasters. The Summit will instigate discussions among a diverse group of experts using the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents as unique case studies, with the end goal of establishing a community of experts. Summit planners and sponsors are seeking concrete outcomes and engagements that may lead to pursuit of public-private partnerships, academic think-tank studies, scientist-scientist collaborations, and other activities necessary for sustaining dialogue within the nuclear disaster community.

See here for program schedule.

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