Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Guided by the values and expertise of medicine and public health, Physicians for Social Responsibility works to protect humanity from the gravest threats to health and survival. Right now, you can make a difference by registering your comments on the EPA's new Clean Power rule to limit carbon from existing coal-burning power plants. Just click the button to get started.

Approaching the anniversary of Japanese nuclear catastrophe, PSR Docs Warn that First Responders are Dangerously Unprepared for a Fukushima-level disaster in the U.S.

March 7, 2012

One year after the Fukushima reactor crisis in Japan, no meaningful progress has been achieved in improving the ability of first responders and medical professionals to react to a disaster on a similar scale in the United States, according to a major new report from Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR).  The report, titled “Nuclear Power and Public Health: Lessons from Fukushima, Still Dangerously Unprepared,” discusses what we now know happened in the Fukushima nuclear accident, the inadequacies of our current infrastructure to cope with a similar scale nuclear accident, and proposes recommendations to ease some of the attendant problems associated with nuclear emergencies.  These include:

  1. Education of the public and First Responders regarding radiation exposure and health;
  2. Implementation and education of the public and First Responders on emergency plans which may include sheltering in place, early distribution of stable potassium iodide, and evacuation;
  3. Enhancement of the NRC’s ability to monitor the distressed site in real time with communication and transparency to the public about such events;
  4. Enhanced fuel pool security
  5. A moratorium on building further nuclear power plants until the attendant problems of safety and dealing with waste are openly dealt with and solved in some fashion;
  6. The phasing out of nuclear power as a source of energy, beginning now.

The report was released at a national news conference Tuesday, March 6, which featured Dr. Ira Helfand, North American vice president, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Erik Larsen, MD, associate director of the emergency department, White Plains Hospital and member of the National Disaster Medical System, the Disaster Medical Assistance Teams, and the New York City MEDICS Disaster Team, and two Japanese experts, Dr. Yuki Tanaka,  research professor, History, Hiroshima Peace Institute, Hiroshima City University and author of several books, and Mr. Kyoko Kitajima, organizer, Precariat Union, Tokyo, and provider of aid and support activities in response to the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, who spoke of their personal experiences with the  profound human, environmental, and psychological impacts of the Fukushima disaster. 

 

Share

EmailFacebookTwitter
Share on Facebook
Cancel
Share on MySpace
Cancel
Share on Twitter
A short URL will be added to the end of your Tweet.

Cancel
Share on LinkedIn
Cancel

Resources

  • Video: Nuclear Health Risks

    PSR President Dr. Bob Gould talks about the risks to public health and the global environment posed by nuclear weapons and energy. Read more »

  • Annual Report 2012

    PSR is pleased to present its 2012 Annual Report to our members and other stakeholders. Read more »

  • Fukushima Disaster: Impacts & Continuing Threats

    More than two years since the nuclear disaster began at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, its impact is massive and widespread. It will be decades before the full scope of the impacts of this ongoing disaster is fully understood but significant health, economic, environmental and social consequences are already evident and quantifiable. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • July 17, 2014
    Our Best Opportunity to Cut Climate Change
    We need you to take action now! Tell the EPA that its proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants Is vitally important and on the right track – but can be strengthened.