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Radiation protection standards are skewed towards industry, says Japanese interfaith group

April 23, 2012

FUKUSHIMA, Japan

International radiation protection standards have historically weighed radiation risks and cost-benefit considerations in such as way as to protect the nuclear power industry at the expense of radiation victims, a Japanese interfaith network has said.

The Interfaith Forum for Review of National Nuclear Policy held a meeting from April 17-19 in Fukushima to debate claims by the Japanese government regarding the effects of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, which took place in March 2011.

The government, following standards set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, a Canadian organization of scientists and policy makers, has said “there is no immediate [radioactive] impact on human bodies” from the disaster.

The Tokyo-based IFRNNP ― an 800-member anti-nuclear network co-led by 40 Japanese Buddhists, Christians, and Shintoists ― invited Kozo Inaoka, a Japanese physicist and author of a book about radiation exposure, to the meeting to lecture about the ICRP’s history and “ideological character.”

In his book, A History of Radiation Exposure, Inaoka claims the radiation protection standards are “scientifically disguised social standards” allowing the industry to impose exposure levels that suit its needs as it develops nuclear plants.

“I agree that it is certain that the cost-benefit approach to the risk of radiation exposure contains a rather serious fundamental problem, but it’s hard to discuss,” said Susumu Shimazono, a professor of religious studies working on bioethics and interdisciplinary death and life studies at the University of Tokyo, in an e-mail to ENInews.

 

“People of faith who point it out are few,” he wrote.

 

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