Japan is the only country in the world to have experienced nuclear bombing. The country also has experienced unfortunate accidents such as the criticality accident at the severe nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The Institute of Radiation Emergency Medicine (IREM) works to maintain skills and to promote research in radiation sciences. The knowledge gained from these experiences and from the work of the IREM must be utilized to ensure nuclear safety worldwide. For this purpose, human resource development is the most important and urgent issue, and the IREM launched its international training program for radiation protection in 2020. In the event of a nuclear disaster, assistance based on biological, physical, and chemical dose assessments of exposed patients is needed for radiation medical treatment.
The international training program for radiation protection offers continuing education courses in radiation protection that include lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities as course participants learn about radiological and nuclear incidents.
Types of training course
The training program design can be adapted to the level and experience of the participant, covering undergraduate university students working for bachelor’s degrees, to early career staff members and post-graduate scientists. Three different training courses are available. The training courses are held according to the request of trainees and the contents can be arranged by request also.
|List of training courses|
|Course||General subject||Specific training fields|
|Entry course||Short-term introduction|
|Basic course||Radiation protection||Basis of radiation protection|
|Advanced courses||Physical measurements and dose evaluations||Measurements of environmental radiation and radioactivity|
|Simulation of the environmental behavior of radionuclides and the dose assessment|
|Analytical chemistry||Radionuclide and heavy metal analyses by ICP mass spectrometry|
|Radiochemical analysis of low concentrations of radionuclides in environmental samples|
|Biological impact assessment||Radiation effect evaluation using peripheral blood|
|Cytotoxicity evaluation using cell lines|
The Entry course provides a short-term introduction to the facilities of the IREM and the Advanced Emergency and Disaster Medical Center which respond to a nuclear accident. Environmental monitoring in normal and emergency situations, pre- and post-Fukushima accident, is introduced as an example in Japan.
This 5-day course offers fundamental knowledge about radiation protection thorough lectures and hands-on activities. The Basic course provides basic knowledge involving principles of ionizing radiation and radionuclides, measurement skills, biological impact assessment, and emergency response during radiological incidents.
Objective: Learning basic knowledge and measurement skills for protection of humans and the environment against ionizing radiation
Target: Undergraduate and graduate students, early career scientists and workers in nuclear-related facilities
Prerequisite: Formal education at the university or equivalent level in physics, chemistry or life science.
The Advanced courses are prepared for specific fields in radiation physics, chemistry and biology to respond to practical issues encountered in various radiological incidents. Participants can choose a course and on request customize its contents, schedule and duration. The contents can be requested from among the following.
- I. Physical measurements and dose evaluations
i. Measurements of environmental radiation and radioactivity
In order to deeply understand the principles for the methods of radiation dosimetry and radioactivity analysis, radiation dose and radioactivity (gaseous and particulate radionuclides) are actually measured in the environment. External and internal doses are assessed using the measurement results of environmental samples such as atmospheric particulates, water and soil collected by several techniques.
ii. Simulation of the environmental behaviors of radionuclides and dose assessment
Environmental behaviors of radionuclides released from nuclear facilities are analyzed and both internal and external doses are calculated using available simulation codes and software.
- II. Analytical Chemistry
i. Radionuclide and heavy metal analyses by ICP mass spectrometry
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a powerful tool for trace level determination of elements, involving heavy metals and long-lived radionuclides such as uranium-238. Trainees learn the principle of ICP-MS and its practical procedures through measurement of real samples.
ii. Radiochemical analysis of low concentrations of radionuclides in environmental samples
Techniques for chemical separation are necessary to determine low level radioactivity and pure beta emitters prior to radiation detection, and the use of low background detectors is necessary as well. This course covers sample preparations and radiation measurements.
- III. Biological impact assessment
i. Radiation effect evaluation using peripheral blood
In this course, trainees learn about cytogenetic dosimetry, a standard method for analyzing the biological effects of radiation exposure. The training includes human peripheral blood culture methods, four assays, and chromosome aberration analysis methods.
ii. Cytotoxicity evaluation using cell lines
In this course, the In Vitro Mammalian Cell Micronucleus Test (MNvit), a standard method used for cytotoxicity tests of chemicals and environmental substances, is presented with hands-on training according to the OECD Test Guideline (TG487).
Dr. Shinji Tokonami
Dr. Masahiro Hosoda
Dr. Chutima Kranrod
Dr. Yuki Tamakuma
Dr. Tomisato Miura
Dr. Naofumi Akata
Dr. Hirofumi Tazoe
To be arrange
The Institute of Radiation Emergency Medicine was established to develop unprecedented approaches for such items as health management in nuclear facilities and radiation exposure management in medical facilities throughout Japan, and to train expert human resources who can respond to emergency nuclear exposure accidents. We have been pursuing pioneering and advanced research in a wide range of natural sciences, but our main focus has been on radiation science. During the severe nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan in 2011, we were involved in implementing countermeasures against this disaster and our members gained many experiences and obtained countless new scientific findings, skills and knowledge. From these valuable experiences we saw that scientists in the same field need to work together to make societies that are enriched and safer. Our plans include a focus on activities that contribute to the development of young researchers, including social contributions through the IREM’s international training program.
Institute of Radiation Emergency Medicine, Hirosaki University
66-1, Honcho, Hirosaki
Aomori, Japan 036-8564