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Integrating societal concerns and ethical considerations in emergency preparedness and response

Theme leads: Wolfgang Raskob,, Catrinel Turcanu, and Svetlana Nestoroska,, Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC), IAEA

Experience from nuclear events happening in the past, notably the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents, showed that the intertwined character of social, ethical and technical aspects of radiation protection requires inclusion of stakeholders’ values, needs and concerns in all aspects of decision-making.  Governance of nuclear and radiological emergencies and post-accident recovery imposes specific challenges also due to the scientific and societal uncertainties associated to radiological risk. Citizens, emergency actors and other stakeholders have to make sense of and respond to various uncertainties, such as the health effects of low radiation doses, the overall effectiveness of protection actions and remediation strategies, and the future socio-economic development in affected areas.

This session invites papers focusing on the societal, ethical and communication aspects of decisions made in emergency and post emergency situations under large uncertainties. We welcome case studies, practitioner reports, as well as academic research within this theme.

Contributions may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Societal uncertainties and ethical issues in emergency and post-accident situations
  • Factors influencing individual and group decision-making in emergency situations
  • The potential of citizen science in the governance of nuclear incidents/accidents
  • Enhancing societal resilience capacities
  • The impact of social and traditional media
  • Improved communication methods and tools