Launch of Nuclear Disaster Digital Archive
On 1st of October, 2013, the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) has launched a Nuclear Disaster Digital Archive on the web, which is available here (http://ndrc.jrc.or.jp/?lang=en).
The purpose of creating the Digital Archive is to gather recent experience and various types of data and information on nuclear disasters and their humanitarian effects from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The Digital Archive contains “Guidelines for Relief Activities under Nuclear Disaster,” which is a JRCS manual for use in responding to potential nuclear accidents, as well as interviews with relief teams and doctors and nurses from Red Cross Hospitals. In the future, this Digital Archive will function as a knowledge base in Japan, by networking with concerned experts and authorities, and sharing the information through public seminars.
Before 11 March 2011 when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the Tohoku region, JRCS had not been prepared for relief activities in response to nuclear disasters. The Digital Archive and the “Guidelines for Relief Activities under Nuclear Disaster” are designed to fill that preparedness gap and form the basis of a more effective and efficient response should the need ever arise.
As for the wider Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, in November 2011, at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 18th session of the General Assembly adopted a resolution on Preparedness to respond to the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Accidents. Each Red Cross and Red Crescent Society has agreed to collect and disseminate information, and work toward creating International guidelines toward assisting victims. In addition, at a meeting organized by the IFRC and hosted by the JRCS in Tokyo in May 2012, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies agreed to combine their expertise on responding to nuclear accidents, by setting up a reference group and appointing a senior officer at the secretariat of the IFRC in Geneva to coordinate the sharing of knowledge. This Digital Archive is expected to contribute to developing a nuclear disaster preparedness strategy of IFRC.