Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, tremendous resources have been devoted to recovery, and the Japanese Government is gradually lifting evacuation orders. However, public concerns remain prevalent, affecting some people’s return to a normal life and threatening their well-being. This study reviews government reports, academic papers, newspaper articles and conference presentations with the aim of obtaining a better understanding of issues which relate to radiation concerns in the recovery process in the aftermath of the accident. It looks extensively at: (1) the current status of the post-accident operations and existing radiation issues in Fukushima, and (2) approaches taken to engage the public during recovery from five previous comparable nuclear and radiological events: Three Mile Island, Buenos Aires (RA-2 facility), Chernobyl, Goiânia and Tokai-mura. The findings indicate that the limitations and emerging challenges of the current recovery operations cause concerns about radiation exposure in various aspects of day-to-day life. Past experiences suggest that long-term management that take a holistic and cohesive approach is critical for restoration of sustainable livelihoods and for social re-integration. Not only actual risks but also public perceptions of risks should be carefully assessed and addressed in the process of environmental remediation.
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