Ohtsura Niwa, Japan, has been awarded the Gold Medal for Radiation Protection “for significant contribution to stake-holder engagement within the system of radiological protection”. He was instrumental in the setting up of a dialogue between experts and the local citizens affected of the Fukushima Daiichi Nucelar Power Plant accident. The medal is awarded every fourth year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Ohtsura Niwa is a radiation biologist and professor emeritus of Kyoto University (earlier Fukushima Medical University) Japan. He has had a long career in radiation protection research and has played a leading role in solving not only scientific but also ethical and social issues in radiological protection. Following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, he was instrumental in the setting up of a dialogue between the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) and the local citizens affected and also local, regional, and national authorities.
The dialogue has come to be seen as a new style of stakeholder participation that can provide important ethical procedures in radiation protection. His contribution to the Fukushima dialogue led to ICRP Publication 146 on Radiological Protection of People and the Environment in the Event of a Large Nuclear Accident.