Message of Greeting from the President
On the 10th of October 2012, I was appointed the 5th president of the Institute for Environmental Sciences (IES). I will do my best for further development of the Institute.
IES was established in 1990 to ensure the safety of the environment and human health during the operation of a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho Village, because the plant is expecting to discharge small amount of radioactive materials into air and water. Our major missions are to monitor the radioactivity in the environment surrounding the plant, create accurate models for mobility of radioactive materials to understand entire scope of contamination in the environment including animals and humans, and finally to elucidate the health effects of long-term low-dose-rate irradiation. These themes have been pursued successfully using our unique facilities.
In March 2011, a severe nuclear power plant accident broke out in Fukushima and the attention of many people were focused on the studies conducted by IES, as the scope of IESfs objectives was exactly what the concerned citizens wanted to know in order to evaluate the effects of the nuclear accident. Although we cannot, as yet, provide final precise answers to these questions, our continued efforts will further contribute to clarify the risks of radioactive materials and low dose radiation. To extend the scope of our research, we have begun collaborations with European Research Organizations associated with EUfs Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative (MELODI) that includes the DoReMi and PROCARDIO Research Projects.
The nuclear power plant accident also proved that the public level of understanding of radiation as well as radiation risk is far from what it should be. It created lots of unnecessary confusion. As one of the approaches to overcome this problem, we will strengthen our efforts to facilitate the spread of established knowledge on radiation risk and also to disseminate our scientific findings to the public.
We ask for your continued support as we pursue our mission.
Tetsuya Ono, Ph.D.
Institute for Environmental Sciences