Recovery and resilience after a nuclear power plant disaster: a medical decision model for managing an effective, timely, and balanced response

C. Norman Coleman, Daniel J. Blumenthal, Charles A. Casto, Michael Alfant, Steven L. Simon, Alan L. Remick, Heather J. Gepford, Thomas Bowman, Jana L. Telfer, Pamela M. Blumenthal, Michael A. Noska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Resilience after a nuclear power plant or other radiation emergency requires response and recovery activities that are appropriately safe, timely, effective, and well organized. Timely informed decisions must be made, and the logic behind them communicated during the evolution of the incident before the final outcome is known. Based on our experiences in Tokyo responding to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crisis, we propose a real-time, medical decision model by which to make key health-related decisions that are central drivers to the overall incident management. Using this approach, on-site decision makers empowered to make interim decisions can act without undue delay using readily available and high-level scientific, medical, communication, and policy expertise. Ongoing assessment, consultation, and adaption to the changing conditions and additional information are additional key features. Given the central role of health and medical issues in all disasters, we propose that this medical decision model, which is compatible with the existing US National Response Framework structure, be considered for effective management of complex, large-scale, and large-consequence incidents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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