The nuclear situation due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan
The United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) expresses its sympathy to the people and government of Japan for their huge loss of life and enormous disruption and damage as a result of the earthquake and tsunami on Friday 11 March 2011.
The resulting emergency at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has raised public concern about increased radiation levels in food, water and the general environment, and any effects on humans.
UNSCEAR is responsible within the United Nations system to assess and report the levels and the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation. The assessments of the Scientific Committee are the scientific basis for evaluating radiation risk and for establishing protective measures for human, animals and the environment. This website provides all the Committee's previous assessments related to radiation exposures and the health effects, including from past accidents ( FAQs, UNSCEAR Publications).
UNSCEAR has no direct role in response to an ongoing emergency situation, but its role will be after the event - to collect and assess relevant information on the radiation levels and effects and to report its findings.
Nevertheless, as part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the secretariat of UNSCEAR is a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies (IACRNE). This committee includes several leading international organizations whose websites provide information related to the ongoing emergency situation and international response:
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit