El futuro de Fukushima

TOKIO – Pasaron dos años desde el accidente nuclear de Fukushima y el interés internacional en su impacto está empezando a menguar. Pero ese impacto sigue resonando -y no sólo en el debate público global sobre el futuro de la energía nuclear-. Más de cien mil personas siguen desplazadas como consecuencia del accidente, algunas han perdido su familia, sus hogares, sus posesiones y hasta el deseo de vivir.

La industria nuclear, los reguladores y el gobierno de Japón tienen la responsabilidad de explicar con claridad por qué la ciencia y la tecnología no pudieron minimizar el riesgo y las consecuencias de un accidente de esas características en un país geológicamente vulnerable como Japón; por qué sin razón alguna se está llevando a cabo una remediación costosa en zonas de baja contaminación, donde se prevé un impacto insignificante en la salud pública, y por qué no se ha establecido algún sistema bien definido y operativo en lo que se refiere a la gestión de los desechos. Las lecciones aprendidas pueden ayudar no sólo a reducir el riesgo de futuros accidentes, sino también a facilitar la recuperación en zonas del mundo que han resultado contaminadas por sustancias radioactivas u otros agentes tóxicos.

Japón tiene una sólida reputación internacional en materia de gestión de desastres naturales. Pero la "tormenta perfecta" del terremoto y tsunami más importantes desde la industrialización, y la resultante fusión de tres reactores en la planta de Fukushima Daiichi, superaron cualquier escenario previamente anticipado. El gobierno nacional y las comunidades locales de Japón no tenían ningún plan de emergencia para la situación que enfrentaron en las zonas contaminadas, lo que se tradujo en respuestas ad hoc signadas por la ineficiencia y la mala comunicación, particularmente con respecto al riesgo radiológico.

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