Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Hosts Inaugural Radiological Resiliency Conference

At the opening of the new Institute for Resilient Communities (left to right): Rebecca Abergel; Masato Shinagawa, Mayor of Koriyama City, Japan; Kai Vetter; Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates; Lab Dep. Director Horst Simon; and Joonhong Ahn, UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering.

At the opening of the new Institute for Resilient Communities (left to right): Rebecca Abergel; Masato Shinagawa, Mayor of Koriyama City, Japan; Kai Vetter; Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates; Lab Dep. Director Horst Simon; and Joonhong Ahn, UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering.

What does it take for a city to recover from a radiological disaster? That question was at the heart of the April 10 inaugural International Symposium on Radiological Resilience & Beyond. The symposium offered discussions and talks on the current needs for increasing societal resilience to radiological events and brought to Berkeley Lab experts from Japan and elsewhere.

The daylong symposium also marked the opening of the Institute for Resilient Communities, a new lab-led effort “…dedicated to providing tools that enhance resilience in communities locally and globally.” The Institute provides a “framework for research, education, and community involvement to minimize the physical and psychological impact of future disruptive events and provides a forum for dialogue among researchers, educators, decision makers, and communities locally and globally.”
Besides Berkeley Lab, UC and the city of Berkeley, other partners in the new Institute include the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo, as well as Koriyama City, a city hard-hit by the events in Japan four years ago.

Speakers at the inaugural symposium included Masato Shinagawa, the Mayor of Koriyama City; Kazuo Sakai, Director of Radiation Protection for Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Science and Kinya Sakanishi, Dep. Dir. General for the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute. They were joined by numerous lab speakers, including event organizers Kai Vetter and Rebecca Abergel as well as Mary Ann Piette, who discussed emerging research in urban science and sustainability, and Gary Karpen on developing new ways to assess risk and resiliency. They were followed by a panel discussion on current Bay Area resilience activities.