Trends of Training Courses Conducted in the Human Resources Development Center of the National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology After the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident
Environmental contamination with radioactive materials caused by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) accident in 2011 raised a serious health concern among residents in Japan, and the demand for radiation experts who can handle the radiation-associated problems has increased. The Human Resources Development Center (HRDC) of the National Institute of for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology in Japan has offered a variety of training programs covering a wide range of technologies associated with radiation since 1959. In this study, the time-course change in the number and age of the applicants for training programs regularly scheduled at HRDC were analyzed to characterize the demand after the NPP accident. The results suggested that the demand for the training of industrial radiation experts elevated sharply after the NPP accident followed by a prompt decrease, and that young people were likely stimulated to learn the basics of radiation. The demand for the training of medical radiation experts was kept high regardless of the NPP accident. The demand for the training of radiation emergency experts fluctuated apparently with three components: a terminating demand after the criticality accident that occurred in 1999, an urgent demand for handling of the NPP accident, and a sustained demand from local governments that undertook reinforcement of their nuclear disaster prevention program. The demand for the training of school students appeared to be increasing after the NPP accident. It could be foreseen that the demand for training programs targeting young people and medical radiation experts would be elevated in future.