Disaster Behavioral Health: Psychological Effects of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident

  • Masaharu MaedaEmail author
  • Misari Oe


We reviewed studies regarding the mental health problems of the people who were directly affected by the past three severe nuclear accidents: the Three Mile Island accident, the Chernobyl accident, and the Tokaimura accident. These events brought us many lessons on complicated and long-term sociopsychological effects of the people who met with a nuclear accident. The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident also caused multidimensional behavioral problems of the residents in Fukushima. The various sociopsychological reactions among the Fukushima people can be summarized within five main issues: posttraumatic stress response, chronic anxiety and guilt, ambiguous loss, separated families and communities, and stigma. We should provide the effective intervention to mitigate mothers’ anxieties and guilty feelings, dispel the stigma against the Fukushima people, and prevent exhaustion or burnout of the local staff.


International Atomic Energy Agency Ptsd Symptom Radioactive Contamination Nuclear Accident Atomic Bomb Survivor 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of MedicineKurume UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Disaster Psychiatry, School of MedicineFukushima Medical UniversityFukushimaJapan
  3. 3.Division of Health Services, Institute of Health and Sports ScienceKurume UniversityFukuokaJapan

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