Another loss of radioactive material in Thailand highlights the need for effective risk communication

Authors

  • Kwan Hoong Ng, Ph.D., DABMP Department of Biomedical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.46475/aseanjr.v24i1.458

Keywords:

Missing caesium-137, Radiation safety, Radioactive materials, Risk communication, Safety and security, Thailand

Abstract

On March 10th 2023, a cylinder containing caesium-137 was found missing from a power plant near Bangkok, Thailand. This generated lots of fear and anxiety, fuelled by social media and inadequate statements from the authorities. Later it was discovered in a foundry, compressed and partially melted. It is clear from this incident that risk communication was inadequate.

            Two case studies from Southeast Asia, the 2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and the COVID-19 pandemic illustrate the significance of effective risk communication in crisis management and public policy.

            This incident in Thailand serves as a "wake-up call" for other countries in Southeast Asia and beyond, urging them to ensure the safe management of radioactive materials as well as to pay attention to their own investments in creating efficient risk communication frameworks to deal with future disasters.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

References

Suhartono M, Yoon J. Search intensifies for radioactive canister missing for weeks in Thailand. The New York Times [Internet]. 2023 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/17/world/asia/thailand-radioactive-canister-lost.html

CNN.com [Internet]. Atlanta: Cable News Network; c2023 [updated 2023 Mar 16; cited 2023 Apr 18]. Olarn K, Chen H. A radioactive cylinder has gone missing in Thailand. Authorities are now scrambling to find it. Available from: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/15/asia/missing-lost-radioactive-cylinder-thailand-search-intl-hnk/index.html

Sanubboon M. Radioactive caesium missing from power plant. Bangkok Post [Internet]. 2023 Mar 14 [cited 2023 Apr 18]; AT 17:40. Available from: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2527661/radioactive-caesium-missing-from-power-plant

Hunt for missing radioactive caesium intensifies in Prachinburi as health worries grow. The Nation Thailand [Internet]. 2023 Mar 15 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/general/40025715

www.oap.go.th [Internet]. Bangkok: Office of Atoms for Peace, Thailand; c2016 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Situation report and investigation of the missing radioactive material cesium-137, Si Maha Phot District Prachinburi Province. Available from: https://www.oap.go.th/resources/148-media-library/publications/category-other-multimedia/9130-137

Caesium-137 found at steel-melting plant during research for missing cylinder.The Nation Thailand [Internet]. 2023 Mar 16 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Available from:

https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/general/40025846

www.iaea.org [Internet]. Vienna: IAEA; c1998-2023 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. The Radiological Accident in Samut Prakarn 2002 STI/PUB/1124. Available from:

https://www.iaea.org/publications/6375/the-radiological-accident-in-samut-prakarn

www.iaea.org [Internet]. Vienna: IAEA; c1998-2023 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Security of nuclear and other radioactive material. Available from: https://www.iaea.org/topics/security-of-nuclear-and-other-radioactive-material

Ng KH. Radiation exposure and the need for effective risk communication: lessons following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. Med Phys Intern J 2018 [Internet]. 6:163-7 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Available from:

http://www.mpijournal.org/pdf/2018-01/MPI-2018-01-p163.pdf

www.iaea.org [Internet]. Vienna: IAE; c1998-2023 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Safety and security culture. Available from: https://www.iaea.org/topics/safety-and-security-culture

TWENTYTWO13.my [Internet]. Kuala Lumpur: Professional Storytellers PLT; c2018-2003 [cited 2023 Apr18]. Ng KH, Gong J. Dealing with ‘radiation phobia’ – if it occurs. Available from: https://twentytwo13.my/opinion/dealing-with-radiation-phobia-if-it-occurs/

Adella S, Nur MF, Nisa N, Putra AT, Ramadhana FR, Maiyani F, et al. Disaster risk communication issues and challenges: lessons learned from the Disaster Management Agency of Banda Aceh City. IOP Conf Ser: Earth Environ Sci 2019; 273: 012041. Doi: 10.1088/1755-1315/273/1/012041.

Abrams EM, Greenhawt M. Risk communication during Covid-19. J Allergy Clin Imunol Pract 2020 8:1791-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2020.04.012.

www.lowyinstitute.org [Internet]. Sydney: Institute; c2023 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Trias APL, Cooke ADB. Post-Covid disaster governance in Southeast Asia. Available from: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/post-covid-disaster-governance-southeast-asia

Downloads

Published

2023-04-30

How to Cite

1.
Ng KH. Another loss of radioactive material in Thailand highlights the need for effective risk communication. ASEAN J Radiol [Internet]. 2023 Apr. 30 [cited 2024 Jun. 13];24(1):24-31. Available from: https://www.asean-journal-radiology.org/index.php/ajr/article/view/458

Issue

Section

Perspectives

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.