The residents of Fukushima Prefecture have been suffering from the effects of a nuclear disaster since 2011. The disaster occurred on the east coast of Fukushima Prefecture. Enormous amounts of radionuclides were released from Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi (TEPCO-F1) Nuclear Power Station because a hydrogen explosion caused by the tsunami produced by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, caused the power station’s control system to malfunction. A radioactive plume (air containing radionuclides) was dispersed, causing anxiety among the two million residents of Fukushima Prefecture, and hence, many people had to be evacuated. As the radioactive plume contained radionuclides with long half-lives, the effects of the nuclear disaster will persist long into the future.

Now, radiological protection systems, which are designed to help the residents of Fukushima live comfortable and healthy lives, are being run by the Japanese government. Advice regarding protection against radiation has been provided, and large amounts of radiological information has been published. However, many residents have occasionally been unsettled by confusing information and/or misinformation because the dynamics of radionuclides and the effects of low dose-radiation on health are complicated.The residents of Fukushima Prefecture need to improve their information literacy to obtain accurate knowledge about the dispersed radionuclides and the effects of ionizing radiation on health.  

We decided to support residents with their daily activities by utilizing the skills of pharmacists living in Fukushima Prefecture. Pharmacists have to acquire fundamental knowledge about the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, and basic medical sciences in order to obtain their license. Therefore, by increasing their knowledge of radiological sciences, pharmacists will be able to support the residents of Fukushima Prefecture. In 2013, we launched the Radiation Pharmacist Project. As part of this initiative, we have developed a training course and prepared textbooks that will help pharmacists to study radiation and understand the latest situation regarding the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in the prefecture. As a result, more than 800 pharmacists have been trained and certified as “Radiation Pharmacists®”, and they have been answering questions from residents about radiation. Over 1,400 Q & As have been recorded and classified.

To contribute to the improvement of the health of residents, we will continue these activities in pharmacies and schools in Fukushima Prefecture.

Outline of the Radiation Pharmacist Project

History of the Radiation Pharmacist Project

Mar 2013:
The Radiation Pharmacist Committee was organized by the Fukushima Prefectural Pharmaceutical Association. A request to Dr. Hiroshi Ishihara (a specialist in radiological sciences at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences) to support the activities of the Radiation Pharmacist Committee was accepted.
Oct 2014:
Training courses for Radiation Pharmacists commenced.
Apr 2015:
Consultations with residents started.
Dec 2015:
A training session was held with Fukushima School Pharmacist Association.
Oct 2017〜:
A visit to the TEPCO-F1 plant to study the present situation regarding its decommissioning was organized.
Jun 2018:
The Education Bureau of the Fukushima Prefecture Government participated in the Radiation BOSAI Forum.
Nov 2019:
Radiation Pharmacist® was registered as a trademark.

Record of presentations and explanations of our Activities

  • Explanation provided in a meeting with visitors from France.
  • Explanation provided to Iwate Prefectural Pharmacist Association.
  • Explanation provided at a technical training course at the Shiken-kensa Center of the Japan Pharmaceutical Association.
  • Oral and poster presentations of our research at scientific meetings of the Japan Pharmaceutical Association.
  • Explanation provided at the Council of the Center for Information of Pharmaceutical Affairs in Hokkaido and the 6 prefectures of Tohoku.
  • Explanation provided at a mobile seminar conducted by the Japan Woman’s Pharmaceutical Association.
  • Explanation provided to the Council of Federation of Tohoku School Pharmacists.
  • Explanation provided to Tohoku Pharmaceutical Federation.
  • Explanation provided to Kagoshima Prefectural Pharmaceutical Association.


We have been providing consultation services at pharmacy counters since 2016. Various questions about radiation from the prefecture’s residents have been answered.
Every year, we take part in nearly 200 consultations, and the total number of consultations had reached 1,457 by March 31, 2023.
The number of consultations about food is still numerous. Recently, questions about related to Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS)-treated water are increased, because a schedule to release ALPS-treated water from TEPCO-F1 into the ocean was published.



Total Q & A records : 1457 cases (as of Mar 31, 2023)

Transition of the cases of the consultation


Examples of Q and A from the consultation services

Q. Please teach me about tritium and its health effects.

A.Tritium is generated by cosmic ray in natural atmosphere, and the most of it is converted to “Tritium water” by binding with oxygen. Thus, any water in the earth contains a faint amount of tritium water. Tritium is also generated in reactor of the atomic power plant artificially. There is no difference between the natural tritium and the artificial one.
Tritium is a radioactive nuclide radiating beta ray and its physical half-life is approx. 12 year. But the energy of beta ray is very low, so the ray is blocked by 5mm of air or a piece of thin paper. Because this beta ray can not permeate human skin, the effects of tritium beta ray by external exposure are ignorable level.
We always take in tritium from drinking water, and harbors tens Bq of tritium naturally in our body. Ingested tritium water are excreted from the body with the biological half-life of approximately 10 days. Health effects of tritium water are faint level, as ICRP has been estimated that the committed effective dose coefficient of tritium water is 0.000018μSv/Bq. For example, the level is only 1/344 of potassium 40(0.0062μSv/Bq in the coefficient), one of natural radionuclide.
It has announced that ALPS-treated water is discharged into the ocean after its dilution with sea water until 1/40 level of the domestic regulation limit. Therefore the authority estimated that the health effects after the discharge are 1/70,000 to 1/1,000,000 levels of exposure with natural radionuclides.

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ,“Annual effects of radiation”,Let’s get to know and understand about ALPS treated water., (Retrieved August 18,2023,

Q. What is the “ALPS-treated water”?, How to discharge the “ALPS-treated water”?

A. I will explain published information about the ALPS-treated water and the plan how to release it into the ocean. Any water contaminated with various radionuclides in TEPCO-F1 plant is isolated and pooled as “radioactive waste water” in the plant. Government decided to release the water after decontamination to the ocean, similar to other nuclear plants in the world. Other than tritium, all the radioactive nuclides generated in TEPCO-F1 are removed using a decontamination plant of Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS). When the concentration of radionuclide is below the accepted level (called as “notification concentration”, e.g. in the case of 137Cs, 90Bq/L), the waste water is defined as the “ALPS-treated water.” The ALPS-treated water still contains a certain amount of tritium, because it is impossible to remove any tritium physically. Because WHO guideline defines that tritium in drinking water should be below 10,000 Bq-tritium/L, the ALPS-treated water is diluted with sea water until tritium concentration becomes far below the guideline level, eg. below 1,500 Bq/L. After that, the diluted ALPS-treated water is released into the ocean, as TEPCO announced. Limit of total mass of released tritium will be less than 22 trillion Bq per year, based on the fact that TEPCO-F1 plant released 22 trillion tritium every year before disaster in 2011. TEPCO and the government announced that all the operations in TEPCO-F1 will be processed carefully, and that follow-up monitoring of the dispersion of released tritium in the ocean will be planned.

Training of Radiation Pharmacist®

Three types of training courses, “elementary”, “intermediate”, and “advanced” are held every year, and pharmacists chose an appropriate course based on their knowledge level about radiation. Each of the courses involves the use of original textbooks. Pharmacists that successfully complete a course are certified as a Radiation Pharmacist® of the corresponding level. Pharmacists can raise their levels by attending the relevant training course. The advanced Radiation Pharmacist® certificate expires within 3 years. After this period, pharmacists need to re-attend the advanced course, which will use the latest textbooks.




Published Brochures

The leaflet “Tell me, Radiation Pharmacist” aims to provide accurate intelligible information about radiation to the prefecture’s residents. “About the Radiation Pharmacist” introduces the concept of Radiation Pharmacists and the associated training system because Radiation Pharmacists can help residents and schools with activities in Fukushima Prefecture. These leaflets are written in Japanese only.

Tell me, Radiation Pharmacist

Leaflets: “Tell me, Radiation Pharmacist”

About Radiation Pharmacist.

Power point files for the Radiation Education for school pharmacists.

Power point files for the Radiation Education for school pharmacists.

Together with anti-drag education in school children, radiation education by school pharmacist is recommended. To support the radiation education, we have prepared 10 pptx files. Using the files, school pharmacists with certificated Radiation Pharmacist○R are teaching in schools in Fukushima Prefecture.

  • Power point files for the Radiation Education for school pharmacists.
  • Power point files for the Radiation Education for school pharmacists.
  • Power point files for the Radiation Education for school pharmacists.
  • 1 Can we erase “ionizing radiation”?
  • 2 Why is “ionizing radiation” dangerous?

  • 3 Is “ionizing radiation” bad guy?
  • 4 Is “ionizing radiation” contagious?
  • 5 Is food safe?
  • 6 How to measure “ionizing radiation”?
  • 7 How to protect “ionizing radiation”?
  • 8 How much “ionizing radiation” did you receive by the TEPCO-F1 nuclear accident?
  • 9 What kind of substance is tritium?

  • 10 Is it dangerous to release ALPS-treated water into the ocean??