The Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11, 2011 caused a severe accident due to power loss at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company in Fukushima Prefecture. This accident resulted in the release of large amounts of radionuclides, which were mainly deposited in the prefecture. For the moment of the accident, effects of radionuclides on cultural objects were not certain.
From 2012-2013, the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties conducted a Study of Measures to Prevent / Mitigate Radiation Damage to Cultural Properties in conjunction with various institutions including museums in Fukushima Prefecture to ascertain the extent of radiation damage and to study decontamination techniques.
This document is a translation of the Japanese version published in December 2014, it includes emergency response and usual mitigation measures to radioactive iodide and cesium disaster. Measuring techniques and criterion for transporting surface contaminated objects are also noted. Basic concept of decontamination procedures for cultural properties is defined. Although such an accident is unlikely to ever occur again, measures to safeguard cultural properties must be established as part of crisis management.
We hope that this document is beneficial to the improvement of risk management method of all museums.