@18 days until Hiroshima Summit: Radiation Effects Research Foundation

by Yuichi Ito, Staff Writer

The semi-cylindrical-shaped buildings of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) stand near the top of Hijiyama Hill, commanding a panoramic view of the city of Hiroshima. The RERF is an organization jointly managed by the governments of Japan and the United States.

The predecessor of the RERF was the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC), which was established in 1947 by the U.S. during its occupation of Japan. The RERF has two main research projects: a life span study, in which 120,000 A-bomb survivors’ causes of deaths are investigated, and the adult health study, which examines the relationship between the incidence of disease and radiation doses for some 23,000 people. The results of these studies became the basis for the international standard for radiation protection.

  At the beginning, however, the ABCC showed a tendency toward military purposes and was criticized by A-bomb survivors for “conducting research but not providing treatment.” The longstanding issue of relocating the facility was settled in January this year. The RERF will move into a new building on the nearby Kasumi Campus of Hiroshima University.

(Originally published on May 1, 2023)