RERF makes contract to support research of U.S. institute

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

On October 1, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Minami Ward, Hiroshima, announced that it has entered into a contract with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in order to support NIAID research. NIAID is a U.S. organization that has played a central role in researching countermeasures against nuclear terrorism. Organizations of atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha) had raised their voices calling for the cancellation of the contract.

There are four targeted research projects that will make use of RERF’s support, including research on the effects of aging and radiation on the immune system. RERF will, using some blood and tissue specimens from the thymus glands provided by hibakusha, pursue these research projects with nine other institutes in Japan and the United States. RERF is set to receive 40 percent of the roughly 1 billion yen grant for these projects over five years.

The Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, chaired by Kazushi Kaneko, and others had presented their protests against the contract in written statements. RERF reported that it ensured the words “research for peaceful purposes” was specified in the preamble of the contract and formalized the contract on September 30.

(Originally published on October 2, 2009)

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