On the seventh anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, the NREFS results were featured in a major article in the Financial Times: Fukushima nuclear disaster: did the evacuation raise the death toll?
Journalist Robin Harding writes:
Zero evacuation may be implausible. At the height of the crisis there were fears of much worse contamination. The question is rather whether people should have been kept away for weeks, not years. “With hindsight, we can say the evacuation was a mistake,” says Philip Thomas, a professor of risk management at the University of Bristol and leader of a recent research project on nuclear accidents. “We would have recommended that nobody be evacuated.”
“The first thing to realise is that relocation is probably going to be a bad idea,” [Thomas] says, suggesting that nuclear companies start providing real-time health information on the risks of living around their plants. “This is what your loss of life expectancy is from the current level of contamination,” he says. If people realise it would only be a few days, they can make an informed decision to stay.