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Analysis of Adolescent Awareness of Radiation: Marking the First Anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

청소년의 방사선 인식도 분석: 일본 후쿠시마 원전사고 1주년 계기

  • Received : 2012.05.07
  • Accepted : 2012.05.28
  • Published : 2012.06.30

Abstract

Marking the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident, which took place on March 11th, 2011, the level of adolescent awareness and understanding of radiation was surveyed, and the results were then compared with those for adults with the same questionnaires conducted at similar times. A qualitative survey and frequency analysis were made for the design of the study methodology. Those surveyed were limited to 3rd grade middle school students, 15 years of age, who are the future generation. The questionnaire, which is a survey tool, was directly distributed to the students and 2,217 answers were analysed. The questionnaires were composed of 40 questions, and it was found that Cronbach's coefficient was high with 'self awareness of radiation' at 0.494, 'risk of radiation' at 0.843, 'benefit of radiation' at 0.748, 'radiological safety control' at 0.692, 'information sources of radiation' at 0.819, and 'impacts of Fukushima accident'. The results of the survey analysis showed that the students' knowledge of radiation was not very high with 67.4 points (69.5 points for adults) calculated on a maximum scale of 100 points (converted points). The impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident were found to be less significant to adolescents than adults, and the rate of answer of "so" or " very so" in the following questions demonstrates this well. It was also shown that the impacts of the Fukushima accident to adolescents were comparatively low with 27.0% (38.9% for adults) on the question of "attitude changed against nuclear power due to the Fukushima accident," 65.7%(86.6% for adults) on the question of "the damages from the Fukushima accident was immeasurably huge," and 65.0% (86.3% for adults) on "the Fukushima accident contributed to raising awareness on the safety of nuclear power plants". The adolescents had a high rate of "average" answers on most of the questions compared with adults, and it can be construed that this resulted from adolescent awareness of radiation not being firmly rooted on themselves. This study was the first of its kind for surveying adolescents regarding the level of awareness of radiation after the Fukushima accident, and the results were compared with the survey results of adults, and they are expected to greatly contribute toward establishing a radiation policy by the government in the future.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 한국원자력안전기술원, 한국동위원소협회

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