UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction


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IRDR Newsletter: Jan 2012

Publication date:

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From the Director

Last year proved to be a watershed for disasters and risk reduction. The 11th March Tohoku earthquake and tsunami were a human and economic disaster for Japan. From the sheer scale of damage that could be inflicted on an advanced industrialized country inferences were drawn, rightly or wrongly, about acceptable risks, which led directly to the termination of the German nuclear power programme. With memories still fresh of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, there was also recognition for the need to re-assess the UK’s preparedness and resilience, at the highest political levels. Lord Ashdown’s review of the UK’s humanitarian emergency response galvanized action across government. As a consequence, the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) was invited to join two bids led by industry to consult to government on risks for radwaste disposal and on transport infrastructure. While the report of the Institution of Structural Engineers’ field mission (EEFIT) assessment of the impact of the Tohoku earthquake, to which the IRDR contributed, is now being drawn on for advice to ministers. Natural hazards also developed as an important research theme and major funding awards are scheduled for 2012, with the UCL involved in a number of bids. UCL and the IRDR are therefore well placed to respond to the challenges and opportunities of 2012.

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