42 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015 Last revised: 15 Jan 2016
Date Written: December 19, 2015
The March 11, 2011 tragedy at the Fukushima Daiichi power station in Japan immediately etched its place in history as arguably the most noteworthy of the three nuclear energy disasters to date. This Article surveys the response to Fukushima both in Japan and worldwide. It observes that rather than stopping what many thought was a burgeoning “nuclear renaissance,” the global policy reaction post-Fukushima was more varied. Using the examples of Germany, the United States, and China, the Article examines the three general approaches to nuclear energy that nations have followed since Fukushima: abandonment, status quo, and expansion. The Article then uses these different responses to highlight core tensions in energy policy, namely, between markets and planning, between resilience and path dependence, and in values. The Article concludes by summarizing Fukushima’s likely impact on nuclear power going forward, noting the inherent complexity in energy and energy law and policy systems.
Keywords: Nuclear energy, Fukushima, atomic power, disasters, energy law, energy policy, environmental law, sustainability, sustainable development, energy futures
JEL Classification: K32, K33, L50, L52, L94, L98, O14, O31, O38, N70, Q28, Q30, Q31, Q33, Q38, Q40, Q41, Q42, Q43, Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation