Fukushima's Shadow

42 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015 Last revised: 15 Jan 2016

See all articles by Lincoln L. Davies

Lincoln L. Davies

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Alexis Jones

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law

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

Davies, Lincoln L. and Jones, Alexis, Fukushima's Shadow (December 19, 2015). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 48, No. 4, 2015, University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 147, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2705908

Lincoln L. Davies (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Alexis Jones

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

332 South 1400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

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