The Unintended Effects from Halting Nuclear Power Production: Evidence from Fukushima Daiichi Accident

46 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2019 Last revised: 13 Feb 2023

See all articles by Matthew Neidell

Matthew Neidell

Columbia University; University of Chicago - Department of Economics and CISES; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Shinsuke Uchida

Nagoya City University - Graduate School of Economics

Marcella Veronesi

University of Verona - Department of Economics; Center for Development and Cooperation (NADEL)

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Date Written: October 2019

Abstract

This paper provides novel evidence of the unintended health effects stemming from the halt in nuclear power production after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. After the accident, nuclear power stations ceased operation and nuclear power was replaced by fossil fuels, causing an increase in electricity prices. We find that this increase led to a reduction in energy consumption, which caused an increase in mortality during very cold temperatures, given the protective role that climate control plays against the elements. Our results contribute to the debate surrounding the use of nuclear as a source of energy by documenting a yet unexplored health benefit from using nuclear power, and more broadly to regulatory policy approaches implemented during periods of scientific uncertainty about potential adverse effects.

Suggested Citation

Neidell, Matthew and Uchida, Shinsuke and Veronesi, Marcella, The Unintended Effects from Halting Nuclear Power Production: Evidence from Fukushima Daiichi Accident (October 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26395, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3476475

Matthew Neidell (Contact Author)

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Shinsuke Uchida

Nagoya City University - Graduate School of Economics ( email )

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Marcella Veronesi

University of Verona - Department of Economics ( email )

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