T08P07 - Nuclear Power after Fukushima

Topic : Policy Discourse and Critical Policy Research

Panel Chair : Shunsaku Komatsuzaki - komatsuzaki@civil.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, followed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, keenly evoked people’s fear of nuclear power and clearly made it much more difficult for the Japanese to consider the problem of radioactive waste, even though the disaster produced a huge amount of additional radioactive waste to be managed. Many countries promoted nuclear power for a solution to climate change and/or national energy security before the accident in Fukushima, which was called “nuclear renaissance”. Despite the disaster in Fukushima, some nuclear power stations have been restarted in Japan and new plants are planned in UK and emerging countries. Nuclear policy must be determined based on a wide consideration of its advantages and concerns. Especially, it must be understood that nuclear power generation involves the “back end” of nuclear fuel cycle as the case in Fukushima reminds us. Should we utilize nuclear power generation? How can we design and implement comprehensive nuclear policy from the front to back end which is both socially and technically accepted? In what process can experts and citizens work together on nuclear policy? And, what triggers the agenda-setting for nation-wide debate on nuclear policy?

Nuclear policy is a serious issue to be discussed at both the domestic and international levels. Some of the newly planned nuclear power plants will be built by emerging countries, such as China and Korea. Westinghouse, one of the major producers of nuclear plant, was acquired by Japanese Toshiba. The decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is supported by French AREVA. Some countries have even sought an “export” of radioactive waste or a joint repository, which might be reasonable for a country with the very small amount of waste. And, the disaster in Fukushima, as well as the past Chernobyl case, aroused attention to possible influence over surrounding countries. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been acting as the world's center for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, but does it effectively facilitate the international debate on nuclear energy at the present time? How can the domestic and international aspects of the issue connected? What determines the threshold of stakeholder?

This panel aims at obtaining a general picture of this wide-ranging policy field to identify critical issues, especially (re-)emerging ones after Fukushima, to be addressed by experts in public policy and/or by taking an interdisciplinary approach. The panel invites both papers providing theoretical framework and ones from the practical perspective so that we can explore relevant policies based on a long-term vision. The panel also seeks papers that deal with cases or issues about nuclear policy in Asia, which has the rapidly growing demand and concerns of nuclear power including radioactive waste management.

Call for papers

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, followed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, keenly evoked people’s fear of nuclear power and clearly made it much more difficult for the Japanese to consider the problem of radioactive waste, even though the disaster produced a huge amount of additional radioactive waste to be managed. Despite the disaster in Fukushima, some nuclear power stations have been restarted in Japan and new plants are planned in UK and emerging countries. Nuclear policy must be determined based on a wide consideration of its advantages and concerns; especially, the “back end” problem of nuclear fuel cycle of which the case in Fukushima reminds us. Moreover, nuclear policy is a serious issue to be discussed at both the domestic and international levels.

How can we design and implement comprehensive nuclear policy from the front to back end which is both socially and technically accepted? In what process can experts and citizens work together on nuclear policy? What triggers the agenda-setting for nation-wide debate on nuclear policy? How can the domestic and international aspects of the issue connected? What determines the threshold of stakeholder?

This panel aims at obtaining a general picture of this wide-ranging policy field to identify critical issues, especially (re-)emerging ones after Fukushima, to be addressed by experts in public policy and/or by taking an interdisciplinary approach. The panel invites both papers providing theoretical framework and ones from the practical perspective so that we can explore relevant policies based on a long-term vision. The panel also seeks papers that deal with cases or issues about nuclear policy in Asia, which has the rapidly growing demand and concerns of nuclear power including radioactive waste management.

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