Mobilizing Nuclear Bias - Fukushima

Fukushima 2011 - Drei Jahre danach

Kyle Cleveland

Mobilizing Nuclear Bias:
The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty (Article Updated and Revised May 18, 2014)

The nuclear disaster in Fukushima has given rise to one of the most significant public health crises in modern world history, with profound implications for how nuclear energy is perceived. In a major new interpretation of the crisis, Cleveland shows how the level of risk was assessed by nuclear experts and state-level actors who worked largely out of view of public scrutiny. In addition to examining how the accident progression in the reactors was addressed and conveyed to the general public, the authorshows how the exclusionary zones were determined by Japanese and foreign governments in Japan.
Diplomatic considerations helped to suppress the complex, often fractious relations between Japan and foreign governments - especially the United States - whose collective efforts eventually turned the tide from managing the nuclear meltdowns to ameliorating their long-term consequences. Based on interviews with political officials in both the Japanese government and foreign embassies in Japan, and nuclear experts and military officers who worked the crisis, the article analyzes how technical assessments drove decision making and were translated into political policy.
Kyle Cleveland is Associate Professor of Sociology at Temple University's Japan Campus in Tokyo and the Associate Director of TUJ's Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies. He is writing a book on the political dimensions of radiation assessment in the Fukushima nuclear crisis, examining how foreign governments in Japan responded to the crisis.
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