Learning from fukushima

Sebastian M. Pfotenhauer, Christopher F. Jones, Krishanu Saha, Sheila Jasanoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The nuclear failure at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in March 2011 has prompted many people to turn to Japan to understand what went wrong and how to prevent such an event from recurring. Some point to the relatively minor release of radioactive material and the outdated design of the reactors to argue that nuclear power is safe, whereas others take Fukushima as blatant evidence that nuclear power remains unsafe. Germany responded to Fukushima by accelerating its nuclear exit, but France reaffirmed its strong commitment to nuclear energy. Moreover, as with previous nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, lessons tend to fall within one of two categories: those that blame technology, such as the reactor design, and those that blame social factors, such as poorly conceived regulations or corporate greed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalIssues in Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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