IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v53y2013icp240-247.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A comparative institutional analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lessons and policy implications

Author

Listed:
  • Aoki, Masahiko
  • Rothwell, Geoffrey

Abstract

This paper analyzes the causes, responses, and consequences of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident (March 2011) by comparing these with Three Mile Island (March 1979) and Chernobyl (April 1986). We identify three generic modes of organizational coordination: modular, vertical, and horizontal. By relying on comparative institutional analysis, we compare the modes' performance characteristics in terms of short-term and long-term coordination, preparedness for shocks, and responsiveness to shocks. We derive general lessons, including the identification of three shortcomings of integrated Japanese electric utilities: (1) decision instability that can lead to system failure after a large shock, (2) poor incentives to innovate, and (3) the lack of defense-in-depth strategies for accidents. Our suggested policy response is to introduce an independent Nuclear Safety Commission, and an Independent System Operator to coordinate buyers and sellers on publicly owned transmission grids. Without an independent safety regulator, or a very well established “safety culture,” profit-maximizing behavior by an entrenched electricity monopoly will not necessarily lead to a social optimum with regard to nuclear power plant safety. All countries considering continued operation or expansion of their nuclear power industries must strive to establish independent, competent, and respected safety regulators, or prepare for nuclear power plant accidents.

Suggested Citation

  • Aoki, Masahiko & Rothwell, Geoffrey, 2013. "A comparative institutional analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lessons and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 240-247.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:53:y:2013:i:c:p:240-247
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.10.058
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512009433
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Horizontal vs. Vertical Information Structure of the Firm," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 5, pages 57-58 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Masahiko Aoki, 2001. "Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011875.
    3. Masahiko Aoki & Hirokazu Takizawa, 2002. "Incentives and Option Value in the Silicon-Valley Tournament Game (Revised)," Discussion papers 02001, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 18, pages 315-341 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Aoki, Masahiko, 2010. "Corporations in Evolving Diversity: Cognition, Governance, and Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199218530.
    6. Bushnell, James & Hobbs, Benjamin F. & Wolak, Frank A., 2009. "When It Comes to Demand Response, Is FERC Its Own Worst Enemy?," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 22(8), pages 9-18, October.
    7. Wolak, Frank A., 2003. "Diagnosing the California Electricity Crisis," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(7), pages 11-37.
    8. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2000. "Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024667.
    9. Rothwell, Geoffrey, 1996. "Organizational Structure and Expected Output at Nuclear Power Plants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 482-488, August.
    10. Masahiko Aoki & Hirokazu Takizuwa, 2013. "Information, Incentives, and Option Value: The Silicon Valley Model," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 7, pages 72-104 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Masahiko Aoki, 2011. "The Five-Phases of Economic Development and Institutional Evolution in China and Japan," Development Economics Working Papers 23196, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Historical sources of institutional trajectories in economic development: China, Japan and Korea compared," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 22, pages 439-469 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Park, Eunil & Ohm, Jay Y., 2014. "Factors influencing the public intention to use renewable energy technologies in South Korea: Effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 198-211.
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:82:y:2018:i:p3:p:2606-2612 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2015. "How natural disasters can affect environmental concerns, risk aversion, and even politics: evidence from Fukushima and three European countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1137-1180, October.
    5. Pfenninger, Stefan & Keirstead, James, 2015. "Comparing concentrating solar and nuclear power as baseload providers using the example of South Africa," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 303-314.
    6. Goebel, Jan & Krekel, Christian & Tiefenbach, Tim & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "Natural Disaster, Policy Action, and Mental Well-Being: The Case of Fukushima," IZA Discussion Papers 7691, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicholas R. Ziebarth, 2014. "Natural Disaster, Environmental Concerns, Well-Being and Policy Action," CINCH Working Paper Series 1405, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    8. Burgherr, Peter & Hirschberg, Stefan, 2014. "Comparative risk assessment of severe accidents in the energy sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(S1), pages 45-56.
    9. Rothwell, Geoffrey & Wood, Thomas W. & Daly, Don & Weimar, Mark R., 2014. "Sustainability of light water reactor fuel cycles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(S1), pages 16-23.
    10. Chuanwang Sun & Nan Lyu & Xiaoling Ouyang, 2014. "Chinese Public Willingness to Pay to Avoid Having Nuclear Power Plants in the Neighborhood," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-27, October.
    11. Mu, Ruimin & Zuo, Jian & Yuan, Xueliang, 2015. "China's approach to nuclear safety — From the perspective of policy and institutional system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 161-172.
    12. Niematallah Elamin & Mototsugu Fukushige, 2017. "The 2011 Japanese energy crisis: Effects on the magnitude and pattern of load demand," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-19, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:53:y:2013:i:c:p:240-247. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.