Anticipatory and Participatory Governance: Revisiting Technology Assessment on Nuclear Energy in Japan
Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
Technology assessment has come into the spotlight several times since the 1970s, but serious misinterpretations caused by the ideas of engineering orientation, safety myth and self-management have impeded its effective societal embedding. Even in this post-3/11 period, thesemisinterpretations are implied in the current science and technology policy plan and suggested as causes of the nuclear accident in the interim report of the governmental investigation committee. In thinking about the future nuclear governance in Japan, wider participation is a key to opening up the closed expert community and escaping from the shortsightedness of nuclear governance. Careful attention should be paid, however, as ever, to simply setting up an “independent” organization and/or conducting participatory events such as public forums and consensus conferences. Individual connections, cognitions and commitments of a diverse range of participants incorporated into institutional and managerial reform can, instead, be seen as a hope for restoring anticipatory energy governance while preventing another severe nuclear disaster in the future.
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