Public Reaction to Disaster Reconstruction Policy: Case Studies of the Fukushima and Chernobyl Nuclear Accidents
Tetsuya Nakamura*,, Steven Lloyd*, Atsushi Maruyama**, and Satoru Masuda***
4158 Uchimaki, Kasukabe, Saitama 344-0051, Japan
**Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
***Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan
This study analyzes survey responses of those affected by the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant accidents, evaluating issues such as recovery, compensation policy, decontamination, welfare, and overall government response. We apply an ordinal logit model to the issues of compensation, decontamination, and repatriation. We found that the people of Bryansk Oblast and those with ongoing health problems were more likely to support continued compensation and victim support programs. Another key finding was the perceived inadequacy of the Japanese government’s reconstruction policy for Fukushima. Monitoring and forestry safety measures were considered insufficient, and agricultural safety measures were particularly disappointing for those with children. More generally, there was support for planting rapeseed as a biofuel and for opening up the site as a tourist spot. Mega-solar farms or nature reserves were also seen as feasible alternatives to agricultural activities. Those who continued to see nuclear energy as a viable energy source supported the construction of waste treatment and storage facilities. Among the Chernobyl respondents, some supported a return to agricultural land use, citing scientific reports suggesting it was safe. Many said that there should be further investment in scientific research in the area. Fukushima respondents viewed social welfare provision and improved information for victims and residents as important issues. A key lesson for the Japanese government from the Chernobyl experience is the legal regime that was established there, clearly defining the affected areas and people and clarifying the measures required.
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