Energy Ethics 2020

Keynote Thursday 12 November, 3 – 5pm GMT

Professor Hirokazu Miyazaki, Kay Davis Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University

‘Nuclear Compensation: Lessons from Fukushima.’

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On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, which led to one of the most severe nuclear power plant accidents in history. In this lecture, drawing on several years of collaborative research completed by an international and interdisciplinary team of anthropologists, science and technology studies scholars, legal experts and activists, I discuss the limitations of existing domestic and international legal frameworks for nuclear power plant accident damage compensation that the Fukushima case has exposed. These limitations have simultaneously economic and ethical implications for the future of nuclear energy. In this context, compensation emerges as an ethical issue that is intertwined with macrolevel public policy issues and microlevel personal issues. Ultimately, compensation is the matter of hope to the extent that it may allow victims as well as the world of which they are part to move on and create new future relations, including new energy ethics.