Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Narrative, Analysis, and Recommendations

This report provides one of the first coherent, readable narratives of the Fukushima nuclear disaster—what happened in the first few days. It is based on new sources available in Japanese and National Diet testimonies, and is an objective overview of events as they unfolded, rather than an ideologically positioned effort of advocacy. The report goes on to analyze the institutional and governance aspects of Japan’s nuclear oversight, highlighting the fundamental problems that surfaced during the disaster that stem from deeper structural issues. The report also draws upon expertise from a conference held at Stanford University in February 2012 to analyze the politics and industry structure of Japan’s electric power sector, making concrete recommendations for reorganizing the power industry and government oversight structure.