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Japan at Nature's EdgeThe Environmental Context of a Global Power$
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Ian Jared Miller, Julia Adeney Thomas, and Brett L. Walker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836924

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836924.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 January 2018

An Envirotechnical Disaster

An Envirotechnical Disaster

Negotiating Nature, Technology, and Politics at Fukushima

Chapter:
(p.255) 13 An Envirotechnical Disaster
Source:
Japan at Nature's Edge
Author(s):

Sara B. Pritchard

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824836924.003.0013

This chapter examines the power and politics underlying the Fukushima nuclear disaster that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. It argues that Fukushima was an envirotechnical disaster, a result of the convergence of natural and sociotechnical processes. It uses the concept of envirotechnical systems to explain what happened at Fukushima that also goes beyond what Charles Perrow and Thomas Parke Hughes offer through their concepts of “normal accidents” and technological systems, respectively. It also draws on the notion of envirotechnical regimes to analyze the strategic configuration of Fukushima Daiichi's envirotechnical system, with particular emphasis on the ways in which political and economic power influenced the making of the facility, both during normal operations and throughout the events that began to unfold on March 11, 2011.

Keywords:   envirotechnical disaster, Fukushima nuclear disaster, economic power, envirotechnical systems, Charles Perrow, Thomas Parke Hughes, normal accidents, technological systems, envirotechnical regimes, Fukushima Daiichi

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