Tenth Anniversary of the March 11 Disaster in Japan: STS Reflections

Volume 15, Issue 2

Coinciding with the day on which EASTS published its first issue with Routledge, March 11 marke,d the tenth anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The event was unquestionably catastrophic in both scale and nature, but what was unexpected was the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the spread of radioactive contamination that followed. This turned the disaster into the complex, challenging task it has proved to be ever since. It afflicted terribly the Japanese people, and it also had an impact upon those STS scholars who concern themselves with energy policy and development, and with the immense socio-technical system that is nuclear power. EASTS has been paying close attention to this field of STS and has published a number of articles over the past few years, including a panel discussion shortly after the disaster (vol. 5, nos. 3 and 4) and a review of two documentary films (vol. 13, no. 2). We are delighted that our editor, Kohta Juraku, an expert on the topic who has been deeply involved in it ever since the disaster, has been able to write for us the reflective literature review which appears in this issue. We want to stress that this is no time to consign the disaster to history; to say nothing of the toll it has taken on countless people’s lives and happiness, it has taught us important STS lessons, and we are committed to valuing those lessons in preventing future failures of technology.

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