Comparative Institutional Analysis
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Comparative Institutional Analysis

Theory, Corporations and East Asia. Selected Papers of Masahiko Aoki

Masahiko Aoki

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Chapter 8: A comparative institutional analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lessons and policy implications

Theory, Corporations and East Asia. Selected Papers of Masahiko Aoki

Masahiko Aoki and Geoffrey Rothwell


$ Masahiko Aoki, Geoffrey Rothwell n Department of Economics and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, 579 Serra Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6072, USA H I G H L I G H T S c c c c c We We We We We review damage to Fukushima Dai-Ichi on March 11, 2011, from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. ¯ find that delays in coordinated action led to a cascading series of accidents at Fukushima. suggest unbundling of the publicly purchased Tokyo Electric Power to pay for accident damages. suggest the creation of a Japanese Independent System Operator to manage unbundled transmission assets. propose establishing an open-interface, rule-based independent nuclear regulator in Japan. a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t Article history: Received 28 December 2011 Accepted 25 October 2012 Available online 21 November 2012 This paper analyzes the causes, responses, and consequences of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident (March 2011) by comparing these with Three Mile Island (March 1979) and Chernobyl (April 1986). We identify three generic modes of organizational coordination: modular, vertical, and horizontal. By relying on comparative institutional analysis, we compare the modes’ performance characteristics in terms of short-term and long-term coordination, preparedness for shocks, and responsiveness to shocks. We derive general lessons, including the identification of three shortcomings of integrated Japanese electric utilities: (1) decision instability that can lead to system failure after a large shock, (2) poor incentives to innovate, and (3)...

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