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Abstract

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of domestic political concerns, energy security challenges, and its ability to meet climate change commitments and targets. Nuclear power plants have started to come back online, but there is still a question regarding the scope and timing for restarting the remaining reactors. In this paper, we apply a model of collective decision-making processes (CDMPs) to assess the political will for restarting nuclear power plants in Japan. We find that:

  • There is growing political will among Japanese stakeholders to restart nuclear reactors for power generation. Over the next several years, the current political trajectory indicates political acceptance of nuclear power among municipal and prefecture political leaders, who are currently the most significant and consequential opponents to nuclear power. Local governments have the ability to block the restart of nuclear power plants.
  • The process of regaining national support for nuclear power in Japan is expected to take several years of domestic political debate.
  • The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) appears to be a credible and effective voice in building political acceptance of restarting nuclear power plants, given enough time. However, it is important that the NRA maintains its role as an unbiased and fact-based entity, to maintain its credibility with opponents to nuclear power.
  • Despite the turbulence in Japanese politics in 2017, the trend of slowly growing political will in favor of nuclear power appears to be largely unchanged.

Authors

Brian Efird

Program Director Dr. Brian Efird is the program director for Policy and Decision Science. He manages a multidisciplinary, multi-national team of researchers… Dr. Brian Efird is the program director for Policy and Decision Science. He manages a multidisciplinary, multi-national team of researchers who work on quantitative models of collective decision-making processes (CDMP), geospatial information system applications to energy economics and energy policy, demography and energy, and energy policy studies of countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Dr. Efird is co-editor-in-chief of a new journal from Springer Scientific called Energy Transitions. He was previously a senior research fellow at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.; a consultant on defense and international security matters in Washington; and a consultant applying quantitative models to support corporate, investment banking, and legal negotiations in New York.

Expertise

  • Behavioral modeling
  • Geopolitics
  • Defense and national security studies
  • Human geography
  • Strategic communication

Publications See all Brian Efird’s publications

Saleh Al Muhanna

Research Analyst Saleh is a senior research analyst in the Policy and Decision Science program. His interests lie in geopolitical research, international… Saleh is a senior research analyst in the Policy and Decision Science program. His interests lie in geopolitical research, international agreements and international trade. Saleh holds a master's degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University and a B.S. degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University.

Expertise

  • Political theory
  • Geopolitics
  • International trade.

Publications See all Saleh Al Muhanna’s publications

Imtenan Al-Mubarak

Senior Research Associate Imtenan is a senior research associate in KAPSARC’s Policy and Decision Science program with years of experience in the industry… Imtenan is a senior research associate in KAPSARC’s Policy and Decision Science program with years of experience in the industry and the research. She is also leading the research strategic project management activities. Imtenan holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Software engineering and leadership from DePaul University, Chicago, USA. She is a Future Energy Leader at World Energy Council in London.

Expertise

  • Data science
  • Machine learning
  • Industry and entrepreneurship
  • Game theory
  • Bargaining models
  • Behavioral analysis
  • Policy assessment
  • Geopolitics
  • GCC energy policies and economics
  • Transition management.

Publications See all Imtenan Al-Mubarak’s publications

Shahad Turkistani

Shahad Turkistani

Head of the Visiting Fellow Program and Assistant Researcher Shahad is head of the Visiting Fellow Program and an assistant researcher at the Asian Studies Unit at the King… Shahad is head of the Visiting Fellow Program and an assistant researcher at the Asian Studies Unit at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. She is the first Saudi female to intern in the Japanese Parliament (House of Representatives), where she experienced firsthand Japanese politics working closely with decision-makers.

Faisal Al-Ghamdi

Faisal Al-Ghamdi

Former Research Associate Faisal is a former research associate in the Policy and Decision Science team, focusing on geopolitical analysis and national security… Faisal is a former research associate in the Policy and Decision Science team, focusing on geopolitical analysis and national security policies.

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