Print

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 Brian Efird is the program director for Policy and Decision Science and a senior research fellow. He manages a multidisciplinary,… Brian Efird is the program director for Policy and Decision Science and a senior research fellow. He manages a multidisciplinary, multinational team of researchers whose global program of work focuses on the nexus between geopolitics, domestic and local politics, and energy. Fundamentally, the team examines the non-economic factors that impact energy markets and energy policy. This includes quantitative models of collective decision-making processes (CDMP), geospatial information system (GIS) applications, the energy policymaking process, and country-specific studies. Efird is managing editor of the journal 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. Efird received his M.A. in International Studies and Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University.

Expertise

  • Geopolitics of Energy
  • Behavioral Modeling
  • Defense and National Security Studies
  • Strategic Communication

Publications See all Brian Efird’s publications

Saleh Al Muhanna

Research Associate Saleh is a Research Associate in the Policy and Decision Science program. His interests lie in geopolitical research, international agreements… Saleh is a Research Associate 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

  • Geopolitical Research
  • International Agreements and International Trade

Publications See all Saleh Al Muhanna’s publications

Imtenan Al-Mubarak

Acting Head of Research Strategy Management Office Imtenan Al-Mubarak is the acting head of KAPSARC’s Research Strategy Management Office. She was previously a research fellow at KAPSARC,… Imtenan Al-Mubarak is the acting head of KAPSARC’s Research Strategy Management Office. She was previously a research fellow at KAPSARC, focusing on policy research with an emphasis on data science and machine learning. Before joining KAPSARC, Imtenan worked at several companies in Chicago, and at Electronia in Dammam and Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. She holds a master’s degree with distinction from DePaul University, Chicago, for which she was awarded the Golden Key International Honor. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a member of several professional organizations. She is a Future Energy Leader at the World Energy Council in London and a board member at a non-profit organization in San Francisco. She also holds a patent in the United States (issued November 8, 2016).

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.

Share this Publication

Related projects

See all projects

Stay informed

I'm interested in

Select the updates you'd like to receive from us

About

A bit about you