The Fukushima Disaster and the Framing of Nuclear Energy in India

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Nikhil Deb University of Tennessee—Knoxville

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Most research on Fukushima has been directed at technical and epidemiological aspects; yet the ways in which emerging nuclear powers such as India have responded to the meltdown is inadequate. This article investigates (1) the Fukushima meltdown as an epitome of risk associated with nuclear energy to understand what role this disaster has played in the Indian nuclear energy policy; and (2) whether the Indian nuclear authority has renewed its effort to shape the public mind in favor of nuclear safety in the wake of a deadly nuclear disaster in Fukushima. I use content analysis of statements made by nuclear personnel in response to the Fukushima meltdown from newspaper articles published in five major English-language newspapers in India. The findings suggest that the Fukushima meltdown has little impact on India’s nuclear energy policy. Instead, the Indian nuclear authority uses language to shape the public opinion surrounding nuclear energy.

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