Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Assessments of preparedness, agri-food impacts and implications for disaster risk management of Fukushima nuclear disaster

Bachev, Hrabrin (2019): Assessments of preparedness, agri-food impacts and implications for disaster risk management of Fukushima nuclear disaster.

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Abstract

On March 11, 2011 the strongest ever recorded in Japan earthquake occurred which triggered a powerful tsunami and caused a nuclear accident in Fukushima nuclear plant. The later was a “man-made” disaster having immense impacts on people’s life, health and property, infrastructure, supply chains, economy, policies, natural and institutional environment, etc. This paper assesses preparedness for and agri-food impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, identifies challenges in post-disaster recovery, and withdraws lessons for improving disaster risk management. Japan was not well prepared for such huge disaster while agri-food sector and consumption have been among the worst hit areas. The triple disaster was a rare but a high impact event, therefore, it is necessary to “prepare for unexpected”. Risk assessment is to include diverse hazards and multiple effects of a likely disaster, it is to be discussed with all stakeholders, and measures taken to educate and train all for complex disasters. It is necessary to modernize property rights, regulations, safety standards, and norms, enhance capability of responsible public authorities and improve coordination between divers actors. It is important to set up mechanisms for effective public resource allocation and reduction of agents’ costs. Different elements of agri-food chain have dissimilar capability requiring differential public support. There is a strong “regional” interdependency of agrarian, food and rural assets (and damages), and it is important to properly locate risk and take prevention and recover measures. Disaster response demonstrated the important role of small scale farms and food organizations, and high efficiency of private, market and collective governance. Before, during and after a disaster all available information from all sources is to be immediately publicized in understandable form through all possible means. Disaster provides opportunity to discuss, introduce and implement fundamental changes in agricultural, economic, regional, energy, disaster management, etc. policies. It is important to learn from the past experiences and make sure that “lessons learned” are not forgotten.

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