3 years ago

Stress-Testing Europe: Normalizing the Post-Fukushima Crisis

Başak Saraç-Lesavre, Brice Laurent


The Fukushima accident was a crisis in Japan, and a crisis elsewhere. In Europe, the aftermath of Fukushima was a period of intense questioning, about how to ensure the safety of nuclear reactors, and how, at the same time, ensure the ability of the European Union to act as a consistent political actor in the face of potentially catastrophic risks. Using empirical material related to the post-Fukushima stress tests and the subsequent discussions about the European regulatory framework for nuclear safety, this paper shows that stress tests have provided a peculiar form of European intervention, restabilizing regulatory boundaries while extending the European gaze. It describes the overall operation thereby performed as the “normalization of the crisis” whereby the exceptional situation enters the realm of the normal functioning of the public administrations, and where the actions undertaken take the form of the legal norm.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11024-018-9362-4

DOI: 10.1007/s11024-018-9362-4

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