HEIKE MICHELSEN: Good afternoon. I am Heike Michelsen. I'm the Associate Director for Academic Programming at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. On behalf of our director, Professor Hiro Miyazaki, it is really my pleasure to welcome all of you here. And we're very pleased to see so many in the room and also to see such a wide range of stakeholders represented here.
We have representatives, policymakers. We have representatives from the business community. We have activists, but also scholars, of course. And before I hand over to our expert panel here today, I wanted to say just a few words about our Center. In 1961, the Center was founded by the Italian political scientist Mario Einaudi. He founded the Center in '61 as a hub for international research and studies at research and teaching at Cornell, with the focus on all the international world regions, world countries, about the world languages and cultures.
And in 1991, the Center was renamed in his honor. And today, the Center is home to eight international area studies, programs, and also thematic programs. We are organizing activities on campus, but also abroad, outside of Cornell. We support faculty and students with grants and fellowships. And we are bringing people together from very different disciplines to attack complex problems of international importance.
We have, at Cornell, more than 500 faculty members which are associated and affiliated with our different programs and the Center directly, and they represent over 90 different programs and departments at Cornell. Today's event is the fruit of one of our ongoing collaborations with one of our partners, Meridian 180.
And we will hear first from Annalise Riles, a legal scholar and anthropologist at Cornell University who founded and directs Meridian 180. And she will first tell us a little bit more how this working group and this project, this study, came together, and introduce then our international panel of experts.
We will then hear three case studies on the Nuclear Accident Compensation. First, from the United States. The second will be from the Soviet Union and post-Soviet countries, and the final one on Japan. And then our final speakers will tie these three case studies together and provide concluding remarks.
At the very end, we hope to leave plenty of time for questions and comments from you because we're really eager to hear your thoughts. And with this, I'm very pleased to hand over the floor to Professor Riles.
ANNELISE RILES: Hello, everyone. It's great to see you today. This, what we're presenting today, is the fruits of a working group hosted by Meridian 180, the organization that I direct. And let me just tell you a little bit about the organization and the working groups work before I turn over to my colleagues, who will explain some of the findings.
So this is a very appropriate subject for us to be discussing under the banner of Meridian 180 because Meridian 180 was founded on March 11, 2011. Some of you may remember this is the day of the nuclear-- the terrible earthquake-- in Japan, followed by a tsunami, followed by, of course, a terrible nuclear accident.
And from the very beginning, we felt that there should be some sort of conversation about how something like this could happen in the first place, how it is that in Japan, a country so developed, with so much expertise in the sciences, in the law, and so forth, could have an accident of this scale.
And our thinking was that, really, the problem was a kind of silo-thinking, that the nuclear experts were not talking to the lawyers, that the Americans were not talking to the Japanese, that the Koreans were not talking to the Chinese, and so forth, and so that we needed to have a conversation across those barriers that divide disciplines, that divide professions, that divide nationalities so that hopefully next time a serious accident of this kind, or a crisis of some other kind occurs, we would be better placed to address it.
And so we founded this organization. It's a research collective. It includes a very broad group of scholars, policymakers, businesspeople, NGOs, and importantly, a very, very international group-- 29 countries represented-- and our conversations take place in four languages so that participation can be free and very, very, very open to people who are not necessarily fluent English speakers. Let's see. And so our focus, I would say, is anchored in the Pacific Rim, but global in reach. And the issue of nuclear power has always been right at the center of what we do because of our history.
So this particular group that will be presenting to you today is a working group that comes out of five years of conversations we've been having among our group of experts about what to do about problems of this kind. It started with online conversations, followed by a series of conferences we held with experts at different universities around the world, and then we founded this working group, which includes a very, very broad range of participants.
There are people representing the nuclear industry. There are people-- activists-- who are criticizing the nuclear industry. There are Americans. There are Koreans. There are Chinese and Japanese. There are representatives of Europe, Finland, of course, the Soviet Union. There are all kinds of disciplines represented, all the way from law, to the sciences, to business, to economics, to anthropology, people who have worked with victims in different positions. So the idea here is to give-- to try to work on the issue from a much broader point of view than it normally gets addressed.
And within this great breadth-- and includes, of course, including also a lot of diversity of view about whether nuclear power is a good thing, about what we should do in the future, and so forth, the common consensus was that there was one question that everyone could agree was very important. Whatever your view of nuclear power is, whatever your view of what the future should be, that there needs to be better information about how compensation is handled, and what the true costs of nuclear power are.
And so we thought that our contribution might be to study much more carefully the large accidents that have happened in the world, and look at what those actual costs fully were and how those compensation issues were handled, and then make some recommendations based on this comparative analysis about what could be done better as we plan for, perhaps, the next nuclear accident.
So with that, that is what we've done. Our group has met in person several times, and also has been writing reports and working online together, again, in multiple languages, over the past year very intensively. And I'm really honored to have with me here a number of colleagues who represent the larger working group of 20, 30-some scholars who've been working on this together. So just welcome them. And with that, I will turn it over to Mary, who's going to talk about the US case study. So thanks.
MARY MITCHELL: Thank you for that introduction, Annelise and Heike. So I'm a historian by training, and also a lawyer. That's my perspective. And I'm going to get started today by talking about the United States, about liability and compensation there.
The US offers an important case study for two reasons. The US was among the first jurisdictions to experiment with limiting liability for nuclear industry participants. And it was also the first nation state to experience a major meltdown at a civilian reactor, which of course, was Three Mile Island. I'm going to go into that a bit today.
So as I mentioned, the United States pioneered limited liability frameworks in the nuclear field. The Eisenhower administration decided that the participation of private industry was very important for the development of nuclear energy. But industry participants were hesitant to take on the full financial risk of a catastrophic accident in the nuclear field. And so in response, the US developed the Price-Anderson Act of 1957. This led to the growth of nuclear insurance and reinsurance pools. And it also promulgated the first limited liability scheme.
So the framework actually uses economic channeling of liability to operators of nuclear reactors. This is a little bit different than those of you who work in the European context may be familiar with. Instead of channeling legal liability, it basically places the economic consequences on the operator, while allowing legal liability to fall wherever it may. And the US framework requires those operators to carry specified amounts of financial protection, which is typically carried as insurance, although, theoretically, an operator could self-insure.
This covers harm to third parties that might result from a nuclear reactor incident. And the amount, of course, has changed over the years. It began around $60 million in the '50s. And today in 2017, operators are required to carry $450 million per reactor in insurance.
If damages exceed that $450 million, there is a second tier of insurance that covers damages up to a total combined amount of about $13.06 billion US. And that second tier of insurance is actually funded only after an accident occurs. And retrospective premiums are paid in by every operator into a pool. So again, this functions based on the pooling of risk and the pooling of financial resources. Above the $13.06 billion limitation, operators are no longer liable, and victims may go uncompensated, or undercompensated, unless the US government steps in.
So I want to turn now to Three Mile Island as an illustration of how the US system worked in practice in the only major incident that's been reported in the civilian sector to date. Three Mile Island occurred on March 29 of 1979. And this was a partial reactor meltdown caused by a loss of coolant incident at a reactor near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The reactor containment structure was not breached. So the containment stayed intact. But nevertheless, some radioactive isotopes escaped through a ventilation stack. This was mostly radioiodine and noble gases. During the incident, pregnant women and young children within a five-mile radius of the plant were advised to evacuate. And overall, about 144,000 people did so. The incident stabilized by April 1st, just a couple of days later, and people began returning home.
So as you can see here, Three Mile Island generated an enormous number of insurance claims and also lawsuits. All told, the insurers paid $70 million, including both settlements, as well as legal fees. And this was well under the primary insurance limit. So the first tier was not breached. There was no need to go to the second tier of insurance.
Claims of individuals and businesses within a 25-mile radius of the plant were covered through a number of settlements. But litigation actually lasted for fully 23 years following the incident. The cleanup cost about $1 billion US and lasted for about 10 years.
And so this long frame of litigation resulting from Three Mile Island is attributable, in part, to the US legal system's federal structure, in which the laws of tort and personal injury are typically left to the 50 individual US states and are not at all uniform among those states. So litigation regarding Three Mile Island raised difficult issues of conflicts of law, forum, and jurisdiction. And in this respect, I think we should think of Three Mile Island as a dry run, illustrating the legal difficulties and the duration of legal conflict that would result in an international transboundary setting.
Controversy over dosimetry and exposure, of course, also lead to protracted litigation. Individuals that were not within that 25-mile radius were, by and large, denied recovery for their injuries, even if they experienced a cancer or another medical condition that might have been related to radiation exposure.
Ultimately, the US courts rejected indirect environmental evidence and epidemiological evidence of heightened radiation exposures outside of that 25-mile demarcation. But litigation of these issues, of course, caused significant delays in bringing closure to the Three Mile Island incident and to people who had experienced these health conditions, as well.
So to conclude today, I want to highlight, I think, four major points about the development of these US liability frameworks and their employment at Three Mile Island. So first, the US' principal goal in limiting liability for nuclear accidents, and for nuclear industry participants, was actually to protect US suppliers and operators from the financial risks of nuclear energy production. So the goal of developing a robust private industry took precedence.
And then the legal frameworks were developed to effectuate that goal. And this may have been politically desirable in the 1950s, at the beginning of the industry, but I do think it might be time to reconsider whether these protections ought to be open for discussion once again, given today's political situation.
Second, these limitations on liability were supposed to be temporary, but they've become permanent. The expectation was that private insurance would eventually build the capacity to cover the full risk of nuclear energy production, but that hasn't proven to be possible, although there's a very robust nuclear insurance and reinsurance industry.
The costs and risks of nuclear energy are consequently not fully incorporated into US energy pricing structures. So again, I think it might be appropriate to ask whether this remains warranted today, whether these protections remain warranted today, or ought to be open for negotiation and discussion through democratic process.
Third, the overall amounts of guaranteed compensation-- that $13.06 billion mark has always lagged behind the potential financial impact of a major catastrophe. The levels of coverage apply to every reactor regardless of that reactor's location. So even a limited release of radiation from a facility such as happened at Three Mile Island would press the limits of compensation and the limits of coverage if it were to occur near a major city, for example, near New York City, which has reactors nearby.
And fourth, and finally, US reliance on litigation to determine after the fact who should be compensated leads to a long, arduous, and costly process. I think we should ask communities that have been affected in the past about their experiences, not just with their injuries, but also with the claims procedures and how that has worked for them, in order to understand how these processes could be improved.
Reforms might include the adoption of techniques such as a probabilistic dose assessment or mass administrative settlement of claims based on experience from other fields. And, I think, the goal of these reforms ought to be to give the process definiteness and determinacy in advance of the next accident so that the burdens of affected communities can be addressed and eased as they rebuild following the next major incident. Thank you.
And up next is Sonja Schmid, who will talk about the Soviet Union and post-Soviet republics.
SONJA SCHMID: Hi. Thank you, Mary. Thank you, Annalise. And thank you to the members of this working group. I'm not a lawyer. I'm a professor in Science and Technology Studies in Virginia Tech in the United States, although I'm originally from Austria. And I have studied Chernobyl for longer than I care to admit, including the entire prehistory leading up to this accident, including reactor choices, management of the industry, operator training, et cetera.
So when we first started discussing this a year ago in Okinawa, this particular comparative report, I asked the question, when it came to Fukushima, who is a victim? How do you define who is a victim? And this room, half-filled with lawyers, told me exactly what a victim was and how they were defined. And I was like, well, but if you look at other examples, that might be defined differently. And that's where the discussion started and this fascinating crossed, transcend, interdisciplinary dialogue kind of emerged.
So I want to briefly give you a glimpse on nuclear liability and compensation models that emerged after Chernobyl. As you may remember, Chernobyl happened in April of 1986. One reactor in operation, or in shutdown, or shutting down, exploded. About 135,000 people had to be evacuated. And there is still a zone that is restricted from inhabitation and agricultural use.
When Chernobyl happened, there was no method of compensating for radiation damage for harm to property and health of victims. That was simply not known in the Soviet system, in the legal system. And the Soviet Union was the only nuclear country in the world without its own laws regulating the use of nuclear energy and its safety, despite the fact that it had a developed-- highly developed-- civilian nuclear program, and also a weapons program, obviously.
So after the disaster, immediately, there was no legal basis on which affected individuals could demand legal settlement from the government. What did exist at the time of the Chernobyl disaster was legislation on social benefits and compensation, including benefits and payments for war veterans, disabled persons, pregnant women, and others. And these civil laws became the model for crafting our Chernobyl compensation legal framework.
So immediately after Chernobyl, 12 days after the disaster, a joint decree, which was kind of the common legal mechanism at the time, was issued on Terms of Payment and Material Provision of Employees of Enterprises and Organizations in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone. Sorry, long title, but those were the decrees of the time. So essentially that was the first legal instrument to compensate people who had worked at Chernobyl.
By 1990, three different independent programs were put in place. One for Russia, one for Ukraine, and one for Belarus, which, at the time, were Soviet republics. And these affected the territories and provided social protection. The amount of compensation varied in these different Soviet republics. In Russia, it was limited to the minimum wage. In Belarus, it was based on a monthly premium based on a specific index. And in Ukraine, it was based on a person's base salary.
Only in April of 1990, four years after the accident, the first union-wide comprehensive legal program on the so-called Liquidation of the Consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster was passed. And the Soviet Council of Ministers was put in charge of drafting an actual law, a Chernobyl law. And it took another year, until 1991, which, as you may remember, was coincidentally also the year when the Soviet Union fell apart, they crafted laws for the Belarussian, the Ukrainian, the Russian republics, and then, also a federal law on the social protection of citizens who suffered as a consequence of the Chernobyl catastrophe.
So the 1990s in the Soviet Union were a difficult time. In the successive states, it was an economic crisis. And so the adoption of actual laws and compensation for people affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe coincided with a severe economic crisis so that meant that the compensation payments were delayed, irregular, or insufficient, either because the authorities had no funds to pay compensation from, but also because many of the benefits that were set up for the social and economic system of the Soviet Union-- for example, free transport, assigned government housing, access to free quality health care, and so on-- was either no longer available or lost its value.
In addition the Chernobyl benefits under the Chernobyl law were often left unclaimed. And I think I forgot to set my time, but I'm going to rush through here a little bit. I wanted to show you a few pictures from the evacuation. The building in the top left is actually a resettlement for evacuees in Belarus. And this is a map of the affected territories that I tried to find specifically to show you that the worst affected country was actually Belarus.
So it depended very much on these different regions where you have the more people and the more territories affected. And here is just a graph. You won't be able to read the details, but I tried to put up a comparison between how Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus determined how many zones there were. So the top zone is typically a mandatory evacuation zone. And then you have, Belarus has the only-- since the zone was so big-- a first priority resettlement zone. And then you get an obligatory or subsequent resettlement zone, a zone with the right-for-resettlement, and a zone of residence with either increased radiological control and medical control, or privileged access to certain socioeconomic benefits.
The determining factor for these zones was twofold. And we can go into details, perhaps, in the Q&A, but it was either based on the contamination of a territory or on the dose received by individuals who worked in the area or were evacuated from there. And that sometimes lead to contradictory evaluations because there were people who obviously did not reside in these regions, but worked there for a period of time.
And then of course, there was also the problem of actually measuring this. Right? How do you determine this? And as you may remember, after Chernobyl there was a lot of cover up. And people tried to determine different medical reasons for people falling ill or just covering up the contamination altogether.
So one difference also to the United States and Japan is that the state owned the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and all other nuclear reactors in the former Soviet Union. So that made it, by default, the constitutional guarantor and owner of the nuclear power plant. Even if it was not the perpetrator of the damage, it was considered-- it would have been considered-- liable, except at the time, the Soviet Union was not a part to any international convention on nuclear liability.
So just in conclusion, many of the benefits, privileges, and compensations that were established in the framework of the Chernobyl law may have been enough and more or less effective in a system with full employment, state-owned housing, state run medical and education systems, and a controlled currency. The simultaneous transition to separate nation states, a market economy, and a democratic political system made many of these benefits originally granted to affected citizens or victims irrelevant or useless.
The economic crisis caused states to cut expensive resettlement projects, decontamination and recovery activities, and medical, as well as territorial, monitoring for radiation. And I'll leave it at that and turn it over to Professor Suami, who will present the case study on Japan. Thank you.
Well, my name is Takao Suami. I am a law professor of Waseda University. I feel very happy to talk something about Fukushima before this distinguished audience in Europe. So I'm a member of Fukushima team. Fukushima team is a part of nuclear energy working group of Meridian 180.
In addition to me, two other members are present here today. So just all of us have been engaged in more or less in giving assistance to the nuclear victims in Fukushima. In the case of us, a group of law professors at several universities has been-- including me-- has been giving legal assistance to one of-- it's a municipality located in a evacuation zone since March in 2012. Already it's five years.
Today, I have one handout. Maybe you will have this at your hand. So this includes some basic information on Fukushima and some figures too. If the Brussels were the location of Tokyo on this map, so maybe Fukushima would be near Amsterdam, or just in between [INAUDIBLE] and Amsterdam, about 200 kilometers away.
So on the right side, you will see it's a picture. It's a call-out. This call-out area shows it's an evacuation zone. So all people were forced to evacuate from this call-out zone. So you already heard the story about Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Both of these incidents are also very serious, but frankly speaking, both of them have become almost a part of history.
But Fukushima case is still ongoing. The commissioning process going and thousands of people are still evacuating, evacuated from their hometown. And many are suffering different types of damages even at this moment. And also, contaminated water is leaking into the Pacific Ocean even at this moment too.
And this is a photo of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. I think the photo was taken not six years ago, maybe it's one or two years ago. So the present situation is more or less so just not so different from this photo. And first of all, I briefly, well, time is very limited, but I briefly talk about a Japanese scheme for damage compensation.
So in Japan, it's a Nuclear Damage Compensation Act. That is a basic legislation to regulate the damage compensation. And that law was promulgated a long time ago. Under this law, so it's a nuclear operator, in case of Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power Company, abbreviated as TEPCO. I think maybe the word-- the language of TEPCO-- has already been familiar with some of you.
TEPCO is solely responsible for damage compensation. TEPCO's liability is a strict liability, non-fault liability. The claimant does not need to show them evidence of negligence. But TEPCO is a private company. The TEPCO's financial resources is limited. On the other hand, the amount of the damage is huge.
So after the accident, another scheme was established. Under that scheme, the government is now giving financial support to TEPCO in the form of giving a loan. [INAUDIBLE] so TEPCO will pay back to the government from the profit. But well, the accident is still is going on. So it's when the TEPCO will finish paying back to the government, it's all very unclear.
And also in order to give compensation to the victims, TEPCO needs the standards. There is another scheme, so we have the Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation that is expert committee. This committee has a task of issuing the guidelines. So pursuant to the guidelines adopted by that committee, the TEPCO is paying the compensation to the different types of victims.
Well, generally speaking, this scheme is working out well. A huge amount of money has already been paid to a number of victims, victims, including not only individuals, but all business corporations. So if we look at the last one, it's already at 7.2 trillion Japanese yen paid to the victims as of the 5th April this year.
So TEPCO has already dealt with about 2 million applications from the nuclear victims within the last six years. You know, in that respect, so I'm very much proud of the effectiveness of the TEPCO, and also the Japanese government, too. But the Japanese scheme is not so perfect. Well, there are several things to be improved. So that's what I want to say in the last of my talk. So how many minutes I have more?
ANNELISE RILES: One or two.
TAKAO SUAMI: One or two, OK. All right, so sorry. First of all, what I want to say is that damage compensation is not almighty. So the nuclear victims suffer different types of damages. Well, the property damages can be compensated in cash. But the health damages and mental sufferings, well, monetary compensation is not enough to recover the damage. So just when we discuss the damage compensation, we first have to start from the fact that monetary compensation is not everything, should not be everything.
Second one is, look-- it is very difficult to estimate the amount of damages even after the accident took place. You know, maybe it's too small, but OK, I will finish soon. Because in 2011, April, just one month after the accident, so Japanese government estimated total amount of damage would be at 4.0 trillion.
But this figure was first revised-- 2013-- up to 5.4 trillion. Then, last year December, another revision. Now, the new figure is 8.0 trillion yen. But you know already 7.3 trillion yen has already been paid up. So this means that sooner or later we will have a new figure which exceeds the 8.0 trillion.
And also, as regards to mental suffering, or something like such damages, so voice of victims must be included in the process for establishing compensation standard. Well, because the expert committee was not so active in listening to the voices of the victims, therefore, the victims, even this moment, they are always complaining about present standard.
Well, I'm very sorry to say. Thank you very much for listening to my presentation. Thank you.
REBECCA SLAYTON: OK. Thank you very much. My name is Rebecca Slayton. I am an assistant professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies and the Peace and Conflict Studies Institute at Cornell University. What I'd like to do here is just briefly summarize some of the conclusions from these three case studies that we've just heard about and suggest some questions for discussion.
As we've heard, there have been many problems with past nuclear disaster compensation plans. Compensation plans have not met the needs of disaster victims, and specifically, plans have failed to anticipate the full magnitude and types of harms that people experience, or precisely how people will be compensated.
Plans have been made by unelected officials without full citizen participation. Some plans have created loopholes for natural disasters which does not encourage nuclear facilities to fully prepare for all the environmental hazards they might face. It distorts cost-benefit analysis, and it creates a moral hazard. And both Chernobyl and Fukushima suggest that the limits on liability may be too low.
So this is why today we're calling for the creation of a forum to discuss nuclear disaster compensation plans. Now, this forum can take a variety of forms. It could be created online, or it could include online components. It could take the form of a consensus conference. There have been many methods for enabling conversation between experts and their publics that have been developed. And today we're inviting your suggestions for methods of achieving this conversation, as well as your participation in this dialogue.
So whatever forum is used to create this conversation, it should have three qualities. First, it needs to be anticipatory, in advance of nuclear accidents, before the accident happens. Second, it should be participatory. So it should include diverse publics, as well as experts. And third, it should be transnational. It should include nations that have not yet gone nuclear, but may be considering investing in nuclear power. So I'm going to say a little bit more about each of these three qualities.
So first, a deliberative conversation about nuclear disaster compensation must be anticipatory. So it must take place prior to the disaster occurring. The case studies that we've heard about today show that governments have not enabled citizens to fully plan for disasters before a disaster has occurred. Too often, citizens have ignored or accepted plans for nuclear power because they were assured that disaster was extremely unlikely. And they have not understood the possible effects of a disaster.
There has been a tendency to explain each past nuclear disaster as an anomaly, an unusual case of operator error, of irresponsible governance, of poor engineering, or all of the above. But this tendency to explain nuclear disasters as something unusual and only going to happen one time tends to reinforce a misguided faith that nuclear disasters can be entirely prevented.
Now, of course, there are many very dedicated professionals who are working to prevent future nuclear disasters. But we know from organizational sociologists who have studied nuclear power that interactive complexity and tight coupling in nuclear facilities makes nuclear disasters quote unquote "normal," meaning they will eventually happen even with the best possible management, or the best possible governance structures, in place. And of course, the real world that we live in is not the best possible world.
So this means that, unfortunately, nuclear disasters will probably continue to occur despite the work of many dedicated and very talented professionals in limiting the number of times that they occur. So the strong likelihood that nuclear disasters will occur again requires that governments, corporations, and other responsible stakeholders plan to more fully compensate individuals prior to a disaster occurring.
So this leads to the second goal. Deliberations on compensation for nuclear power disasters must be participatory. That is, they must include the ordinary citizens who have been impacted or are likely to be impacted by a nuclear disaster, as well as nuclear engineers, doctors, environmental scientists, and other experts who have specialized knowledge which is relevant to disasters. The forum that we're calling for should also include nuclear industry representatives, government officials, project finance specialists, and political leaders.
Now, we recognize that participatory governance of science and technology confronts challenges. Experience with participatory governance shows all that quite often not all groups are able to participate equally. So economically disadvantaged citizens do not participate in decision-making on equal footing with governments and corporations.
The communities that choose to accept the risks of nuclear power and nuclear waste disposal are often also desperate for jobs and economic opportunity. So although they participate in nuclear decision-making, they don't have the same freedom or ability to make decisions as governments and corporations.
Experts often play an outsized role in framing problems and solutions. Sometimes, they only give citizens the role of voting yes or no on a proposal. So a truly participatory forum would help citizens-- would allow citizens-- to help frame problems and solutions. It would also ensure that citizens understand what they might lose in a disaster. So the impacts of previous disasters must be fully visible to these people who are considering accepting such risks.
So we can begin to create a more participatory forum by broadening conceptions of who counts as an expert so that it includes forms of knowledge that have traditionally been marginalized in decision-making about nuclear power. This includes local knowledge about the cultural significance and practices of regions that could be destroyed or contaminated by a nuclear disaster, as well as interdisciplinary knowledge about disaster response and recovery.
We can also broaden conceptions of who is a potential victim. Nuclear disasters affect not only the people who live close to nuclear facilities, but also everyone in the path of fallout, which can spread around the entire globe. It affects the costs and reliability of electricity for all persons who are relying on electric power from nuclear power. And it affects the livelihood of agricultural workers and the supply of food that they provide.
And so this leads to the third goal of a conversation about nuclear disaster compensation. It must be transnational because nuclear disasters do not respect national borders. A transnational conversation should include citizens and policymakers from nations that have not yet invested in nuclear technology. Such nations should explicitly consider the risks of nuclear disasters in their cost-benefit analyses before going nuclear.
The costs of disaster compensation may go beyond compensating their own citizens because it may also impact their neighbors and others in the international community. And again, current international agreements strongly limit compensation and responsibility for disasters for the effects that might happen outside of a nation's borders.
So although methods for participatory governance have proliferated in recent years, most experience has been confined to single nations or localities. And part of what we're calling for is to move beyond that and to make something more transnational. And there are some models for a transnational forum.
So, for example, Meridian 180 forums, which Annelise talked about a little bit at the beginning, bring together diverse experts and publics from around the world. We also know that non-governmental organizations often gather alongside intergovernmental meetings on climate change. And I'm sure that people here can think of additional examples of models that we might consider in moving forward with a transnational forum.
So no existing model is probably ideal, but we can draw on existing models to create a better forum. And this is one area that we'd particularly like to hear your ideas on today. So in sum, we are calling for a dialogue that is anticipatory, participatory, and transnational, and we are inviting your ideas about possible forms that can move this conversation forward. Thank you very much for your time and your interest.
ANNELISE RILES: OK. So thank you all very much for those fantastic, very, very quick summaries of what is a very thick, and dense, and long set of reports. So if you'd like to know more of the details, please just reach out to us and, of course, we can share that with you.
Now, we'd really like to hear from you, though. We would welcome, of course, questions you may have about any of the specific case studies that we've covered. And we're happy to provide that.
But we're also very eager to get your thoughts and responses to our thinking about the way forward, namely this idea that we would need to have some kind of anticipatory dialogue now that would be much more participatory to try to think about how we might better structure and handle nuclear disasters to come, so to think in advance rather than post hoc about how to address these things.
So with that, I'll just open it up and just raise your hand and we'll will love to hear from you. Comments, questions, critiques are very welcome. Yes?
AUDIENCE: So the one question I have is, I like the idea of participatory, but it seems to me you'll always have difference of opinions. So have you any suggestions on how one reaches closure when there is a separation of opinion? It seems to me that's so fundamental to getting to the endpoint of what this is all about.
ANNELISE RILES: OK. Rebecca, did you want to say something about that?
REBECCA SLAYTON: I think it's an excellent question. And sometimes what may matter more than closure is the process by which closure is reached. So we focused on some of the characteristics of the process by which closure could be reached. We haven't proposed a detailed example of exactly how closure could be reached.
The key, though, would be to get as many people whose perspect-- you know, who may be infected by nuclear power-- involved in the discussion. I think my fellow panelists have ideas about this, as well.
ANNELISE RILES: I mean, maybe I would just say that Meridian 180 has a model in place for addressing that precise question, that we have given a lot of thought to how you structure a conversation that involves people of very different backgrounds, very different political points of view, different nationalities, different cultures, different educational levels, and so on, and how to filter or organize that conversation over time.
And what we found is it takes a series of steps. It's not something you do in one session, that you gather the insights from one session, then you refocus it, perhaps break down into smaller groups that will address particular pieces of the issue. But it takes a number of renditions.
And you're right. It requires special methodology. But I think that's something that we have a little experience with. Mary, yes?
MARY MITCHELL: I think that's been particularly difficult with reference to nuclear technologies. There's been a lot of polarized opinion. But one thing that we've talked a lot about in the working group is the fact that, regardless of what choices are made about the promotion or development of nuclear power going forward, we have a number of existing reactors. Even decommissioned reactors often use wet storage, which creates the potential for a future accident.
So I think one thing that might be able to bring people to the table is that there is a level of risk that will be there regard-- if nuclear energy were phased out worldwide tomorrow, there would still be risks associated with decommissioning, with fuel reprocessing, and with waste processing. So these risks are with us. Maybe people can come together at the table to deal with them rather than moving to polarized positions, either pro-or anti-nuclear.
ANNELISE RILES: All right. Thanks. We have a number of members of the working group here. I don't know if any of you want to comment? Yes, please. Go ahead. Vinny. One second.
AUDIENCE: Yes. OK.
ANNELISE RILES: One second.
AUDIENCE: This was really fascinating, for sure. This was great. And one thing that stands out to me about this project is how it shifts the sort of geographical locus of attention with this conversation. I mean, we have these existing international conversations like the Paris Convention, which has its institutional backdrop is the NEA or the OECD, the Vienna Convention on nuclear damage, which has its backdrop as sort of the IAEA.
But this is coming from a different sort of bottoms up or ground up, changing the center point of where the conversation is coming from just like Meridian 180 does. The Pacific Rim becomes the geographical starting point of conversation. This starts off at sites where disasters have actually happened, and then abstracts out from there questions of cost. That's really powerful to me.
And the idea that discovering this through these ongoing, transnational, participatory dialogues, discovering the true or broader cost of nuclear energy through that, is powerful too.
So the question I have is getting people from these diverse walks of life, expert backgrounds, different countries that might not usually have a voice in conversations like this, getting people to talk to each other on a sort of routine basis, perhaps an ongoing forum that never really stops online, like Meridian 180, that cultivates persons in a certain way.
It's a human capital project, and that's what seems exciting about this. Just getting a victim of a nuclear disaster, and a technocrat, and a historian-- or anyone who wants to join the conversation-- already talking to each other so that when a disaster does happen, they can step up as a mouthpiece sort of like as someone to mediate this, to write op-eds, to speak to the public. They already have that conversation rehearsed and ongoing in advance.
So to what degree is this just a human capital project about developing a worldwide team or a coalition of persons who have cultivated their ways of engaging across difference to become the leaders when there's a nuclear disaster? They'll be on standby, something like that, or they'll be on call to step up if there's a disaster.
So is it about producing a generic framework that people can adopt later as sort of policy questions, or is it more about cultivating the people themselves or the conversation is the question.
ANNELISE RILES: Great. Comments on that?
AUDIENCE: Long question though.
ANNELISE RILES: I mean, I think that's really interesting that you articulate that because I think we would say, both and, right? And those two things go together in some way that the one leads to the other. And they're both important. And so I really appreciate you adding that to the conversation. Because that was not present in our presentations. Yes. Other comments?
MARY MITCHELL: I would just add that I think the intergovernmental organizations remain very important. But also the delegations from individual countries are influenced by people within their own countries, as well. So one way that this conversation can also benefit inter-governmental discussion of these standards is by just including citizen participation from within a number of jurisdictions who are influencing their own delegation or making their own experiences known so that those delegations have cover to advocate their positions as formal negotiations go forward.
ANNELISE RILES: Great. Thank you. Other questions or comments?
AUDIENCE: Has the group identified or does the group see the need of creating a new international courtlike body where claims could be brought, and where there would be some sort of closure or final decision, and there would be some sort of reparations?
MARY MITCHELL: Well, I mean, so as those of you familiar with Vienna know there is an optional protocol for a sort of [? arbitral ?] board to deal with some of these issues that was not widely signed onto, right? And there's perpetual issue of the US, in particular, not recognizing the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
So I think enforcement is-- you know, we can make all of the agreements that we like, but if they cannot be enforced, there are definite issues. So I think that that's something that's very important. But so far, we've been focusing on the ground up, and particularly to talk about Professor Suami's Japan Team really looking at the grounded experiences of sufferers as a starting point and then moving up towards things like adjudication as an endpoint.
SONJA SCHMID: If I could just jump in here also. The Ukrainian case is interesting because as the state has increasingly failed to pay compensation to victims that were found eligible for benefits under the Chernobyl law, individual citizens have tried to address international courts, specifically, the European Court of Human Rights.
And the argument there was that they were environmental refugees from territories that have become uninhabitable as a consequence of this accident. And they keep getting right in these courts. But that doesn't mean that-- even though a European court, or an international court-like entreaty finds a government liable to pay a specific citizen-- that this will actually happen.
There's other factors involved, such as limited budgets, et cetera that play into this. And I think the cautionary tale that comes out of this comparison is that the schemes that a government or a nation state comes up with, they work in a very specific context and only in that very specific context.
But these contexts change and shift all the time. And so it's really hard to kind of unify them or make them in an international one-shape-fits-all model because it doesn't. In some parts of the former Soviet Union, these benefits that are based on Social Security law are still very powerful, more powerful than if they were [? monetized, ?] for example.
ANNELISE RILES: Yes. Maybe on that point, I'd be interested to hear the three of you-- Mary, Professor Suami, and Sonya-- articulate for the group a little bit what you understand the differences between the schemes to be. So if you had to say in a nutshell, what's the difference between the US scheme and the Japanese scheme or what's the difference between the Japanese scheme and the Russian scheme, could you sum it up for people? I think that might be helpful people to have. Yes.
MARY MITCHELL: So the way that I would characterize the US scheme is that compared to other jurisdictions, and compared to the international protocols, it offers a relatively high level of overall compensation and insurance. And it's been regularly adjusted over the years to raise that amount of money.
However, apart from the most routine claims that an insurer typically would face, the system relies on litigation after the fact. And because of the way that the US is set up with the federal system, we have-- Three Mile Island raised transboundary legal problems, conflicts of laws, that would be even more exacerbated on the international level.
So I would say that it is a slow system, slow to respond, especially when you compare it to something like Deepwater Horizon disaster, the administrative settlement procedures, or 9/11 Commission. There have been movement in these mass settlements that have not yet been incorporated into nuclear law because these disasters happen so infrequently that the only time Price-Anderson gets revised is when it's up for renewal, which it won't be until 2025 again, now. Or after something like Fukushima or Chernobyl, sometimes people will come back, so.
TAKAO SUAMI: Yes, may I?
ANNELISE RILES: Yes.
TAKAO SUAMI: One of the feature in the Japanese scheme is unlimited liabilities imposed upon the nuclear operator. Well, after the accident, so lots of discussion we had in Japan because well, yes, TEPCO has unlimited liability. But once TEPCO becomes bankrupt, so this unlimited liabilities would be almost meaningless.
And also on the other hand, so promoting nuclear energy is governmental policy. So government must have-- must take-- its responsibility. But maybe this moment after lots of discussion, so finally we decided to keep the present scheme. This means the nuclear operator will continue to have unlimited responsibilities.
Well, and there's a difference with Chernobyl, [INAUDIBLE] Soviet Union. Because the setting up evacuation zone, how to set up evacuation zone? That's different. Because in Japan, well, the evacuation zone is decided on the basis of the level of radiations. But in Japan, the level of radiation is much higher than the Ukraine.
So in case of the Ukraine, it's 1 millisievert is baseline. So [INAUDIBLE] with more than one millisievert contamination so maybe the people has a right to move out or something. Is that true? Well, in case in Japan, the level is set at 20 millisievert, much, much higher than the level of Ukraine.
Also, it's very much criticized by many people. But maybe it's, well, Japan is a small country. So the size of the country, Japan is different from that of the Ukraine. This is one of the elements why the Japanese government adhered to the 20 millisievert standard.
ANNELISE RILES: Interesting.
AUDIENCE: Hello. Hello. Thank you very much for-- I ask for microphone. Thank you very much. [INAUDIBLE]. Good afternoon, Miroslav [INAUDIBLE] from Slavic [INAUDIBLE] I have the two comments and also the one question.
First of all, we tried to compare-- from my point of view seems to be that we tried to compare-- the not very comparable accident which was in the different part of the world, and also in a completely different time and different condition, and also the different level of the international rules which were adopted under the IEA.
I think that after each accident was the adopted new rules, which was acted by the older members of the IEA. I think that that's the let's to say the practical, but achievable, these rules, which we need to look for all the aspects of this liability and so on. For example, in Europe, we have almost the four rules for the liability. And there is the still not unlimited liability. But this is the still in Paris Convention, the Vienna Commission, there is the sum of the level of the money which will be for each nuclear accident put to the compensation.
My question is that we need to concentrate-- we need to consider our main power to avoid any other accident in the future. That's the main. Because if we are talking to the citizens that for sure this accident will appear again, and we try to prepare the citizens that it will happen, it won't be any time build any new nuclear power plant anywhere. It will be very difficult to promote this technology.
And I think that if we follow all the rules which are under the IEA standards, won't be appear, based on the operator point-of-view, any accident. And of course, if the earthquake or something like this such was in Fukushima, that is something else which is which was not included in the design of these nuclear power plants. And that's a completely different way.
Therefore, my suggestion and my opinion is that this power has to be concentrated to do all activity which could be avoid to the next such accident. Many thanks.
ANNELISE RILES: Thank you. Rebecca, do you want to speak to that? Do you want?
REBECCA SLAYTON: Um.
ANNELISE RILES: No.
SONJA SCHMID: I am just wondering whether this strategy of avoiding only and prevention only-- and I'm not saying that's bad. I'm all for prevention and avoiding future accidents-- but the strategy of telling the public that we're doing everything to prevent an accident and this can never happen here, which is what has happened in all the three cases we've talked about and then some, has not really worked, has it?
So I guess what we are proposing is that we need a different kind of conversation where we include the public, not as someone who we sell nuclear power to, but who we have an honest conversation with about the risks and benefits of nuclear power. I understand, and I fully agree with Mary's earlier statement, that nuclear is incredibly polarized. And it's really hard to do that.
But at the same time, we have some new challenges, such as climate change, that provide different arguments in favor of nuclear. But we-- I think we all agree that we ought to balance that with a discussion about the risks. And it's not to say that they're uncontrollable.
And we're trying to not argue that the next nuclear accident is something that will happen, that will definitely happen as a normal accident, or anything like that. But to say, it will never happen because here's what we're doing, that hasn't worked. And I think we need a new direction to engage the public-- the critical public-- in a conversation about nuclear.
REBECCA SLAYTON: And if I can just chime in on it? Because I think this relates directly to the question about closure, which I've been continuing to ponder because it's an excellent question. I think regardless of what we do-- I think it's a question of what do we mean by closure? What do we mean by people reaching an agreement?
If we do absolutely nothing, we go out of here today, we never talk about it to anybody again, no forum is ever created, decisions will be made. Risks will exist. I think Mary raised the very interesting and important problem of nuclear waste that is already a hazard to communities and people probably just don't even know it.
They don't-- I taught my class about this most recently, and didn't realize that in their own state, less than 100 miles away, were wet-stored nuclear waste that could be a target for a terrorist attack. And people might be more willing to actually make decisions, and actually reach some closure about what to do about these risks that we can't just wish away, we can't pretend we're not there, if we actually made them more visible and actually engage them more.
And there's at least three different kinds of decisions that will be made regardless of whether we talk about them. One is where and how you store the waste. The other-- and the one that we focused on today-- is how to compensate victims. And the third is whether or not to continue building nuclear power plants. People will be making decisions about that regardless of whether we talk about it.
And so I think what we're trying to do is talk about what the process should look like so that the outcomes will be a little bit different.
ANNELISE RILES: Yes. And I think one other factor we might want to put on the table is, it really an option in many jurisdictions today for us to continue to tell the public what we've been telling them for a long time? I mean, I work in Japan. And one of the interesting effects of Fukushima is a loss of confidence in experts, a dramatic loss of confidence in experts such that people are quick to say-- the average person is quick to say-- yes, yes, yes. You know, why should I believe you? You told me things were safe before and look what happened, right?
And so now we have this crisis of confidence and expertise which makes it very difficult to govern. Because of course we need experts to run this process. And I think part of the underlying message you've just really touched on, the underlying project here, is how to rebuild the relationship between the citizenry and the experts such that the experts can govern in the face of this loss of confidence in the experts.
So perhaps in some jurisdictions, it's still possible to get people to trust. And perhaps in others, it's not. And we have to find other ways forward. Yes. I'm sorry. You had a question, right? And then oh, go ahead. Please.
AUDIENCE: Yes. This is a quite interesting discussion. And I'm engineer and scientist, develop nuclear power and research reactor. And this accident compensation is quite important, yes. I think there might be some way to set up this to satisfy the victims.
The one thing is that the nuclear industry always claim that we are zero carbon dioxide emissions. It means that if we give some value on that for the nuclear power plant, then we can have some money or some values which can go to the compensation of this disaster.
So we can set up this kind of standard with IAEA by inviting lawyers like you who are concerned about victims' compensation. Then they may hear. And then there is two options to compensate that one when disaster happen. Because we are trying to avoid all the disaster, but like set up the establish further, better safety. Then it also cost a lot. But even with that, we try to serve to the other countries. Because it's quite important base load electricity.
So if we have some gains from avoiding zero emission from nuclear energy, then if it's some valorized then we may have very equivalent, or we can have a resolution of this kind of Accident Compensation. So this is the one idea.
ANNELISE RILES: That's great. Thank you very much. And I think we'll be following up with you to try to get you involved if that's OK. Any comments on that? Yes?
MARY MITCHELL: I guess I would just say I have tremendous amount of respect for the work that's done at IAEA. But as an intergovernmental organization, they also face a lot of obstacles. And so when Vienna was being developed, one of the main issues was how do you determine how much compensation will be available, or how it will be funded?
And the issue there was that IAEA is a broad organization that includes nuclear and nonnuclear states. And basically there are affluent states and less affluent states. And so to reach agreement over what level of compensation would be mandatory as a floor in Vienna, it had to be lower than a lot of states would like. And there had to be less talked about where that money was going to come from than some states would like because we're dealing with tremendous wealth disparities.
And also individual countries have different issues regarding energy security that may be very important to them, as well. So I think that there are a lot of challenges. So I'd look forward to hearing more from you about that too.
ANNELISE RILES: Good. Thanks.
AUDIENCE: So I start by thinking about insurance. Most insurance that's written is risks against discrete benefits. You drive a car, you self-insure your car. Or you are in a corporation, you get insurance. And you can think about the risks of accidents in terms of the kind of insurance coverage you want on a home or a business.
And what strikes me as very different about nuclear compensation schemes are the costs are localized though they're a big local area, as we see in all these cases. But the benefits are very broadly distributed, whether they're climate change benefits or relative costs of electrical generation. And because of that-- this discrete, local costs and very broad benefits-- it's hard to think of insurance schemes which are compensatory. You start with that framework.
So depending on what the jurisdiction would be, what would make sense to me would be not necessarily to have nuclear plant insurance, but to have national insurance in the case of the United States. So you tax your citizens and you set up-- because the anticipatory part is very critical, I agree. You can't create technological solutions that don't have risks. You're going to have accidents. We see them, and they'll happen again, whether it's here or somewhere else.
So then the trouble with what I'm proposing is that the jurisdictions are so different. You could do it in the United States or Japan, which are relatively wealthy countries, and it's very hard to do in non-wealthy countries. But I don't know how you get away from good compensation without having broad sharing of the risks. By that, I mean all citizens, whatever the definition of citizens. One, you won't get the scheme big enough to take care of costs. And two, I can't think of a fair way to do it without very broadbased insurance.
ANNELISE RILES: Great. Mary, do you want to speak to that?
MARY MITCHELL: Sure. So effectively-- because of the limitation on liability-- effectively, what we do have right now as the Japan case has shown-- is nationalized insurance, where the costs are spread over all of society, including ratepayers. So in the Three Mile Island case, as well as in Fukushima, ratepayers paid for a lot of what happened, as well.
But when-- you got me to thinking as you were speaking about insurance-- one feature of these limited liability schemes, at least in the US and also in other jurisdictions whose laws I've seen, is that the insurers immediately excluded nuclear incidents or nuclear damage from policies that people could buy.
So when you think of insurance, there's different kinds of insurance. But one kind of insurance is, well, I'm driving a car. I need to buy insurance to deal with the risk. But people aren't able to insure themselves or to purchase policies that would help them to cover risks that they may see based on where they live or what they're doing.
So that's another-- the reason for that was that the insurers didn't want to be double-exposed to the risk. So that's another area that people sometimes talk about for reform is allowing people to purchase insurance if they're in a risk area.
ANNELISE RILES: But I think the other thing that's really interesting about your comment, and what should be really helpful for us to think more about, is, OK, what happens to functionally national insurance schemes when you think about problems as transnational, right? That OK, even, perhaps, Japan has one national insurance scheme. But that doesn't help with the fallout in the Pacific Ocean, or Korea, or what have you. And that's really--
AUDIENCE: I think we have lots of other examples of that with regard to pollution of water, that's transnational, smogs that just go all over the place. So I think when you-- I mean, I don't want to complicate life. This is complicated enough. But I think in some ways, you have-- when you're thinking about this, you have to consider parallel kinds of disasters and benefits so that the solutions can be applicable with tweaks elsewhere.
And I think that's the way national policymakers will think about. If I do x, what's the implication for other kinds of events, whether it's offshore oil rigs, or whether it's somebody that throws cyanide in the water and it crosses the border between the US and Mexico. I think that's the way policymakers do think, or, at least, they should think like that.
ANNELISE RILES: Right, right. Very helpful. Thank you.
MARY MITCHELL: Can I have a quick followup?
ANNELISE RILES: Yes.
MARY MITCHELL: And you're absolutely right. That is, in fact, how these regimes developed and continue to develop. So nuclear has been pointed to, for example, the way that nuclear has been dealt with has been pointed to as a way that systemic risk in finance could be handled.
But one thing that I've noticed in looking at how people think transsubstantively across these different kinds of disasters is actually often that you end up with a race to the bottom, where certain industries that say, well, nuclear gets a liability cap. We want it too. And that's actually how some capping in oil developed in the US context. So it can go both ways. There can be positive developments. But it also can be-- industries can fight very hard for their own interests, as well.
REBECCA SLAYTON: Yes. And if I can just chime in there. I completely agree that some of the benefits of nuclear power, like lower emissions and contributing less to climate change, are broadly distributed. But some of the benefits are also focused, right? I mean, the companies are profit-making companies. And I think that's part of why people do feel like they should ben-- maybe bear a little more of the risk than the taxpayers or the ratepayers, even though I absolutely take your point that there are some broadly distributed benefits, as well.
ANNELISE RILES: We have time for one more question if anyone has another question or comment. Yes, Lee. Go ahead.
AUDIENCE: What were the lessons from 9/11 Compensation Scheme and the way that was handled?
MARY MITCHELL: I haven't-- so I have not seen discussion of that in the context of the nuclear archival documents or discussions that I've looked at. I mean, 9/11, from the little that I know about, was a very difficult-- there's also litigation. You know, anytime, whether you limit liability or not, or what boundaries you set, in the US context, at least, where it's a very litigious culture, there's going to be lawsuits.
And of course, there are recent lawsuits that are ongoing about 9/11 or that just terminated, as well. So although I think the extent to which the US system relies on litigation is problematic, I acknowledge that you'll never get a settlement complex in the US that doesn't involve a lot of litigation for many years.
ANNELISE RILES: Interesting. So and I think one of the points that really comes out of the US report is how bad litigation can be for victims because it takes a very long time, it's very cumbersome, it's expensive, and so forth.
OK. Well, great. Well, we have to stop here. We really want to thank you all for being here, for taking the time to join this conversation. And we would really like to continue the conversation. So please do stay in touch with us or email any of us. If you'd like to actually join a discussion about what the next stage may be, we would very much welcome that. Any criticisms or comments you have would be very, very welcome.
And I really want to thank our panelists for traveling all this way to be here and share their report with us and for their wonderful presentations. So thank you.
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As the EU works towards a more sustainable energy landscape, the role of nuclear energy is again the subject of debate – from the heated discussion of France's energy policies in its recent election campaign to Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022.
In this briefing given May 19, 2017, Cornell University’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and Meridian 180 bring experts from the U.S. and Japan to Brussels to discuss current practices and necessary reforms in the fields of nuclear safety and risk preparedness.
The speakers present the preliminary findings of a comparative study of U.S., Soviet/post-Soviet, and Japanese nuclear accident compensation schemes, which assesses the previously hidden costs of nuclear energy that have been exposed by the accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.
Featuring: ANNELISE RILES, Jack G. Clarke Professor of Far East Legal Studies & Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University; TAKAO SUAMI, Professor of Law, Waseda University, Tokyo; REBECCA SLAYTON, Assistant Professor, Science & Technology Studies & Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Cornell University; SONJA SCHMID, Associate Professor, Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech; and MARY X. MITCHELL, Postdoctoral Fellow, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University.