Human flotsam, legal fallout: Japan's Tsunami and nuclear meltdown

Robert Bleflar, Ayako Hirata, Masayuki Murayama, Shozo Ota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The article focuses on the legal professionals and the problems disaster victims face. The earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan on March 11, 2011, devastated 300 miles of coastline, inundated low-lying cities, towns, and villages, and knocked out the cooling systems of all six reactors in Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The knockout of the cooling systems resulted in partial to total meltdowns in three of the reactor cores, and pressure soared within the containment vessels. Both TEPCO and the central government are targets of widespread and bitter criticism, both over their handling of the crisis and of their various failures to prepare adequately for such an event. When human needs are greatest, legal professionals sometimes step forward, moved by duty, conscience, circumstance, a quest for reputation, or the scent of profit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-124
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Law and Litigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law


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