in the UK
Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl explosion, disaster struck once more after a tsunami overwhelmed the considerable safety measures at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. However, Fukushima had put in place a solid containment structure to reduce the spread of radiation in the event of a worst-case scenario; Chernobyl did not. These two incidents highlight the importance of such safety measures, which were critically lacking in an entire class of Soviet-designed reactors. This book examines why five countries operating these dangerous reactors first signed international agreements to close them within a few years, but instead delayed for almost two decades. It looks at how political decision makers weighed the enormous short-term costs of closing those reactors against the long-term benefits of compliance, and how the political instability that dominated post-Communist transitions impacted their choices. The book questions the efficacy of Western governments' efforts to convince their Eastern counterparts of the dangers they faced, and establishes the causal relationship between political stability and compliance behaviour. This model will also enable more effective assistance policies in similar situations of political change where decision makers face considerable short-term costs to gain greater future rewards. This book provides a valuable resource for postgraduate students, academics and policy makers in the fields of nuclear safety, international agreements and democratization.
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