Monday, April 11, 2011

Fukushima Daiichi and Nuclear Energy

Given events currently unfolding in Japan, we at Ethics, Policy & Environment have decided to devote a special section of our Fall issue to ethical questions associated with nuclear power. For this special section we are now soliciting 2,000-4,000 word “Commentary” articles on questions related in some important way to the question of nuclear power. Such questions could relate to risks, benefits, harms, costs, uncertainties, responsibilities, future generations, natural impacts, energy needs, alternative energies, wedge technologies, etc. The sky’s the limit, basically. We ask, however, that you try to steer your commentary toward complicated ethical or philosophical dimensions of the nuclear challenge and avoid straight polemics.

To ensure quality and balance, we will conduct a preliminary vetting phase. Short proposals of 500 words are invited by April 20, 2011. Shortly thereafter, we will review your proposals and get back to you with an editorial decision. Ideally we will have all complete 2,000-4,000 word submissions before June 15, 2011. Please submit your proposal to our managing editor, Chris Outlaw, at and to our editorial assistant, Sarah Erskine, at, designating in your e-mail that you wish to contribute a commentary piece to issue 14(3).

If you are not familiar with the unique format of our journal, feel free to read more about us here:

Volume 14(1), including articles and commentaries from James Gustave Speth, Anthony Weston, John Nolt, Robin Attfield, Ron Sandler, Jason Kawall, Eric Katz, Christopher Preston, Karen Warren, Jay Odenbaugh, among many others, will be coming out later this month.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please e-mail me at I’ll see what I can do to address them.

EPE publishes Feature articles, Target articles, Commentaries, Symposia, and Book reviews.

1 comment:

James Aach said...

FYI: The following book, written by a longtime nuclear industry engineer, portrays the technology, political and social aspects of the US nuclear power industry within a story of intrigue: "Rad Decision: A Novel of Nuclear Power." The plant described is roughly the same design as the Fukushima plants and at one point experiences the same type of problem (station blackout).

An example of an ethical question that can be derived from the book: if statistics tell you that X people will likely be harmed in car accidents during evacuation of a given area, while X-2 people will likely be harmed by the maximum assumed radiation dose, should an evacuation still be ordered? There may be extreme public pressure for such an order, as well as stress-induced health issues either way.

"Rad Decision" is available free at