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The Legal Case of Fukushima: Energy policy and what the EU has (not) learnt about nuclear liability.

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Lunchtime Seminar by Julius Weitzdoerfer, Faculty of Law, B16

With victims’ claims exceeding 100 billion Euros and an unprecedented number of over two million plaintiffs, Fukushima constitutes the largest civil liability case in history. Despite the legal liability of the plant operator, rescued by state aids, the burden of costs falls upon the taxpayers.

In the light of climate change and nuclear new-builds in England, Poland, Russian-equipped Romania and earthquake-prone Turkey, nuclear energy as well as liability for cross-border accidents are staying high on the EU’s agenda. On Monday, the Commission introduced its long-promised proposal on a strengthened liability and insurance regime, both outraging the industry and disappointing activists.

Drawing upon field-research in Japan and a comparison to the reforms in the EU, this talk will give a first-hand critical account of the compensation of the victims of Fukushima, the fight of the lobbyists in Brussels and the legal lessons to be learnt from the disaster.

Julius Weitzdoerfer studied Journalism and Japanese in Tokyo and Leipzig as well as law in Hamburg, Shanghai and Kyoto. He was an editor and co-host for national radio and television (NHK) in Japan and is currently completing a book on financial crimes in Japan. His publications on various aspects of Japanese law, including criminal trials, consumer protection and the Fukushima liability case sparked media coverage world-wide and have been referred to by Greenpeace International. He is a visiting scholar at Wolfson College and came to Cambridge as a Research Fellow at the Centre for European Legal Studies.

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FREE , booking not required, BYO lunch, soft drinks and CAKE will be provided!

This talk is part of the Cambridge University European Society series.

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