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Journal of International Business and Law

Abstract

International Organizations require guidelines for dealing with Technology Based Risk. This paper presents a framework for the role of technology in crises-Crisis Compliance-the use of technology to predict crises, to prevent them from occurring, and to prevail over the ones that do occur and extends it to international organizations and industries. This framework is applied to the disaster at Fukushima and it explores the Japanese government's role in deploying nuclear technology, responding to the immediate crisis, and coordinating the massive ongoing cleanup effort. Five characteristics of the crisis emerge: 1) "Design Basis" versus "Beyond Design Basis" Risks-what risks are "built-in" to nuclear technologies versus those that are "outside the box," 2) Deterministic versus Stochastic Risks-risks whose impact is immediately visible versus those risks whose effect are only visible long term, 3) Physical and Geographical Scope-the degree to which the risk can be physically isolated, 4) Contained versus Cascading Disasters-disasters of one particular type versus those that evolve into other forms of disasters, and 5) Internal versus External Locus of Control- industry's ability to regulate itself versus the need for independent regulatory agencies. Application of this framework to other technology based crises provides further examples of how an understanding of these characteristics can provide insight into dealing with international Technology Based Risk in the future.

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