The Fukushima nuclear disaster highlighted the relevance of effective risk communication strategies for nuclear accidents. Poor risk communication was evidenced during the crisis and its aftermath. The government's mishandling of radiation issues generated concern in international nuclear agencies as well as widespread anxiety among Japanese citizens. Based on anthropological research, I will argue that among the negative consequences of the government's inability to deal with public fears are the citizens' uncertainty and ongoing distrust toward the government, the safety regulators, and the nuclear industry. I will also suggest that such harmful effects can be mitigated by enhancing transparency of the decision-making process and by implementing participative programs where policy makers, stakeholders, and representatives of the local communities can jointly discuss energy production schemes.
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