Nuclear-Nature Interactions

We shall analyze the attitudes of four somewhat overlapping groups of individuals – promoters, expert advocates, interrogators, local actors and protestors. We consider these groups, their interactions among themselves, and their interactions with the natural world and the technological systems employed to diffuse nuclear power in civilian and military contexts, in a kind of Latourian actor-network approach as the following definitions may indicate. For each group, there is environmental thinking and direct engagement with the nuclear-environmental world that we intend to discern. Analysis of these groups should enable us to evaluate more completely how ideas of the human-nature-atom interface evolved.

We shall examine global thinking about the environment in the nuclear world and how understandings of the human-nature-atom interface have changed since ca. 1945. We shall investigate how various actors have thought about this relationship, how their views and perceptions have evolved, and the interactions between and among the actors. We shall enrich this investigation by considering the human-nature-atom interface in a variety of settings, climates and geographies; in different communities, institutions, organizations and agencies; among individuals who are engaged in the nuclear world in a variety of ways; and whose experiences in the nuclear world range from active participants to “downwinders” and indigenes and others removed from their homes and homelands. We shall consider human-nature-atom interactions for radioactive wastes, radioactive, and in accidents.