Geographies of Nuclear Energy

Alicia Gutting & Per Högselius
Gefördert durch
ERC project NUCLEARWATERS: Putting Water at the Centre of Nuclear Energy History
United Kingdom
Vom - Bis
31.08.2021 - 03.09.2021
Alicia Gutting, History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

We invite junior and senior scholars from all disciplines to submit an abstract to our proposed session Geographies of Nuclear Energy at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference to be held in London and online between 31 August and 3 September 2021. The general conference theme is Borders, borderlands, and bordering. For further information see below:

Geographies of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is inevitably entangled with both natural and human geographies. Siting of nuclear facilities constitutes a classical dilemma in the history of nuclear energy. Fears of accidents have tended to push nuclear sites as far as possible into geographical peripheries – often to border regions. At the same time there has been a counter-quest for proximity – to resources, labour and knowledge as well as to transport and electricity hubs. For example, nuclear sites are often dominated by their need for large-scale water resources (for cooling). Hence most nuclear sites are found close to rivers, lakes and the sea. This and other factors make nuclear facilities deeply entangled with regional environments and landscapes. Accidents – and fears of them – turn such spaces into exceptional exclusion (and inclusion) zones. At another level, nuclear facilities interact with each other across vast distances through cross-border transports of (and international trade in) nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. In nuclearized river basins such as the Rhine and the Danube, nuclear sites interconnect across borders through scarcity of cooling water and risks linked to thermal pollution and radioactive contamination of the shared waterways.

In accordance with the conference theme Borders, borderlands, and bordering, we are looking for submissions that touch on, while not being restricted to, the following topics:

- Siting of nuclear facilities in a transnational context
- Wet nuclear geographies
- Nuclear landscapes
- Detached nuclear geographies (small modular reactors, ships etc.)
- Post-industrial landscape scars
- Cross-border dependencies in nuclear fuel and waste management
- Uranium mining and geographies of the nuclear fuel cycle
- Everyday nuclear working spaces
- Nuclear communities/societies

Please send your abstracts (250 words max.) by 1 March 2021 to and

Please note: We plan for an in-person session if possible


Alicia Gutting
Per Högselius

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