Reversibility and Nuclear Energy Production Technologies: A Framework and Three Cases

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Abstract

Abstract: Recent events have put the acceptability of the risks of nuclear energy production technologies (NEPT) under the spotlight. A focus on risks, however, could lead to the neglect of other aspects of NEPT, such as their irreversibility. I argue that awareness of the socio-historical development of NEPT is helpful for understanding their irreversibility. To this end, I conceptualize NEPT development as a process of structuration in which material, institutional and discursive elements are produced and/or reproduced by purposive social actors. This conceptualization is used to structure an analysis of how irreversibility arose in the first decades of NEPT development in India, France and the USA, and how some NEPT have been reversed or partially reversed. Lastly, two general conditions for reversible NEPT are formulated based on this analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-59
Number of pages23
JournalEthics, Policy and Environment
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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energy production
nuclear energy
technological development
general conditions
structuration
social actor
historical development
Reversibility
Production Technology
Energy
neglect
France
India
event
Irreversibility

Cite this

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Reversibility and Nuclear Energy Production Technologies : A Framework and Three Cases. / Bergen, Jan Peter.

In: Ethics, Policy and Environment, Vol. 19, No. 1, 02.01.2016, p. 37-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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