The Social Construction of Nuclear Community – a new trend in pronuclear storytelling?

Sari Yli-Kauhaluoma (CSRC, University of Helsinki) and Hannu Hänninen (Aalto University) have studied how the constructor of the world’s first repository for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel (ONKALO, Eurajoki) portrays it to the local community. They use a framing analysis of the newsletters published by the constructor of the facility in 2000-2014. The results suggest that the nuclear industry has developed increasing understanding of the social and communal aspects of public resistance to nuclear power. To create trust and to increase acceptance locally, the industry is socially constructing a nuclear community around the repository. The gap between the nuclear experts and the local residents is narrowed and the repository is portrayed as a shared project within the local community advancing the common interests of the industry and the residents. This may represent a new trend in pronuclear storytelling.

Full article: Hänninen, H., & Yli-Kauhaluoma, S. (2014). The Social Construction of Nuclear Community Building Trust in the World’s First Repository for Spent Nuclear Fuel. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 34(5-6), 133-144. Online here.