1st Edition

Living in a Nuclear World From Fukushima to Hiroshima

    342 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    342 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Fukushima disaster invites us to look back and probe how nuclear technology has shaped the world we live in, and how we have come to live with it. Since the first nuclear detonation (Trinity test) and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all in 1945, nuclear technology has profoundly affected world history and geopolitics, as well as our daily life and natural world. It has always been an instrument for national security, a marker of national sovereignty, a site of technological innovation and a promise of energy abundance. It has also introduced permanent pollution and the age of the Anthropocene. This volume presents a new perspective on nuclear history and politics by focusing on four interconnected themes–violence and survival; control and containment; normalizing through denial and presumptions; memories and futures–and exploring their relationships and consequences. It proposes an original reflection on nuclear technology from a long-term, comparative and transnational perspective. It brings together contributions from researchers from different disciplines (anthropology, history, STS) and countries (US, France, Japan) on a variety of local, national and transnational subjects. Finally, this book offers an important and valuable insight into other global and Anthropocene challenges such as climate change.

    Introduction: Shaping the Nuclear Order

    Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Soraya Boudia and Kyoko Sato

    Section 1: Violence and Order

    1. What the Bomb Has Done: Victim Relief, Knowledge, and Politics

    Kyoko Sato

    2. Optics of Exposure

    Joseph Masco

    3. Constructing World Order: Mobilizing Tropes of Gender, Pathology and Race to Frame US Non-Proliferation Policy

    John Krige

    4. The Nuclear Charter: International Law, Military Technology, and the Making of Strategic Trusteeship, 1942–1947

    Mary X. Mitchell

    Section 2: Pacifying Through Control and Containment

    5. Sharing the "Safe" Atom?: The International Atomic Energy Agency and Nuclear Regulation Through Standardization

    Angela N. H. Creager and Maria Rentetzi

    6. From Military Surveillance to Citizen Counter-Expertise: Radioactivity Monitoring in a Nuclear World

    Nestor Herran

    7. Making the Accident Hypothetical: How Can One Deal with the Potential Nuclear Disaster?

    Maël Goumri

    8. Governing the Nuclear Waste Problem: Nature and Technology

    Tania Navarro Rodríguez

    Section 3: Normalizing Through Denial and Trivialization

    9. Trivializing Life in Long-Term Contaminated Areas. The Nuclear Political Laboratory

    Soraya Boudia

    10. Continuing Nuclear Tests and Ending Fish Inspections: Politics, Science, and the Lucky Dragon Incident in 1954

    Hiroko Takahashi

    11. The Dystopic Pieta: Chernobyl Survivors and Neo-Liberalism’s Lasting Judgments

    Kate Brown

    12. Unfolding Time at Fukushima

    Harry Bernas

    Section 4: Timescaping Through Memory and Future Visions

    13. Framing a Nuclear Order of Time

    Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent

    14. Nuclear Dreams and Capitalist Visions: The Peaceful Atom in Hiroshima

    Ran Zwigenberg

    15. Slow Disaster and the Challenge of Nuclear Memory

    Scott Gabriel Knowles


    Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent is a historian and philosopher of science and technology, and Professor (Emeritus) at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

    Soraya Boudia is a historian of science and Professor of Science, Technology and Society at University of Paris.

    Kyoko Sato is a sociologist and science and technology studies scholar, and Associate Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Standford University.