Assembling the atom: development legacies, dialogue and the process of nuclear development in Pomerania, Poland

Garstin, Stéphanie Alice (2014). Assembling the atom: development legacies, dialogue and the process of nuclear development in Pomerania, Poland. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Nuclear power is currently receiving a great deal of attention in the international arena as nations seek to tackle the joint energy challenges of supply security and sustainability. Discussions have focused on questions of efficiency, cost, waste disposal and the safety profile of the technology. Within the social sciences attention has been given to the decision making processes surrounding nuclear technologies, and to themes of dialogue and participatory decision making. This body of research conceptualises nuclear industries as products of social and political processes. In this thesis, I have conceptualised the Polish nuclear industry as the product of social, political, but also material forces which together co-shape dialogue surrounding the pursuit of nuclear development.
The thesis presents a case study of nuclear development in Pomerania, northern Poland. During the 1980s, the Communist government of the People’s Republic of Poland began to construct the first of a series of nuclear power plants beside Lake Żarnowiec in the north of the Province. However, following protests and political upheaval in the region, construction work was abandoned and the site left empty for nearly twenty years. Since 2009, Lake Żarnowiec has once again taken centre stage as Poland seeks to construct a nuclear facility in Pomerania. This thesis examines the agency of the infrastructural assets of the original development, landscape changes, notions of identity, and the social and political processes which underpin decision making surrounding the pursuit of nuclear development within the region. It demonstrates the presence of a complex entanglement of social, material and conceptual elements present in dialogue surrounding contemporary nuclear development. The research calls attention to the forces and pressures, both seen and unseen which together shape political and social attitudes towards nuclear development.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DJ Netherlands (Holland) > DJK Eastern Europe
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering


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