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Towards nuclear geography: zones, bodies, and communities

Alexis-Martin, Becky; Davies, Thom

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Becky Alexis-Martin


Since the discovery of radioactivity in 1895, ionising radiation has become an increasingly prominent part of modern life. Here, we explore the diverse modes of interaction that occur between bodies and nuclear technology and point towards the scope for further research on nuclear geographies. We bring together different strands of this nascent discipline and, by doing so, highlight how nuclear technology interacts across a spectrum of geographic scales, communities, and bodies. Although nuclear geographies can be sensational and exceptionalising, such as the experiences of nuclear accident survivors and the creation of “exclusion zones,” they can also be mundane, everyday and largely unrecognised, such as the production of nuclear energy and the life‐giving nature of radioactive medicine. To frame our discussion, we take three cuts at nuclear geography, highlighting the importance of zones, bodies, and communities. By discussing this gamut of spaces and societies created through ionising radiation, we open the way for more research into the cross section of benefits, challenges, and social phenomena that arise, as we coexist with nuclear technology.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 22, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 5, 2017
Publication Date Sep 5, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 6, 2019
Journal Geography Compass
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 9
Article Number e12325
Public URL
Publisher URL


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