Title: Myths, symbols, society and nuclear energy

Authors: André Maïsseu

Addresses: World Council of Nuclear Workers (WONUC), 49, rue Lauriston, 75116 Paris, France

Abstract: Today, can we really ascertain whether Humanity has effectively derived more good than evil from the discovery of radioactivity a century ago? The answer hinges on the judgement that we and our fellow-citizens make about the impact of the applications of nuclear physics, by reference to a number of fundamental values: the concern to preserve our planet, its inhabitants and its environment; the need to avoid the risk of conflicts; and the guideline of the development of all peoples. At the collective level, an ethic must enable every social group, every nation and, perhaps, humanity, to form a community of behaviours. This places us at the very heart of the nuclear debate.

Keywords: nuclear debate; nuclear energy; nuclear power; nuclear weapons; myths; fears; symbols; Hiroshima; Chernobyl nuclear accident; Fukushima nuclear accident; socio-political objections; psychological objections; psychological attitudes; radioactivity; universe of representations; communication policy; community of behaviours; fundamental values.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNGEE.2012.053570

International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, 2012 Vol.3 No.4, pp.314 - 337

Published online: 01 May 2013 *

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