Inderscience Publishers

Myths, symbols, society and nuclear energy

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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

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