WIT Press


Breaking The Connections: Reducing And Removing Environmental Health Risk In The Canadian Nuclear Power Industry

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/EHR110061

Volume

15

Pages

9

Page Range

59 - 67

Published

2011

Size

3,221 kb

Author(s)

J. Eyles & J. Fried

Abstract

In this paper, we examine how over the past twenty five years the nuclear industry has used various strategies to diminish or remove any environmental health risks that emanate from its practice and activities. Using both industry and critical website materials, we demonstrate how risk is removed by emphasizing its own safety culture in a complex process, its ‘clean energy’ credentials, its role in producing national energy options, close co-operation with its regulators, the ignorance of its critics, the suppression of opposing views and a narrowing risk assessment approach to potential environmental and health hazards. We suggest that the same strategies will be used after the recent Japanese nuclear disaster. Keywords: branding, Canada, elimination of risk, environmental health, narratives, nuclear industry, power generation. 1 Introduction Until the March 2011 catastrophe in Japan, the nuclear power industry seemed to have turned the corner from stagnation in the sector to widespread indications of growth. Since its dark days of ‘nuclear winter’ and the Chernobyl disaster, the industry has become a vital partner in the production of energy in many jurisdictions. Many countries are gearing up to assess the economic and political consequences of new reactors. Environmental and health concerns appeared of little importance in political decision-making as they had seemingly been dealt with by nuclear technological developments and safety standards. In this paper, we examine how the nuclear industry has reached this point. Paying special

Keywords

branding, Canada, elimination of risk, environmental health, narratives, nuclear industry, power generation