Abstract

abstract:

Mentioning nuclear energy and Austria simultaneously usually alludes to the rejection of nuclear power as a hallmark of Austria's technopolitical identity. This quasi-mythical anti-nuclear positioning came at the price of wiping out the memory of nuclear optimism following WWII until the 1970s. Reconstructing Austria's pro-nuclear phase, we investigate the construction of the institutional infrastructure of pro-nuclearity and the embrace of the "atomic age" as part of a progress-oriented reimagining of the Austrian nation; we show how the nuclear was appropriated; and we elaborate on the creation of a robust sociotechnical imaginary of a trajectory linking Austria's technoscientific past to a bright nuclear future. This allows us to understand how the political and the nuclear were entangled, to grasp the difference in what it takes to create a pro- or anti-nuclear position, and to see how building this sociotechnical imaginary needed specific assemblages of institutional actors, technical elements, values, and futures.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1097-3729
Print ISSN
0040-165X
Pages
pp. 165-191
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-21
Open Access
No
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