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Formulating Nuclear Values : Communities, Equations, Budgets and Debates with Nuclear Waste

Abstract : This thesis approaches valuation as an on-going, constructive and contested process. She addresses this theoretical issue through the study of a very complex object of valuation: nuclear waste in the context of the United States. As an ontologically ambivalent object, nuclear waste can be valued or devalued from many angles, which provides an intriguing and exciting test bed to unfold a sociology of valuation. The thesis examines a multitude of sites where the question of the formulation of nuclear values is being raised. These sites are, for example, the design and vicissitudes of the budgetary process conceived to finance the North American nuclear waste program, the trials set up in order to distribute the financial responsibility of a material expected to remain hazardous during the next million years, the efforts of a group of actors to attach the future of their community to the future of nuclear waste, or the uses of an economic convention to estimate the economic value of spent nuclear fuel. This thesis shows that processes of valuation are never limited to the object that is subjected to valuation and proposes the notion of revaluation, first, to articulate the intertwined relationship between the processes of evaluation and valuation, and second, to signify the particularity of the period during which the research has been undertaken, namely a moment when the revival of nuclear energy was publicly debated, and a moment when the U.S. government was seeking to reformulate its nuclear waste policy.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 18, 2020 - 9:54:49 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, December 20, 2020 - 3:04:58 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03081254, version 1


Başak Saraç-Lesavre. Formulating Nuclear Values : Communities, Equations, Budgets and Debates with Nuclear Waste. Economics and Finance. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ENMP0023⟩. ⟨tel-03081254⟩



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