Françoise Zonabend

The Nuclear Peninsula Three Mile Island, Tchernobyl, Fukushima... and after? New Edition Publication date : May 5, 2014

Françoise Zonabend is an ethnologist, a director of studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and a member of the Social Anthropology Laboratory.

The first edition of this book, published more than twenty years ago, recounted the lives of the technicians and local residents at the world’s largest nuclear waste treatment plant, at La Hague, on the Normandy coast of France.
Why publish a new edition of this out-of-print book? The answer is the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, which, with its deliberately concealed causes and its appalling, interminable consequences, has made Françoise Zonabend’s book more essential than ever. Twenty years ago, she revealed how such nuclear threats are dealt with: they are ignored, denied and symbolically manipulated, so that they can be more tightly controlled than ever — and forgotten.
Yet it is the denial of such potential dangers that is partly to blame for the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant — and that may result in the occurrence of other accidents, whether major or minor, at La Hague and elsewhere.
Zonabend argues that these highly technical matters must not be left entirely in the hands of a small circle of officially appointed technical experts. Human scientists and social scientists must also be consulted, for they possess skills that enable them to discuss and analyse the most complex issues of our times and to outline new approaches.

• The recent nuclear disaster at Fukushima gives new meaning to this book.
• A work about Europe’s most highly nuclearized area.
• A sociological reflection on a burning contemporary issue.