Tale taming radioactive fears: Linking nuclear waste disposal to the “continuum of the good”

Sari Yli-Kauhaluoma, Hannu Hänninen

We examine how the constructor of the world’s first repository for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Eurajoki, Finland, aims to shape lay understanding of the facility’s risks and to tame the nuclear fears of the local community by producing positive associations, imagery and tales. Our empirical material consists of the constructor’s newsletters targeted mainly at the local residents. In the narrative analysis, we identified a storyline where the construction of the repository is linked into the “continuum of the good” in the municipality of the construction site and the surrounding areas. The storyline consists of five different themes all emphasizing the “continuum of the good” in the area: cultural heritage, well-being, developing expertise, natural environment, and local families. Our study contributes to the literature on pro-nuclear storytelling by showing how the inclination is towards narratives that are constructed around local symbols, cultural landmarks, and institutions.

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