From exception to norm - and back again? France, the nuclear revival and the post-Fukushima landscape

Joseph Szarka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

France’s role in the nuclear revival is analysed by tracing the impact of six
categories of norms: cognitive, diplomatic, geopolitical, technological, market,
and safety and security. In showing how these normative dimensions
shaped the unfolding of the revival process, three development stages are 10
identified. In the first stage, during the late 1990s, in a context of heightened
concern over energy security and climate protection, a ‘renaissance’ discourse
was constructed by advocates who claimed that nuclear power was
cheap and quick to exploit. In the second, new orders for nuclear power
plants suggested that the revival was under way. In the third, the revival 15
stalled. Whilst the 2011 Fukushima disaster certainly contributed to the stall
by highlighting unmet safety norms, France’s bid to lead the revival was
already in difficulties due the impact of market norms, with construction
delays and cost overruns revealing the sector’s limited economic viability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-663
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2013

Keywords

  • nuclear power
  • France
  • Fukushima

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