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Title: Fast moving neutrons, graphite moderators and radioactive clouds : an ANT account of the Chernobyl accident's risky network
Author: MacGill, Ross
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 3111
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
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This research seeks to understand the Chernobyl accident at the material level and this is achieved through a sustained engagement and use of Latour’s Actor-Network Theory. The primary research question asks how has the accident travelled through various worlds: impacting upon them, reorienting their structure, and at times, creating new nuclear worlds in its wake. The ambiguous nature of the question is designed to allow the research to approach the expansive topic from several angles, thus accounting for the very real material spread radioactive fallout and, crucially, the material action engendered by the agency of RBMK no4, the central actant in the network in question. The nature of this work is quasi-scientific; that is, the majority of the empirical data is the discourses of the ‘hard sciences’, the disciplines tasked with understanding and mitigating one of the worst accidents the world has ever witnessed, and safeguarding against another similar occurrence. The reassembling of RBMK no4’s network, and its travels, hence ‘renders visible’ the lessons learnt by the nuclear industry in the wake of the event of April 1986. The spectre of Chernobyl has loomed over the industry for 3 decades. This research attempts to create a pragmatic context. It is not interested in the epistemological ‘sensationalist’ representations of the accident. Instead it embraces the complex intricacies of the physics, engineering and radiological sciences — the very essence of the materiality of RBMK no4, and its risky network.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G Geography (General)