Policy decisions regarding nuclear power and the nuclear industry are situated at the very heart of techno-scientific, social, legal, political, economic and regulatory controversies and have profound implications for the future of the planet.
The importance of gaining a critical understanding of these controversies and finding new ways to address social awareness around them drives our initiative to build The Beam nuclear and social research network.
We are interested in various entanglements between the technological, the social, and the environmental that underlie issues such as new nuclear build, the development of new technologies (such as robotics and Small Modular Reactors), as well as policies, regulations, and practices regarding the handling, storage, and disposal of nuclear waste.
Beyond the study of controversies and critical analyses of governance, discourse, and power dynamics in nuclear, we employ debate as a research tool to open up new thinking that is both intellectually engaging and potentially of interest to concerned actors, including policy makers.
Through this collaborative, cross-disciplinary research network, we foster engagement between the nuclear sciences and social research, including anthropology, organisation and business studies, law, history, and science and technology studies.
We hope to inspire world class researchers to engage our network and bring their insight to bear on nuclear issues with global implications.
We are building links with academic and industrial research partners across the globe and developing an international presence by undertaking and disseminating relevant research and stimulating debate.
Our ambition is to generate impact drawing on the collective expertise of a collaborative and multi-disciplinary community of academics, professionals, and those who live with or scrutinise the nuclear industry.
Our driver is not to promote an understanding of the benefits or drawbacks of nuclear power as such – instead, we are interested in exploring what shapes human and wider environmental relationships with the nuclear industry, its technologies, its materialities, its aspirations and its limits.
We seek to better understand how openness to diverse knowledges and perspectives can be harnessed such that we can best contribute to vital contemporary debates on energy futures and the problem of energy waste.