Stéphanie Tillement (Ecole des Mines de Nantes)
Paper long abstract:
Nuclear energy is a controverted energy. EASST call for papers quite rightly underlines the controversial and contentious dimensions of energy sources choices, such as future generation of nuclear power plants for example. This communication aims to focus on scenarios, conceived as tools used by different groups to argue in favor of particular energy solutions. For example, an ecological association may use energy demand prospective scenarios and cost of sustainable energies hypothesis to demonstrate that the reduction of carbon emission is possible, if the right political decisions are made. In another perspective, nuclear industrials or specialized R&D centers may use the same kind of scenarios to argue in favor of investment in new nuclear technologies, such as breeders. "Because they contribute to nuclear waste recycling, and because nuclear energy does not produce carbon emissions, these reactors may be used in a sustainable perspective", could be the argumentation of nuclear actors for instance.
Based on empirical material (industrial and scientific interviews, meeting observations…), this presentation will propose a typology of different kind of scenarios to analyze nuclear energy controversies. Nuclear scenarios use nuclear data (particles interactions, fission phenomenon…) to predict the amount of fissile material that will result from the run of a whole nuclear park. Economical and socio-economic scenarios integer nuclear power plants as an energy resource in a global thinking optimizing consumption and production of energy, including coal, oil and renewable energies. Scientific and industrial scenarios are presented as two different time-scale tools, both potentially useful to make decisions for the future.
Energy controversies and technology conflicts