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How do justice and nuclear waste disposal fit together?

Nuclear power plant Gundremmingen

Nuclear power plant Gundremmingen

Contribution  by Lucas Schwarz and Achim Brunnengräber at the second augsburger.forschungswerkstatt on perceptions of justice in dealing with highly radioactive waste.

News from May 31, 2023

Nuclear energy is connected to injustices, such as uneven distribution of environmental pollution and health risk during uranium extraction and electricity generation as well as between generations, due to the absence of reliable solutions for nuclear waste disposal in most countries that utilize nuclear energy. Nevertheless, Lucas Schwarz and Achim Brunnengräber argue that it is necessary to focus on how disposal can be carried out justly because nuclear waste is an undeniable certainty and societal risk that has to be dealt with. They therefore propose a two-fold perspective by drawing on the Modes of Existence as presented by Bruno Latour: Firstly, Schwarz and Brunnengräber consider notions of Environmental Justice to enable a just handling of nuclear waste. Secondly, they consider individuality by taking basic human values into account. Schwarz and Brunnengräber argue that this two-fold perspective can help to properly recognize notions of recognition within the framework of Environmental Justice, thus to understand better how and why people perceive justice differently


Schwarz L., Brunnengräber A. (2023): Now it's getting personal - Considering nuclear waste justice from an environmental and individual perspective. In: Schmidt M., Middendorf S. L., Purwins S., Walter C. (ed.), The Plurality of Political Ecology. Proceedings of the second augsburger.forschungswerkstatt. University of Augsburg. 27-35.

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