Being nuclear : Africans and the global uranium trade - download pdf or read online

By Gabrielle Hecht

ISBN-10: 0262017261

ISBN-13: 9780262017268

ISBN-10: 026230144X

ISBN-13: 9780262301442

Uranium from Africa has lengthy been an important resource of gasoline for nuclear persistent and atomic guns, together with the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In 2003, after the notorious ''yellow cake from Niger,'' Africa all at once grew to become infamous as a resource of uranium, an element of nuclear guns. yet did that admit Niger, or any of Africa's different uranium-producing international locations, to the opt for society of nuclear states? Does uranium itself count number as a nuclear factor? during this publication, Gabrielle Hecht lucidly probes the query of what it ability for something--a nation, an item, an undefined, a workplace--to be ''nuclear.''

Hecht exhibits that questions about being nuclear--a country that she calls ''nuclearity''--lie on the middle of contemporary worldwide nuclear order and the relationships among ''developing nations'' (often former colonies) and ''nuclear powers'' (often former colonizers). Hecht enters African nuclear worlds, targeting miners and the occupational risk of radiation publicity. might a mine be a nuclear place of work if (as in a few South African mines) its radiation degrees went undetected and unmeasured? With this ebook, Hecht is the 1st to place Africa within the nuclear global, and the nuclear international in Africa. by means of doing so, she remakes our realizing of the nuclear age.

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Open pits also carried dangers, including rock falls, heat exhaustion, and ever-present dust. For miners in Madagascar (and elsewhere), the most memorable moments were the narrow escapes, like this one recounted by Jeremy Fano: I was in the quarry, it was eight o’clock in the evening. . They put the dynamite in place and lit it, and it exploded. A bit of rock flew off and fell on my foot. . A few toes were left, and I tore them off. . There was blood everywhere. . Rebem went to go see the boss to say that I badly hurt.

Even in places where uranium epitomized nuclearity, the association did not necessarily extend to the mines themselves. Some experts thought it should, even as early as the 1940s. In a 1942 medical textbook, Dr. indd 37 12/1/2011 10:46:20 AM 38 INTRODUCTION Workers in a uranothorianite mine in the Androy, Madagascar, 1950s. CEA veterans liked the exotic look of this image. (courtesy of Cogéma) malignancy resulting from the exposure to radioactive ores is represented by the cobalt mines . .

By excavating the historical contingencies, however, I am not claiming that bombs and radiation have no specific physical properties. Radiation exposure can cause diseases; atomic bombs could destroy the planet. Such properties matter to the formation of nuclearity, of course, but they do not by themselves determine the nature or power of “nuclear” things. ”14 I do not discount the historical and material significance of nuclear things. Rather, I aim to show the consequences of rendering such things exceptional or dismissing them as banal.

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Being nuclear : Africans and the global uranium trade by Gabrielle Hecht


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