My thesis seeks to evaluate contemporary discourse on nuclear technologies in the United States. A number of scholars have identified the implementation of a discourse inherently loaded in favour of the development and dissemination of nuclear technologies during the early years of the Cold War. However, there is a dearth of scholarship considering nuclear discourse in the post-Cold War era. My thesis will examine contemporary nuclear discourse in America, particularly surrounding the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, to ask if that discourse remains intrinsically pro-nuclear.
My research will consider the development of nuclear discourse from the later stages of the Cold War, focusing particularly on Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, to evaluate consistencies and developments in the post-Cold War era. This interdisciplinary political and cultural history will consider the discursive framework in which American citizens can engage with nuclear debates to ask if alternative voices can locate a productive space within contemporary nuclear discourse.