CfP: The Nuclear-Water Nexus

Sofia Jonsson's picture

The ERC project NUCLEARWATERS, based at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, has since 2018 been exploring the connections between nuclear energy and water in historical perspective. The goal is to rewrite the global history of nuclear energy by putting water at the centre of the analysis.

Linked to the project we are now planning for a workshop, to which we would like to invite senior and junior scholars (including PhD students) from all fields – not only history – to present research that in one or the other way relates to the “nuclear-water nexus”. The aim is to let different research strands around this common theme interact, and subsequently to turn workshop presentations into chapters of an edited volume. The workshop, to take place in Stockholm (if the circumstances allow), is roughly scheduled for late spring 2022; exact dates will be decided upon collectively by the accepted presenters. Costs for travel and accommodation will be reimbursed.

The nuclear-water nexus is diverse and multifaceted. At the workshop we hope to take into account as many as possible of the following themes:

  1. Reactor cooling arrangements. This includes both the closed cooling loops in (water-cooled) nuclear power plants themselves, and the open cooling loops through which nuclear plants draw on water supplies from rivers, lakes and seas.
  2. The links between nuclear energy, hydropower, navigation, irrigation, dam construction, and fisheries.
  3. Thermal pollution of rivers, lakes, and seas as a result of cooling water discharges, and the construction of cooling towers and cooling ponds to cope with this problem.
  4. The impact of nuclear accidents and radioactive pollution on drinking water supplies and the wet environment.
  5. Wet pollution (such as oil spills) and organic matter (fish, jellyfish, algae, etc.) as a threat to nuclear safety.
  6. Flooding of nuclear facilities and flood management strategies, along with destructive erosion at coastal nuclear sites
  7. The use of nuclear energy for the purpose of seawater desalination and for district heating

Interested? Please send a 200-300 word abstract, along with a short bio, to  by 12 December 2021.

Download the full call as a PDF

Welcome with your application!

Sofia Jonsson, 

Administrative Coordinator & Communicator
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Department of Philosophy and History
Div. of History of Science, Technology and Environment
Stockholm, Sweden