The article explores secrecy, more particularly, nuclear secrecy in relation to two nuclear facilities situated at the tip of the Norman peninsula of La Hague, in France. Both sites - the CSM nuclear waste repository and the close-by refueling plant - were developed at the end of the 1960s in connection with France’s extensive civil and military nuclear program. While institutional archives and access to the sites remain tedious, the article contends that the nuclear secrecy shielding the facilities can be approached by unpacking the numerous accidents that took place at the site. Silenced and subjected to amnesia, spills and accidents offer an epistemological opportunity to address the political and engineering conditions that led to their happening, the political era that framed them, and subsequently, the ways with which they were normalized and meant to be forgotten. The article advances that the repository facility co-evolved with and co-extends to the waste it received. Thus, by staying with the facility’s opacity and façading - its secrecy - one can delineate how secrecy operates and informed the surrounding landscape.
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"Daunting Encounters: La Hague’s Infrastructures of Secrecy."
Secrecy and Society