Global nuclear politics and history in light of independent scholarship. Interview with Benoît Pelopidas

Nuclear FranceOn the occasion of the publication of Nuclear France by Routledge this year, we take a look at the main results of the research presented in the book with the director and founder of the Nuclear Knowledges programme, Benoît Pelopidas.

We also answer the key question: Why is it important to have independent research on this subject, and what are the implications?

"As I explain in detail in the preface, the book aims to make two main contributions in a context where there is no unofficial history of France’s relationship with nuclear technology in English that goes beyond the usual civil-military divide. In this context, the book proposes new answers to new questions about the overall history of nuclear France, based on unpublished archives, interviews, and surveys in several countries; secondly, it aims to defend and illustrate the ethos, method, and possible results of independent research.
It provides answers to the following questions: What shaped the first generation of the French nuclear arsenal? Does the evidence available in the archives of allied and enemy states support the grand Gaullist narrative? What are the health and environmental consequences of the nuclear tests in Polynesia? How can we judge the accuracy of the official measurements of the consequences of these tests? How was the location of these tests decided?"


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