Fuel for commercial politics: the nucleus of early commercial proliferation of atomic energy in three acts

Matti Roitto*, Pasi Nevalainen, Miina Kaarkoski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Historical research into the nuclear industry has focussed upon military and commercial aspects of the technology whilst ignoring fuel. This article discusses nuclear fuel, the resource at the centre of the industry and the role superpower politics played in its supply. Starting with the context of superpower competition, we examine the spread of nuclear technology from its beginnings in post-war Britain via West Germany in the 1950s to Finland in the 1960s and 1970s. We demonstrate that each country had varied interests affecting the choice of nuclear fuel for early energy projects; British fuel choices were constrained by its weapons programme and Germany needed legitimacy in the face of opposition in the 1950s. Finland was constrained by ‘Finlandisation’ and despite domestic enthusiasm the country had to balancing competing blocs in its choice of reactor and fuel. In short, fuel choices were constrained by local and supranational geopolitical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages44
JournalBusiness History
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Finland
  • Great Britain
  • investments
  • Nuclear fuel
  • nuclear power station
  • superpower politics
  • technology transfer
  • West Germany

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fuel for commercial politics: the nucleus of early commercial proliferation of atomic energy in three acts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this