Abstract: As we commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster and the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect on the vulnerabilities of our sociotechnical systems. This past year has poignantly highlighted how systemic risks are disproportionately distributed along race, gender, and class. It has also underscored the indispensability of care in our social fabric. While the nuclear energy community continues to reckon with our own role and responsibility in the unfolding climate crisis, we have a chance to critically examine how the nuclear community can work towards social and environmental justice. This talk will consider how a feminist ethics of care could inform policies in nuclear energy governance, and, more generally, reshape our traditional thinking, logics, and rhetoric about the present and future role of nuclear energy.
Bio: Denia Djokić is a Researcher in Energy, Equity, and Society at the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department at the University of Michigan; a 2021 Levenick Resident Scholar in Sustainability Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and an Associate at the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where she was also a 2018–2020 Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Between 2019 and 2020, she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Program for Science, Technology, and Society, also at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. From 2015 to 2017, she served as an advisor on issues in policy and governance of science, technology, and innovation for the government of Ecuador. Her research interests lie broadly in the social and environmental justice aspects of the governance of nuclear energy technology, particularly through modes of inquiry grounded in Science and Technology Studies and feminist scholarship. Her past research projects have encompassed technical and policy issues in radioactive waste management and advanced fuel cycle systems analysis. She holds an MS and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering with a Designated Emphasis in Energy Science and Technology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a US Department of Energy Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Graduate Student Fellow. She also holds a BS in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University.