Per Högselius Most Read in Hopkins Press 2022
Per Högseluis article "Atomic Shocks of the Old: Putting Water at the Center of Nuclear Energy History" was published in the first 2022 issue of Technology and Culture. When Hopkins Press is summarizing last year, it ends up on the list of most read articles in journals.
Find the full list of most read articles here!
This article argues that the history of nuclear energy can and should be analyzed as a history of water. Taking inspiration from David Edgerton's The Shock of the Old and recent efforts to merge the history of technology with environmental history, here the focus shifts from nuclear reactors to the "conventional" parts of nuclear power plants. This brings to the fore that a range of hydraulic technologies with long prehistories—pumps, pipes, valves, dams, dikes, and so on—have been crucially important for nuclear safety. The "atomic age" is fundamentally a hydraulic age and should be seen in relation to experiences gathered by past hydraulic civilizations.