MAPPING NUCLEAR HISTORIES OF WYOMING COMMUNITIES TO INFORM AN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE APPROACH FOR ADVANCED NUCLEAR ENERGY FACILITY SITING
Denia Djokić, Rachael Budowle, Community Advisory Board
As part of our Engaging Wyoming Communities in an Environmental Justice Approach for Advanced Nuclear Energy Facility Siting project funded by the United States Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program, we aim to pilot a digital humanities approach to spatialize and visualize the environmental justice implications of advanced nuclear energy facility siting centered around, and “radiating” outward from, the Naughton Power Plant/Natrium advanced nuclear energy demonstration project site in Kemmerer, Wyoming. This mapping effort will draw on the community-engaged and cultural data from the larger project to visually represent the histories and lived experiences of local coal plant and mine workers, residents, and nearby Native American and tribal communities that have historically experienced injustices related to the nuclear fuel cycle. We hope that this will also serve as a pilot for our broader work to map the “radiating” injustices as well as potentialities for justice in the context of advanced nuclear energy and waste facility siting.
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About the Team
Denia Djokić is an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan’s Fastest Path to Zero Initiative. Her training in nuclear engineering, policy, and STS informs her current work that engages with environmental justice issues around advanced nuclear energy technology and radioactive waste management.
Rachael Budowle, Assistant Professor in Community Resilience and Sustainability at the University of Wyoming, is a cultural anthropologist whose scholarship sits at the intersection of environment and society. She focuses on various environmental justice topics using humanistic social science approaches, including community engagement around energy issues in Wyoming.
The project’s Community Advisory Board, currently under formation, will include local community leaders and representatives from community-based environmental organizations in Wyoming. It will support the project in ethical and equitable research processes, co-develop research strategies, and identify and coordinate community member participants for ethnographic and collaborative engagement processes.