The engine or a hood ornament? National identity and nuclear power in France

Historian Gabrielle Hecht analyses the development of nuclear power in France as a project of restoring  "the radiance of France", its past glory, through novel technology. She traces a tension between a 'nationalist' and a 'nationalised' ideas of nuclear power and shows how the latter decisively wins at the first sight of the oil crisis. This historical analysis contains important lessons for contemporary energy transitions.

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