Dr Marika Hietala – Research Assistant and PhD Researcher 2013-2018

Dr Marika Hietala (ESRC), Nuclear Societies PhD Researcher and Research Assistant 2013-2018:

Marika’s doctoral thesis, ‘Making Distant Futures: implementing geological disposal of nuclear waste in the UK and Finland’ (University of Exeter), focused on the UK and Finland aiming to contribute a comparative in-depth ethnographic analysis to the currently limited sociological conversations and empirical data on geological disposal of nuclear wastes. Critical reflection of the topic of waste is important as many countries pin hopes on the re-emergence of nuclear power as part of the energy mix in responding to global climate change.

The project explored the socio-technical complexity of the innovation and implementation processes related to geological disposal in the UK and Finland through the interpretative lens of sociotechnical imaginaries. The aim was to explore why one national process has been successful (FI) while the other has struggled (UK), to observe how geological disposal is imagined in different contexts, and to explore the divisions of labour in geological disposal.

Research methods included participant-observation, interviews as well as documentary analysis.

From August 2019 Dr. Hietala will join the social sciences team at SCK-CEN.