Welcome waste - Interpreting narratives of radioactive waste disposal in two small towns in Ontario, Canada

Jana Fried, John Eyles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)


After briefly reviewing the production of nuclear energy and waste in Canada, this paper uses two small Ontario towns as case studies to examine the treatment of low-level radioactive waste and the communities responses and narratives to it. Both towns, Port Hope and Kincardine, have long histories of dealing with such waste. Using interviews, relevant websites and past accounts, this paper employs a discourse analysis to understand the differences in risk perceptions and living with the presence of these materials. Ideas from landscape narratives are employed to show that responses in Port Hope are dominated by death, elegy and crime, whereas those in Kincardine are predominately linked to progressivism and optimism. We explore the characteristics of each case to highlight the reasons for these differences. We conclude by emphasizing the potential role of narrative analysis in informing policymaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1037
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Risk Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • discourse analysis
  • landscape narratives
  • low-level radioactive waste
  • nuclear energy
  • Ontario

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this