Can Nuclear Power Plants Generate Artistic Inspiration?

"Nuclear" artists see motivating muses where others see only grey buildings, drab fences, and white steam piping out of concrete cooling towers, says guest commentator Vincent Ialenti.
Erich Berger and Mari Keto have made radioactive jewels, part of their Inheritance Project, that are unwearable by humans — and remain locked in a concrete vault equipped with radiation measurement devices. Source: Courtesy of Erich Berger

Vincent Ialenti is a MacArthur Nuclear Waste Solutions Fellow at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. He holds a PhD in anthropology from Cornell University and an MSc in Law, Anthropology & Society from the London School of Economics.

Doing anthropological fieldwork among Finland's nuclear professionals, I often wondered: How can one find inspiring beauty in what, from afar, seem like such austere, soulless industrial facilities?

Yet in the past few

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