Semantics of cleanliness

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What is meant by "clean" when talking about nuclear energy? Cleanliness in the context of environmental crisis presumably means less pollution to the environment. And yet, the chapter argues that a different sense of cleanliness is applied in the sentence "nuclear energy is clean." By analyzing how the expression is used in scientific and media portrayal of nuclear energy as clean energy, the chapter addresses the ways in which cleanliness in regards to energy is suggested as renewable, harmless, less carbon footprint, to scientific, and futuristic. As opposed to coal mining as a labor-intensive process of extracting, converting and producing energy, nuclear energy is seen as a scientifically researched modern energy that promises the future of energy production and consumption.




Ito, A. (2022). Semantics of cleanliness. In Energy Justice: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (pp. 67–83). Springer International Publishing.

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