A1 Journal article (refereed)
Fuel for commercial politics : the nucleus of early commercial proliferation of atomic energy in three acts (2022)

Roitto, M., Nevalainen, P., & Kaarkoski, M. (2022). Fuel for commercial politics : the nucleus of early commercial proliferation of atomic energy in three acts. Business History, 64(8), 1510-1553. https://doi.org/10.1080/00076791.2020.1845316

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Roitto, Matti; Nevalainen, Pasi; Kaarkoski, Miina

Journal or series: Business History

ISSN: 0007-6791

eISSN: 1743-7938

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 24/11/2020

Volume: 64

Issue number: 8

Pages range: 1510-1553

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00076791.2020.1845316

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73978


Historical research into the nuclear industry has focussed upon military and commercial aspects of the technology whilst ignoring fuel. This article discusses nuclear fuel, the resource at the centre of the industry and the role superpower politics played in its supply. Starting with the context of superpower competition, we examine the spread of nuclear technology from its beginnings in post-war Britain via West Germany in the 1950s to Finland in the 1960s and 1970s. We demonstrate that each country had varied interests affecting the choice of nuclear fuel for early energy projects; British fuel choices were constrained by its weapons programme and Germany needed legitimacy in the face of opposition in the 1950s. Finland was constrained by ‘Finlandisation’ and despite domestic enthusiasm the country had to balancing competing blocs in its choice of reactor and fuel. In short, fuel choices were constrained by local and supranational geopolitical conditions.

Keywords: nuclear energy; energy policy; nuclear fuels; nuclear power plants; investments; transfer of technology; power politics; geopolitics; Cold War; political history

Free keywords: nuclear fuel; superpower politics; investments; nuclear power station; technology transfer; Great Britain; West Germany; Finland

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 12:12