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Technological and Digital Risk: Research Issues

Edited By Gevisa La Rocca and Juan Martínez Torvisco

What are the borders of risk? How is the perception of risk related to new technologies and digital changing? This book discusses these topics, moving from theories to research data, looking for concrete answers now, or taking a picture of reality. The volume is divided into three main sections: Exploring the Edges of Risk, according to sociological, psychological and artificial intelligence perspective; Technological and Digital Risks, exploring social media, cyberbullying, hate speech, social bots on digital platforms; Risk in the Cities, working with risk and deviance, risk communication, environmental and nuclear risks. Inside, research data from Europe, USA and Mexico are discussed.

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Chapter Fifteen Rethinking Nuclear Safety for Climate Change Adaptation (Marcella Giacomarra / Aldo Parlato)


Marcella Giacomarra and Aldo Parlato

The Chernobyl nuclear accident, apart from the damages caused to human health and at an environmental level, revealed some other critical issues more closely linked to the technological risk management. In particular, as pointed out by O’Connor and Van den Hove (2001), the Russian accident shed light on the high level of uncertainty of real consequences of a nuclear accident (too often underestimated and/or not easily quantifiable), as well as the effective impossibility to foresee which consequences may really provoke. This last accident revealed serious design flaws in the Soviet-built first-generation nuclear power plants, as well as a lack of efficient management and regulatory structures in almost all of the Eastern EU candidate countries. At that time, the main concerns were directed to two reactor types: RBMK 1500 and VVER 440/230.

At an international level, the lack of previous knowledge on technological disasters has lead to the adoption of several approaches, among them, the adoption of precautionary principles. In this context, it is possible to understand the meaning of the nuclear safety cooperation in the European Union (EU) which began in the early 1990s, immediately after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Chernobyl accident. In fact, during the G7 Summit in Munich (1992), the heads of State and Government committed to specifically support those countries of Central and Eastern Europe which operated Soviet-designed Nuclear Power Plants (NPP).

At European level, in 1992, three Eastern candidate countries showed...

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