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The Politics of InvisibilityPublic Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects after Chernobyl$
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Olga Kuchinskaya

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027694

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027694.001.0001

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Twice Invisible

Twice Invisible

(p.95) 4 Twice Invisible
The Politics of Invisibility

Olga Kuchinskaya

The MIT Press

Chapter 4 examines the succession of approaches that defined Belarusian radiation protection efforts after Chernobyl. The scope of radiation danger recognized by the government and the official view on required protection measures depend on the adopted radiation protection concept. It is developed by scientists, and like most formal representations (e.g., thresholds or standards), it appears neutral and objective. In Belarus, this radiation protection concept was redefined several times, and each time the scope of the recognized radiological contamination shrank or expanded radically. This chapter argues that the production of (in)visibility depends on how formal representations are aligned with what could be measured in practice and on the extent to which they seek to account for the empirical complexity of radiological contamination.

Keywords:   Chernobyl, radiological contamination, radiation protection concept, formal representations, production of (in)visibility

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