Environmental concerns have led to a sharp decrease in environmental releases from CEA activities. However, some releases have sometimes led to environmental impact around some sites. Transfer times, particularly in soils and groundwater, delay the time when the increase in concentration of a given substance is observed after release. Thus, most of the current environmental concerns result from past activities, authorized under a framework that is no longer the current framework. The CEA is accountable for this to regulatory agencies, local authorities or associations. The evolution of the legislation as well as the evolution of the perception and expectations of the local populations and of society in general have led to the implementation of consultation mechanisms, plus the role of the media.
The objective is to produce an analysis of the relations between the CEA sites and society on the subject of the environment. For the first time in the collaboration between the ENS and the CEA, at a time when a rapprochement is being made with the Centre de Recherche sur l'Environnement et la Société, a post-doctoral project is being proposed to analyze the case of some CEA sites from an "environment and society" perspective. This innovative and multidisciplinary approach involves experts in environmental issues from the fields of Earth sciences, sociology, anthropology, history and philosophy.
From a selection of a few sites privileging quantitative and qualitative comparisons on criteria to be defined, the research will be based on the contributions of the sociology of science, technology and environmental public action. In order to examine the deliberation issues, the project will study the selected sites to carry out a socio-history of the instituted devices and local controversies since the last thirty years. The method will allow the collection of qualitative data of different types: interviews, observations and press reviews.