Hiding in Plain Sight: Uncovering Nuclear Histories


Robert Anderson (ed)
Simon Fraser University


global nuclear histories, open or closed archives, Canada


ISBN: 978-1-77287-093-0

Nuclear histories are global yet worryingly incomplete. Linking a plutonium refinery in Washington, a uranium mine in Saskatchewan, a tsunami at Fukushima, a nuclear bomb test site in Rajasthan, a reactor ‘accident’ at Chernobyl, a shipping accident in the English Channel, and a president-to-prime-minister confrontation over the US-Canada frontier, these quasi-autobiographical essays prove the importance of public archives, personal files with fragments, oral histories, and private recollections. This is the social history, business history, environmental history, labour history, scientific and technological history, and indigenous history of the twentieth century. Hiding in Plain Sight offers everyone an entry to the irregularities of our ‘disorderly nuclear world’, and offers other researchers crucial insights to what richness lies within.


  • Frontmatter
  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Hiding in Plain Sight: Uncovering Nuclear Histories
    Robert Anderson
  • Chapter 2: NIRG and Nuclearism in the Era of Climate Change
    Laurel MacDowell
  • Chapter 3: Hiding in Plain Sight: Canadian Nuclear Diplomacy since 1945
    Greg Donaghy
  • Chapter 4: Back to the Future: Nuclear Archives and the Working Diplomat
    Paul Meyer
  • Chapter 5: Nuclear Secrets and Interpretations of the Diefenbaker Government’s Demise, 1962-63
    Michael D. Stevenson
  • Chapter 6: Use of Archives in Nuclear Arms Control and Disarmament Research
    Nancy Teeple
  • Chapter 7: Nuclear Archives and Photography
    John O’Brian
  • Chapter 8: The Rashomon Effect in Risk Communication during and after Fukushima’s Daiichi Nuclear Accident: From Lessons Learned to Areas of Future Research
    Claude-Yves Charron
  • Chapter 9: Mining the Mining Archives
    Sachiyo Kanzaki
  • Chapter 10: Navigating a Nuclear Past Where Archives Are Missing
    Marissa Bell
  • Chapter 11: Listening to the Radiogenic Community Archive
    Sarah Fox
  • Chapter 12: Sociologist-Spy in the Atomic Archive
    Lindsey Freeman
  • Chapter 13: Reproducing the Techno-Nuclear State in Washington State and Ontario
    Linda Marie Richards
  • Chapter 14: The Subject of Territory: The Body-Archive after Chernobyl
    Svitlana Matviyenko
  • Chapter 15: Looking for Research Alternatives in the Face of Secrecy
    Prerna Gupta
  • Chapter 16. The Inaccessible Archive
    MV Ramana
  • Chapter 17: Slow Release: Multi-Generational Understandings of Two Open “Incidents” in the Closed Nuclear Files
    Robert Anderson
  • List of authors


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Author Biographies

Robert Anderson, Simon Fraser University

Robert Anderson is professor emeritus in the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University.

Marissa Bell, Cornell University

Marissa Bell is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Communication at Cornell University; she holds a PhD in Geography from the University at Buffalo.

Claude-Yves Charron, Institut des Études Internationales de Montréal

Claude-Yves Charron is director of the Research Group on Cyber Diplomacy and Cyber Security, and Fellow of the Institut des Études Internationales de Montréal; until 2018 he was a Professor of International Communications at Université du Québec à Montréal.

Greg Donaghy, University of Waterloo

Greg Donaghy was chief of the Historical Section of Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa, and adjunct professor of history at St Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo.

Sarah Fox, University of British Columbia

Sarah Fox is a PhD Candidate in History, University of British Columbia.

Lindsey Freeman, Simon Fraser University

Lindsey Freeman is in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Simon Fraser University.

Prerna Gupta, University of British Columbia

Prerna Gupta is a PhD Candidate, Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia.

Sachiyo Kanzaki, Université du Québec à Montréal

Sachiyo Kanzaki holds a PhD in Anthropology, and is currently responsible for the Japanese Studies Programme at Université du Québec à Montréal.

Laurel MacDowell, University of Toronto

Laurel MacDowell is professor emerita in the Department of History, University of Toronto and founder of the Nuclear International Research Group (NIRG).

Svitlana Matviyenko, Simon Fraser University

Svitlana Matviyenko is an assistant professor in the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby.

Paul Meyer, Simon Fraser University

Paul Meyer is adjunct professor of International Studies and Fellow in International Security at Simon Fraser University.

John O’Brian, University of British Columbia

John O’Brian is professor emeritus in the Department of Art History, University of British Columbia.

MV Ramana, University of British Columbia

MV Ramana is professor and Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia.

Linda Marie Richards, Oregon State University,

Linda Marie Richards is in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, Oregon State University, Corvallis Oregon.

Michael D. Stevenson, Lakehead University

Michael D. Stevenson is an associate professor of History at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay Ontario, specializing in military and diplomatic history. 

Nancy Teeple, Royal Military College of Canada

Nancy Teeple is in the Department of Political Science and Economics, Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario.

Hiding in Plain Sight cover image



January 7, 2022


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