Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Atomic Junction
Nuclear Power in Africa after Independence


  • Date Published: September 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108457378

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • After Atomic Junction, along the Haatso-Atomic Road there lies the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, home to Africa's first nuclear programme after independence. Travelling along this road, Abena Dove Osseo-Asare gathers together stories of conflict and compromise on an African nuclear frontier. She speaks with a generation of African scientists who became captivated with 'the atom' and studied in the Soviet Union to make nuclear physics their own. On Pluton Lane and Gamma Avenue, these scientists displaced quiet farming villages in their bid to establish a scientific metropolis, creating an epicentre for Ghana's nuclear physics community. By placing interviews with town leaders, physicists and local entrepreneurs alongside archival records, Osseo-Asare explores the impact of scientific pursuit on areas surrounding the reactor, focusing on how residents came to interpret activities on these 'Atomic Lands'. This combination of historical research, personal and ethnographic observations shows how Ghanaians now stand at a crossroad, where some push to install more reactors, whilst others merely seek pipe-borne water.

    • Provides a comprehensive history of the first nuclear programme in Africa after independence, which has wider implications for the future of nuclear physics in Africa
    • Describes the impact of nuclear research on both local and national levels
    • Combines primary sources including interviews with archival records for an engaging mix of historical research, personal and ethnographic observations
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A carefully researched but also deeply personal history of nuclear science in Ghana. Osseo-Asare's history takes us from Ghanaian nuclear scientists' measurements of fallout from French nuclear tests in Algeria in the early 1960s through to Ghana's acquisition of a nuclear reactor from China in the 1990s, and further into the present day. Commendable for its breadth of perspective and fascinating detail.' Hugh Gusterson, George Washington University, Washington, DC

    'A meticulous historian with an ethnographer's eye for rich detail, Osseo-Asare boldly overturns standard accounts of Cold War atomic science, placing Ghanaian aspirations for decolonized knowledge and talented black researchers at the center. A brilliant and utterly original rendering of one nation's nuclear dreams that are at once liberatory and frustrated.' Alondra Nelson, President of the Social Science Research Council

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108457378
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: nuclear reveries
    1. Introduction: 'no country has monopoly of ability'
    2. Nuclear winds: particles without boundaries
    3. Scientific equity: physics from the Soviets
    4. Atomic reactors: a fission facility for Ghana
    5. Radiation within: monitoring particles in bodies
    6. Atomic lands: risks on a nuclear frontier
    Epilogue: nuclear power at the crossroads.

  • Author

    Abena Dove Osseo-Asare, University of Texas, Austin
    Abena Dove Osseo-Asare is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Texas, Austin, holds a secondary appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health at the University of Texas's Dell Medical School, and is a serving member of the editorial boards of Endeavour and Social History of Medicine. She is the author of Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa (2014), which was awarded the Melville J. Herskovits Prize in African Studies and the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch Book Prize.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.