Marissa Bell

Human-Environment Geographer

Energy Justice Scholar

Nuclear Waste Researcher

My research is at the intersection of two wider and interrelated domains, involving nuclear waste landscapes and just energy transitions.

Through these domains, I am more broadly interested in teasing out the spatial influences on and implications of decision-making, how local political-economic-social contexts shape how decisions are made and how decisions are perceived, and how space problematizes the translation of policy into context.

Nuclear Waste Landscapes

In my dissertation research, I explored the implementation of consent-based nuclear waste siting practices in Southern Ontario, Canada, namely the way local context shapes the operationalization of consent-based policies, the mechanisms through which consent is negotiated, and the extent to which this waste siting process is deliberative, fair and just. During my pre-doctoral fellowship at the International Institute of Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University, I examined industrial and regulatory shifts in the US nuclear waste management sector, exploring the ways industry shifts to capitalize from current regulatory crises, and the way policy shifts to deal with the liminality of nuclear waste management.

Just Energy Transitions

I am interested in the challenges of just and sustainable energy transitions, and how socio-technical systems can be organized in more just ways. One focus includes how nuclear energy is drawn upon to address fossil fuel use and climate change risks, and the associated challenges of nuclear waste. Another focus is on how energy justice can be drawn upon to further goals of sustainability, in particular I am interested in understanding opposition to renewable energy installations (e.g. industrial-scale solar, wind turbine and hydro-electric installations).