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Vincent Ialenti


Vincent Ialenti studies nuclear waste expert cultures in Finland and the United States. His new book Deep Time Reckoning (MIT Press, 2020) explores how Finland’s nuclear energy waste repository “safety case” experts grappled with distant future ecologies and the limits of knowledge. His current ethnographic project explores the political-economic drivers behind U.S. transuranic nuclear weapons waste “drum breach” accidents. Vincent’s research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, and The Berggruen Institute. Vincent holds a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Cornell University and a MSc in Law, Anthropology & Society from the London School of Economics. At Cornell, he was an active contributor to Cornell Law School’s trans-Pacific think-tank Meridian 180. He designed and taught a writing seminar called “Nuclear Imagination: Technologies & Worlds” for Cornell’s John S. Knight Institute. Alongside his academic publications, Vincent has written for the BBC, NPR, Forbes, Sapiens, and other public outlets.  

Vincent Ialenti's Page

2021. “Mankala Chronicles: Nuclear Energy Financing & Cooperative Corporate Form in Finland.” Nuclear Technology: Journal of The American Nuclear Society. Forthcoming.

2021. “Drum Breach: Error Politics, Operational Temporalities, and WIPP’s Kitty Litter Nuclear Waste Accident.” Social Studies of Science 51(3).

2020. “Generation.” Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon (eds. Cymene Howe & Anand Pandian). Brooklyn, NY: Punctum Press.

2020. Deep Time Reckoning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

2020. “Specters of Seppo: The Afterlives of Finland’s Nuclear Waste Experts.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 26(2).

2019. “Alter-Ecologies: Envisioning Papal & Ecomodernist Nuclear Energy Policy Futures.” Care for the World: Laudato Si & Catholic Social Thought in an Era of Climate Crisis (ed. Frank Pasquale). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

2018. “Waste Makes Haste: How a Campaign to Speed up Nuclear Waste Shipments Shut Down the WIPP Long-Term Repository.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 74(4).

2017. “Death & Succession Among Finland’s Nuclear Waste Experts.” Physics Today 70(10).

2014. “Adjudicating Deep Time: Revisiting the United States’ High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository Project at Yucca Mountain.” Science & Technology Studies 27(2).




nuclear energy, form, Finland



  • Anthropology