Flora Roberts is a lecturer in Environmental History at Cardiff University. She teaches introductory courses on environmental history to undergraduates, as well as more specialised modules for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. She is currently writing a monograph on the environmental history of the interactions between the Syr Darya river and the Ferghana Valley, provisionally titled: A Sea for the Valley: environment and society in Soviet Central Asia. It was in researching this project that she first became interested in the environmental footprint of the nuclear sector, as the river basin of the Syr Darya houses several of the Soviet Union’s uranium mining towns, whose unstable tailing sites now jeopardise the ecosystem of the whole region.
When Flora wanted to buy a house in Cardiff, England, she was surprised to learn the almost-forgotten history of its location: on top a former nuclear weapons factory.
Flora’s research explores the history of the factory, how it was understood by the local population, and what Cardiff’s history can contribute to international campaigns to eradicate nuclear weapons.