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Puerile publicity tactics of pro nuclear publicist “Think Atom”

The keynote speexh at the World Nuclear Cycle Forum was so absurd as to be almost funny. It avoided consideration of nuclear power’s huge costs, safety problems, weapons connection, terrorism risk, – and above all, the fact that the nucleare fuel cycle is highly carbon-emitting. It also sidesteps the fact that nuclear power , even if it did combat climate change, could never be operating fast enough to be of any use anyway.

But that didn’t stop gee-whiz nuclear spinner ”Think Atom” from insulting our intelligence by recommending the most puerile publicity tactics to win over the hearts and minds of the general public.


You need to put it in context: ‘The worst case scenario is a similar dose that you get from eating a bag of chips or a couple of bananas.’ And use emotion: ‘But that’s ridiculous! Yes, but it’s true!’ This context gives you an image of something. It’s easier [to convince people]/

Nuclear industry must change the way it communicates, says Think Atom, World Nuclear News, 15 April. 21, ”……….The fact that nuclear is clean [really?] energy is already “out there” and so the issue is not a lack of information,  Rauli Partanen, the CEO of Think Atom,   said, but rather of believing that information and then acting on those beliefs. For that to happen, data and reports proving the science are not enough. There also needs to be emotion and an alignment of values, he said, which will turn the information into something that has value.

“Why do people dislike nuclear? Forty years ago, the nuclear industry left the public discussion to those who opposed nuclear. These people, groups and organisations said that nuclear is dangerous and irresponsible, ……..

There has therefore been no progress in having a vision for the nuclear industry and instead it has focused on fighting against the premature closure of reactors or on decommissioning.

“That’s not very inspiring. How many young people are going to go into a field that’s focused on getting rid of itself? Not many……

The nuclear industry needs to start talking publicly about a “mission of expansion”, he said……  the nuclear industry should demand support from policymakers and legislators to create a fair market in clean [really?] energy, …….  enabling the nuclear industry to enjoy access to low-cost finance the way that other clean energy technologies already do.

The high rate of nuclear power plant construction seen in the 1970s and 1980s should be repeated over the next 40 years because “even when we get to net zero, we need to get into negative emissions, and that is not going to happen by itself, it will need a lot of energy”, he said.

“The key point is that, if the nuclear industry doesn’t have a big vision on its role, potential and importance in stopping climate change, how can it expect the rest of us to have that vision for them?”……

 World Nuclear Association’s Harmony goal – the addition of 1000 GWe of new nuclear capacity and a 25% share in the global electricity mix, by 2050………. It needs to spread out from World Nuclear Association onto the slide presentations of utilities, with statements like; ‘We’re looking forward to doubling our fleet’.”…………

“He is certainly an influencer and thought leader in some circles, but we also need others – rock stars, famous politicians, climate scientists. The issue is you cannot have one single message for everyone. Know your audience.”

The message however needs to make clear that being ‘anti-nuclear’ effectively means being against a proven way to mitigate climate change……….

Asked how attitudes towards nuclear energy could be changed at the political level, he said this was difficult, but “when change starts it can happen pretty fast”……..”One of the catalysts for this has been advanced nuclear reactors and small modular reactors, which is a new way of thinking about nuclear. It can give people a second chance to rethink nuclear…”’

,,,,,, The anti-nuclear countries, like Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, are constantly joining up and bullying other nations 

………..  The answers to those questions [about radioactive wastes] must be in a context the audience can understand, he said. For example, “the worst-case scenario” of radiation leaking from the Onkolo final repository would be a tiny number of millisieverts per year.

“Nobody will understand that. You need to put it in context: ‘The worst case scenario is a similar dose that you get from eating a bag of chips or a couple of bananas.’ And use emotion: ‘But that’s ridiculous! Yes, but it’s true!’ This context gives you an image of something. It’s easier than ‘many zeros of millisieverts’, which means nothing to the non-nuclear engineer.”


April 17, 2021 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster

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