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The future of the nuclear industry: a matter of communication

Abstract

Since the very first successes achieved by the early scientists the infant nuclear industry was plagued by an atmosphere of uncertainty, conflict, anxiety and expectations. After the initial euphoria the Chernobyl accident shocked public opinion and perspectives changed. Nuclear energy is experience by the public in three dimensions. Firstly there are the technical realities of the reactor and its fantastically reduced source of power. Secondly, there is a psychological and political meaning, including the association of modern technology with authority, government, and control. The third dimension is the product of old myths about `divine secrets`, mad scientists dreadful pollution and cosmic apocalypse. To a large extent the nuclear industry is at fault for these emotional connotations. An early lapse in the communication process can be blamed for many of the misconceptions. The nuclear industry lost an opportunity by sticking to `vagueness`. Recent trends show that a pattern of conditional acceptance is present in public opinion with regard to the nuclear industry. Possible solutions, including better communication, aggressive marketing, and the training of scientists to become communicators, are discussed. A study was done of community attitudes around Koeberg, and it is concluded that the public must be convinced of the fact  More>>
Authors:
Publication Date:
Nov 01, 1993
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
PEL-325
Reference Number:
SCA: 290600; PA: AIX-26:051021; EDB-95:083124; ERA-20:018632; NTS-96:001180; SN: 95001406603
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Nov 1993
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING AND POLICY; NUCLEAR INDUSTRY; SOUTH AFRICA; ADVERTISING; KOEBERG-1 REACTOR; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; PUBLIC INFORMATION; PUBLIC OPINION; SOCIAL IMPACT; SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
OSTI ID:
58892
Research Organizations:
Atomic Energy Corp. of South Africa (Pty) Ltd., Pretoria (South Africa)
Country of Origin:
South Africa
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ON: DE95630078; ISBN 0-86960-904-1; TRN: ZA9400013051021
Availability:
INIS; OSTI as DE95630078
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
50 p.
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

De Waal, H S. The future of the nuclear industry: a matter of communication. South Africa: N. p., 1993. Web.
De Waal, H S. The future of the nuclear industry: a matter of communication. South Africa.
De Waal, H S. 1993. "The future of the nuclear industry: a matter of communication." South Africa.
@misc{etde_58892,
title = {The future of the nuclear industry: a matter of communication}
author = {De Waal, H S}
abstractNote = {Since the very first successes achieved by the early scientists the infant nuclear industry was plagued by an atmosphere of uncertainty, conflict, anxiety and expectations. After the initial euphoria the Chernobyl accident shocked public opinion and perspectives changed. Nuclear energy is experience by the public in three dimensions. Firstly there are the technical realities of the reactor and its fantastically reduced source of power. Secondly, there is a psychological and political meaning, including the association of modern technology with authority, government, and control. The third dimension is the product of old myths about `divine secrets`, mad scientists dreadful pollution and cosmic apocalypse. To a large extent the nuclear industry is at fault for these emotional connotations. An early lapse in the communication process can be blamed for many of the misconceptions. The nuclear industry lost an opportunity by sticking to `vagueness`. Recent trends show that a pattern of conditional acceptance is present in public opinion with regard to the nuclear industry. Possible solutions, including better communication, aggressive marketing, and the training of scientists to become communicators, are discussed. A study was done of community attitudes around Koeberg, and it is concluded that the public must be convinced of the fact that nuclear power is clean, safe, cheap and accepted as such by the industrially developed word. 62 refs., 13 figs.}
place = {South Africa}
year = {1993}
month = {Nov}
}