The nuclear industry needs to talk “openly and honestly” about its work so it can build public support, a leading figure in the sector has urged.
Lord Hutton, chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, launched a new drive to engage with the public as plans continue to build new nuclear power stations.
He told the association’s annual conference in London that the nuclear industry had “work to do” to help improve public awareness of nuclear power.
Building new nuclear power stations will create tens of thousands of new jobs, offering “major opportunities” for firms in the supply chain, he said.
“There is a world of opportunity opening up,” he said, adding that a new “concordat” launched today could help change public opinion about nuclear power.
“The industry already engages in public outreach, especially in areas where they operate, or plan to build. This can be through open public consultations or school events, but as an industry we need to get the message to a wider audience, to those people who aren’t in nuclear communities but benefit from the low carbon, secure source of energy nuclear provides.
“The aim is to take the narrative beyond the media, by encouraging people to be proud of the sector and the work they do, having the confidence to talk to other parents in the school playground, or to family and friends.
“Helping the wider public understand what nuclear is, can help change opinion about the sector.”
He added that the industry’s reputation for secrecy was being replaced by a more open and transparent attitude.