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European Cultural Heritage

The search for alternative sources of energy has stimulated renewed interest in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. However, scepticism remains and obtaining public acceptance is of vital importance to the future of nuclear energy production. We should be proud that Hungary is one of the countries in Europe where the peaceful use of nuclear energy is the most accepted by the public.

The Paks Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the only NPP in Hungary and operating with 4 units, is working on receiving a lifetime extension. Building new reactors has already been taken into consideration. However, opponents has taken a public stand against this life time extension and against even the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

In response to these criticisms, the Hungarian Nuclear Society (HNS) took the initiative and joined the well-known European Cultural Heritage Days held on 15-16 September 2007 by opening the doors of Hungarian nuclear facilities and the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority.

This event got significant support from the media (newspapers, TV, radio). A special edition of a weekly publishd brochure was made. The participating institution distinctive signs for the Cultural Heritage Days, like badges for the local guides with the logo of the Council of Europe, a blue flag that was flown on the buildings, and a special poster advertising the visit.

control room

thousand visitors

During these days more than a thousand visitors got information about the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Visitors could learn about the activities of the HAEA and they were given a demonstration by the Centre for Emergency, Training and Analysis showing a typical response to an emergency situation. Visitors were allowed to enter the control room and the reactor hall of the Budapest Research Reactor and they became familiar with the state-of-the-art research programs on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. They could observe the final repository for low and interim level radioactive waste materials in Bátaapáti as well. The direct contact made it possible for the public to ask questions on any nuclear issues and the Institutions could gauge public opinion on their activities. The synergy achieved through this cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Days initiative was seen in the increasing number of people visiting both nuclear and non-nuclear sites.

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