Information campaign on nuclear energy
One of the main objectives of the Romanian nuclear industry’s public relations policy is to inform end educate the younger generation about particular espects of the use of nuclear energy, in order to increase the level of acceptance and to atract more specialists to the nuclear field. With this in mind, AREN (the Romanian Nuclear Energy Association) and ROMATOM (the Romanian Atomic Forum) started, in 2010-2011, an information campaign aimed at teachers and students on topics such as: the benefits of nuclear power, radiation, radioactive waste etc. The information campaign sought to explain in an easy-to-undertsand yet technically accurate way, the production of nuclear energy, its positive effect on environmental protection, the applications of nuclear power in daily life and the elimination of popular myths thanks to correct facts and information provided by scientists.
The first phase of the campaign consisted of organising a series of seminars under the heading Nuclear energy, the power of the future: between perception and reality. Students of physics, biology and chemistry and practical science teachers from Bucharest’s schools and high schools took part in the debates.
These seminars focused on giving practical information, as a supplement to the theoretical information received in schools. It also aimed to stimulate interest in nuclear energy among young people. Presentations were made during the debates by university teachers, employees from various nuclear companies and institutes, members of the Romanian government, etc.
The debates were organised in 4 sessions: “Nuclear energy and the energy mix”, “Nuclear technology – the Cernavoda NPP project”, “The role of nuclear power in the framework of sustainable development and the fight against climate change” and “The Cernavoda nuclear power plant – the facts”.
The first session addressed issues regarding the international context of energy production, the renaissance of nuclear power, the role of the IAEA in supporting nuclear energy programmes in the member states and a comparison of energy sources.
The second session, held in March 2010, focused on the history of nuclear power in the world, and in Romania, and on a presentation of the CANDU type reactor technology, given by nuclear engineers.
In the second part of each session participants were given the floor in order to ask questions and present their points of view. The pupils present at the seminars were very interested by the information they received and got involved in the debates, which demonstrates the need for a continuous and correct dissemination of information.
In the third session, the presentations addressed environmental issues and the contribution of nuclear power to the reduction of carbon emissions. One of the papers was presented by Sulfina Barbu, a Romanian MP.
The fourth session was dedicated to the Cernavoda NPP – as a corrolary of the previous ones. It highlighted the positive impact that the power plant has had on the environment and on the life of the local community, the safe management of radioactive waste and prospects for the future.
The enthusiasm of the participants and especially their desire to know more have encouraged us to believe that there is a real interest in nuclear power among young people and that society understands the need for clean, sustainable energy in the future.
AREN (the Romanian Nuclear Energy Association)