The Role of Media in Nuclear Policy

The Role of Media in Nuclear Policy

The Role of Media in Nuclear Policy


The public perception of nuclear operations has the potential to tighten regulations for energy production as well as waste removal. This paper will focus mainly on the effects of pro and anti-nuclear media on policy creation and modification for the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

fear of nuclear

There are many groups around the world that are opposed to the expansion of nuclear energy. Most of these groups are environmental groups primarily concerned with the risks of energy production by nuclear means as well as the dangers of nuclear waste generated by energy production.
There are various methods groups can use to amplify their concerns to garner public attention in the form of fear. One of these mechanisms is of social amplification; to teach risk to those who have not experienced them personally. This mechanism may be used because “Independent of the accuracy and particular content of information, large volumes of information flow may serve as a risk amplifier.” [1]
Those who use the media to discredit peaceful uses of atomic energy also exploit any instance that negatively affects the trust of the people. This is because people have a tendency to destroy trust much more readily than to increase trust. [2]

Fig. 1. Movie Snapshot from Greenpeace News [3]

A big source of misinformation and misunderstanding of the nuclear energy industry is the hit TV show “The Simpsons™.” The main character is a dim witted nuclear power plant worker while the boss of the company is a greedy and sinister old man. The plant is maintained very poorly and comic uses of accidents or not unique. This is an important consideration because of the popularity of this television program. It has been on the air for 21 years and has had a large fan base ranging from young children to grown adults.
There are a number of high profile media sources that are based on the fear of nuclear energy such as “The...

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