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Disertation proposal, perception of nuclear power, associated risks, and communication strategy - Dissertation Example

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UNIVERSITY OF School of … Module … Misjudged, Misunderstood, Misrepresented: Nuclear Power in the Context of Ever-Increasing Energy Demand ID No.: . The candidate confirms that the work submitted is their own and that appropriate credit has been given where reference has been made to the work of others…
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Disertation proposal, perception of nuclear power, associated risks, and communication strategy
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Download file to see previous pages The cheap, safe and reliable energy sources could predetermine both a society’s functioning as a whole and any individual’s well-being in particular. Against the background of rapidly rising energy consumption worldwide and more or less dwindling reserves of fossil fuel, along with still unfolded potential and certain limitations concerning the electricity generation from renewable sources, nuclear power appears to become an increasingly reasonable option - at least according to many governments, scientists and professionals. In the case of the public opinion, however, the overall picture is alarmingly different. According to a selection of reputable opinion polls conducted in the UK between 2004 and 2007, there is low support for nuclear energy, especially compared with energy from renewable sources (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, 2007, p.3). In 2010, just 38 per cent of the respondents to a Cardiff University/Ipsos MORI poll ‘believed the benefits of nuclear power outweighed the risks and only 39 per cent trusted the industry to run the plants safely’ (Ecologist, 2010). ...
Given the legacy of the Cold War thinking, reinforced by past and recent incidents in nuclear plants like those in Chernobyl and Fukushima, along with the usual mistrust towards the government, such a trend is not a complete surprise; moreover, most of the people as a whole, and perhaps a good deal of those polled in particular, either don’t fully realise the scale and consequences of the climate change, or do consider them a faraway future and therefore not an issue to worry about, as against the existing, yet greatly exaggerated, immediate risks for people’s health and lives, which appear to form the poor image of nuclear power. This issue is being repeatedly addressed by governmental and scientific reports, documents and writings, with varying, but definitely insufficient effect, as seen from the latest polls’ results. Though the set of intentions and recommendations contained in those writings, aimed at influencing the public opinion, is considered generally correct, namely well-targeted educational campaigns, nuclear waste solutions, continued focus on safety, etc., the result, or more precisely the faint result, implies two possibilities: These efforts would need much longer time to bear fruit; There is something wrong with the messages themselves – whether in terms of formulation and clarity, or in the way they are communicated to the general public; As in most of the cases, the truth might lie in somewhere between the two – whereas a daunting task, like gaining public support for something that full of misconceptions and therefore so badly understood by the average person in the street, as nuclear power, inevitably ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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