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Independent information and public trust


14.05.2012_No93 / News in Brief

Fukushima Information Was ‘Challenging’ For Regulators, Conference Hears


Policies & Politics

14 May (NucNet): Most nuclear regulatory bodies and international organisations tried to communicate authenticated data during the crisis at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, but it proved challenging because reliable information was not always available, a conference heard.

The two-day conference on crisis communication held last week in Madrid heard that public demand for information was “overwhelming” during the weeks following the March 2011 accident, inevitably triggering frustration linked primarily to “diverging national recommendations on health protection measures”.

Luis Echávarri, director-general of the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), which organised the conference, said the accident at Fukushima-Daiichi further highlighted the need for clear plans in times of crisis, when independent, objective and fact-based information is critically needed.

The NEA said in a statement that while it was clear from the discussions that regulators should continue to improve their crisis communication plans, public trust is “highly dependent on credibility built over time, far before a crisis occurs”.

This implies that regulators should “regularly demonstrate their competence and independence” which will help ensure that their messages will be listened to in a crisis situation,” the NEA said.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers): 




David Dalton

© NucNet a.s.b.l Brussels, Belgium


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