12. PUBLIC INFORMATION
The level of public relations in a democratic society is one of the crucial factors of nuclear power engineering acceptability both at the present and in the future. This is currently perceived by the majority of the public as a specific industry defying a commonly acceptable industrial standard. Also distrust of nuclear power and concerns arising out thereof on the part of some of the public are linked thereto. This feeling is frequently augmented by activities pursued by a wide variety of antinuclear movements due to a one-sided negative understanding of nuclear power.
Signature of the agreement between UJD and Slovak Academy of Sciences
Therefore it is necessary to use the utmost effort in communications with the public and the media in order to progressively change this state and for the public to understand the need for nuclear power in this republic and perceive it as a source of safe electricity and heat that serve the people, do not threat them and its existence help address Slovakia’s energy and ecological problems while complying with required high nuclear safety standards.
UJD is around to serve the public. This is a regulatory institution that furnishes truthful and independent information on nuclear safety of nuclear installations, including information on management of radioactive wastes, spent fuel, nuclear materials, control and record-keeping thereof, as well as information on other fuel cycle phases. UJD seeks to provide information in an orderly, accurate and comprehensible manner in such a way that it cannot be disclaimed, as the public has the right to know the truth. In formulating information, regularity, consistency and openness are of high importance, because information presented cannot serve a controversy. UJD furnishes information independently and separately from that issued by nuclear power plant operators.
As a central administration authority, UJD provides on request, within the field of its responsibility, in particular the information on safety of nuclear energy installations independently from nuclear programme implementers, allowing the public and the media to check up the data and information thereon. A significant element of the information is the demonstration that the area of nuclear energy uses in the Slovak Republic has its binding rules and the compliance therewith is controlled by the state through an independent institution - UJD. As early as in 1995 the foundations laid were at UJD for the concept for broad public information on UJD activity and on safety of nuclear installations by opening UJD Information Centre. This Centre provides communication with the public and the media, thereby contributing to fashioning among the public a favourable image of the independent state supervision over nuclear safety. The Information Centre was extended in 2000.
Communication with the media and publication activity
In 2000, 76 contributions on domestic and foreign UJD activities were sent in to Slovak press agencies, dailies and electronic media.
UJD is together with the SUJB the publisher of the journal “Nuclear Power Engineering Safety“ running substantial articles from major UJD activities. The double issues 7/8 and 11/12 (2000) included safety analyses - NPP V-1 Bohunice and NPP Mochovce units safety assessment. The monthly “Verejná správa“ (Public Administration) ran in 2000 two substantial articles on UJD legislative and state law activities. Contributions on UJD regulatory activity and international co-operation appear on a regular basis in “Spravodajstvo SE, a.s.“ (SE, a.s., Newsletter) and in-house journals “Mochovce“ and “Bohunice“. UJD domestic and foreign activities were published in 5 issues in “Slovak Nuclear Society (SNUS) Bulletin“. A report on the safety of nuclear installations and the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive wastes in the Slovak Republic in the journal “Nuclear Europe Worldscan“ No. 7-8/2000 was also published the year 2000. A number of substantial articles were published in the magazine Energia. A contribution on UJD’s mission and tasks in the Slovak Republic was published in Energia Almanach 2000/2001.
Six contributions focused on UJD’s domestic and foreign activities were prepared for the world information agency NucNet. A Slovak-English information material on UJD (12/2000) was prepared and published for the public. Also the Slovak-English 1999 Annual Report on the results of UJD activity and nuclear installation safety in the Slovak Republic was prepared and published.
In 2000, four press conferences were held at UJD, with follow-up appearances by UJD management in television and radio. UJD executives made five appearances in television and gave six interviews and seven relevant interviews for Slovak Radio and magazines and dailies, respectively.
In 2000, two videoclips were produced for the public, namely on the “UJD tasks and mission“ and “emergency planning“. A highly successful press conference on Slovakia’s NPP safety was arranged by UJD on the occasion of the visit to Slovakia by the OECD/ Nuclear Energy Agency Director General (May 2000).
Toward the end of the year, an increased attention was paid to the preparation for the implementation of Act on Information Free Access No. 211/1998 Coll., which came into force on January 1, 2001. As a result, UJD also drew up a particular directive to apply the act under its conditions.
Opening of photo exhibition on NPPs Bohunice prepared by Ms. Durisova at UJD
Internal UJD communication
Last year UJD Information Centre provided subject materials and consultancy, and also secured round the year daily information exchanges, faxes, e-mails and materials between the Bratislava and Trnava locations. Furthermore, topic information and news from the Agency STORIN and NucNet news via a PC network to all of UJD executives were processed on a daily basis. Three Bulletins on UJD domestic and foreign activities were prepared and published. The press was monitored and reports and information for notice boards for the two Trnava and Bratislava locations were prepared on a daily basis. In 2000, six photographic sets (notice boards and albums) on major UJD events and high-profile domestic and foreign visits to UJD were prepared and contributions were made to the UJD web page. During the year two UJD staff meetings were organised and regular contributions made to the UJD’s Internet page. A new UJD web page in connection with the Act on Free Access to Information.was also prepared.
Extraordinary public relations activities of UJD throughout 2000 resulted from the NPP Mochovce Unit 2 start-up process and the operation of the other units in the Bohunice and Mochovce sites. Under the annual inspection schedule, UJD inspectors would carry out a host of controls on respective technological sections of the operated units. The UJD spokesman attended some of the UJD team inspections under which he prepared information articles for the media thereon, specifically setting out control conclusions with action taken.