The world is very hungry for energy! In times of climate change and exploding atomic reactors how are journalists coping with reporting on issues related to nuclear energy, the only source of sustainable carbon-free electricity generation? Secrecy is the second name of this industry. The challenges and pitfalls of reporting on nuclear energy are immense.
Every fifth person on Earth still has no access to electricity and another billion only get an intermittent supply. Every third Indian has no access to electricity. Fossil fuels provide 80 per cent of the world’s energy, followed by nuclear, which accounts for 13 per cent. Fossil fuels are under attack because of climate change – a slow and seemingly irreversible process. Nuclear power plants have their own problems, with the 2011 accident at Fukushima exposing the hazards like never before. The session will explore questions of reporting on nuclear energy and its current risks – what history and recent events have taught us, and what future decision-making processes will be required of journalists.
Producer: Pallava Bagla, New Delhi Television & Science
Moderator: Peter Rickwood, Atomic Reporters & formerly with IAEA
1) Mr. Toshihide Ueda, Science Editor, The Asahi Shimbun – Japans leading newspaper
Title: “Our experience on reporting nuclear issue after the Fukushima disaster”.
2) Ms. Raili Leino, Talouselämä magazine – Finland
Title: Olkiluoto atomic reactor – A story about money, technology and politics
The world’s single largest atomic reactor called the EPR a giant 1650 MW unit is being built in Finland at Olkiluoto and most stories about this have been about money. There are only wild and still wilder guesses about how much the whole plant will cost – and who will pay the expenses. The technology being introduced by Areva is new, and that has caused many problems in the construction. STUK, the Finnish nuclear regulator, has been very strict, contributing to the delays. Politics cannot be forgotten as all energy matters are highly political.
3) Mr. Pallava Bagla, New Delhi Television & Science
Title: Bombs to Bulbs: Travails of reporting stuff nuclear in India
Every third Indian has no access to electricity. In India’s quest for energy independence nuclear power will play a big role. Poor communication and secrecy are obstacles to reporting on nuclear issues. Where fear of radiation and suspicion abound, winning the hearts and minds of people living near nuclear plants is critically important. How does a reporter cope with these challenges? Bombs and bulbs are inter-twined in the balancing act of an intrepid reporter!
4) Mr. Peter Rickwood, Atomic Reporters – moderator
Title: Why is nuclear unclear? Fostering an informed yet critical atomic reporter