2010 FNCA Project Leaders Meeting
on Public Information of Nuclear Energy
21 - 25 February 2011, Hanoi, Vietnam
The FNCA 2010 Project Leaders' Meeting (PLM) on Public Information (PI) of Nuclear Energy was held on February 21 - 25, 2011 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
This PI Meeting was jointly hosted by the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VAEI), and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MEXT) of Japan in cooperation with the Nuclear Safety Research Association (NSRA) of Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
There were 16 participants representing seven countries who attended the five-day PI PL Meeting. The participants consisted of the PI Project Leaders from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and two observers from Korea. The project leader from Bangladesh was unable to attend. A list of participants and the program of the PIPL meeting are attached to the Minutes as Attachment 1 and Attachment 2, respectively.
Session 1: Opening Session
(Chair and Co-chair: Mr. Minoru KUBO and Ms. DANG Thi Hong)
In the morning of February 21, 2011, during the Opening Session of the PI PL Meeting at Saigon Hotel, Dr. Le Van Hong, Vice President VAEI, delivered the opening address. In his address, Dr Hong mentioned that the collaborative efforts on enhancing public understanding of nuclear energy under the FNCA framework is very important and should be implemented as a long term program. He further stated that public understanding would be a major factor in the successful implementation of a nuclear power program in Vietnam. In the opening remarks, Dr. Sueo Machi, FNCA Coordinator of Japan, stated the importance of public understanding and trust for a successful nuclear power program and the need for nuclear energy to mitigate global warming. The address of Mr. Mamoru Maeoka (IAEA) cited the role of the IAEA in enhancing stakeholders' understanding of nuclear energy, among others.
Session 2: FNCA Report
(Chair and Co-chair: Mr. Minoru KUBO and Ms. Rhodora LEONIN)
After the opening ceremony, Dr. Sueo Machi, delivered a presentation on the achievements of the FNCA under the following categories: projects for radiation/isotopes and nuclear energy for sustainable development, study panel on nuclear energy for sustainability development, projects for nuclear safety, and projects for building infrastructure on nuclear technology applications. Dr. Machi also presented the outcomes of the 11th FNCA Ministerial Meeting in November 18, 2010 in Beijing, China. Dr. Machi's report included information on the FNCA projects for completion in 2010 (e.g. cyclotron and PET in medicine, public information, research reactor technology), and the new projects to start in 2011 (e.g nuclear security and safeguards for sharing experience and information, and research reactor network for cooperation/coordination for research reactor utilization and isotope production.
Session 3: Present Status of Public Information Activities
(Chair: Ms. Rhodora LEONIN)
Mr. Minoru Kubo, PI PL of Japan, presented a summary of the current status of the public information activities on nuclear energy in the following areas: Asia Nuclear Cooperation Network, Communication with the Media, Regional Speakers Bureau, Training of Nuclear Communicators, FNCA symposium/open seminar and other specific results and outcomes like the FNCA Newsletter and FNCA webpage, among others.
Session 4: Country Reports
(Chair and Co-chair: Ms. M. Razali and Mr. S. Boonpotipukdee)
In the afternoon of February 21, country reports were presented by the PI PLs of China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
The topics covered in the country reports included the following: (a) present status of nuclear power generation and/or radiation application; (b) public information activities on nuclear energy; (c) future plan for public information activities; and (d) results and benefits gained from FNCA activities.
A welcome dinner reception at the Pho Bien Restaurant was hosted by VAEI on the same day.
Session 5: Report on Public Opinion Survey on Nuclear Energy
(Chair and Co-chair: Ms. Rhodora LEONIN and Mr. Saharath BOONPOTIPUKDEE)
(Chair: Mr. Totti TJIPTOSUMIRAT)
In the morning of 22 February, the participant from Korea presented her country report. This was followed by the session on the presentations of the PI PLs and discussions on the results of the 2010 Public Opinion Survey on Nuclear Energy which PIPLs conducted in their respective countries. As agreed upon in the 2009 FNCA Meeting in Manila, each PIPL administered the survey questionnaires to high school and university/college students.
Session 6: Discussion on Public Opinion Survey
(Chair: Mr. Minoru KUBO and Ms. Rhodora LEONIN)
An evaluation report of the survey is being finalized and will be forwarded to the PIPLs for comments/corrections.
Session 7: Three-Year Evaluation of the PI Project
(Chair and Co Chair: Mr Totti Tjiptosumirat)
A session to discuss the final evaluation of the FNCA PIProject for the period 2008 to 2010 was conducted during the PI PLM. Some countries (i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan) have submitted a three year evaluation report to the NSRA (FNCA Secretariat) while others will submit their report before 4 March 2011. Each evaluation report will be provided as attachment of the minutes.
It was often mentioned at the PIPL Meetings that this FNCA PI program has given much benefit to all member countries for enhancing PI activities. In addition, the PI PLs' evaluation of the program covering the period 2008 to 2010 clearly stated the invaluable contribution of the PI program. The importance of the PI program is more evident now that many member countries are planning to go nuclear or have embarked on their nuclear power program. The PIPLs therefore strongly recommended that the FNCA PI program and activities be continuously implemented to better respond to these developments as well as the major concerns of the public and other sectors regarding nuclear power such as safety assurance, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and nuclear waste management. The PI program is also necessary for sustainability in PI networking among member countries, especially in the formulation and development of each country's nuclear energy policy, national information, education and communication plan on nuclear energy, and other relevant concerns.
Continuation of the PI program would provide member countries with the opportunity to pursue the collaborative undertaking in the following activities which were proposed in the 2009 PIPL Meeting in Manila:
||Continue the conduct of a full-scale survey for high school and university students in each country.
||Revisit the science curriculum in the high school level as well as the content of high school textbooks such as in physics. Each country could compare results of the contents of the textbooks and later develop materials for inclusion in the textbooks. It was recommended by the PIPLs that a proposal be submitted to FNCA coordinators' meeting regarding a study on the contents of high school textbooks for cross-country comparison of results.
||Develop more creative public information strategies such as dissemination of information on nuclear energy through the Internet social media (networking sites such as Facebook. Twitter and blogs.
Session 7: Open Seminar for Public Information
(Moderator: Dr. Sueo MACHI)
During the morning session of February 23, an Open Seminar on Nuclear Energy was held at the Nuclear Training Center at VAEI. The seminar was formally opened by VAEI Vice President Dr. Le Van HONG. This was followed by Dr. Machi's opening remarks.
The topics and speakers for the Open Seminar were the following:
||"World Trend of Nuclear Power and Role of the IAEA" by Ms. Brenda Pagannone, Junior Professor, IAEA
||"Nuclear Energy Power Plant Project in Vietnam" by Ms. Nguyen Thi Van Ly- Nuclear Power and Renewable Project Pre-Investment Board (NRPB), EVN
||"Nuclear Energy for Sustainable Development and Welfare" by Dr. Sueo Machi, FNCA Coordinator of Japan and Former Commissioner of Japan Atomic Energy Commission
||"Trend of Radiation Application for Sustainable Development and Welfare in Vietnam" by Dr. Cao Dinh Thanh, Director of Department of Planning and R & D Management, VAEI
||"Application of Radioisotope and Radiation in Health Care in Vietnam" by Dr. Phan Sy An, President, Vietnam Association for Medical Physics/ Vice President, VN Society of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
The seminar was attended by approximately 100 participants composed of the FNCA PIPLs, university professor and students, scientists from VAEI and VARANS, and mass media from the newspaper and television.
Session 8: IAEA/FNCA Workshop on "Efficacy of Public Information Activities for Nuclear Power"
This session started with a presentation of Ms. Brenda Pagannone on the topic "Strategy of Effective Public Information Activity for Better Public Understanding on Nuclear Power-Part 1". This was followed by presentations of Mr. M. Maeoka on "Stakeholders Relationship Initiatives", Mr. M. Kubo on "FNCA Experience in the Past 10 Years on Effective Public Information Activities", and of Mr. M. Yokote on "Highlights of Opinion Survey of High School and University/College Students in 2010 and PI Strategy". An open forum followed after the presentations.
A round table discussion on the abovementioned topics and on how to improve public information for better acceptance of nuclear power was conducted. Dr. Machi served as moderator for this session. Among the important points discussed were as follows:
||Why some people are reluctant to built nuclear power plant?
||Question of poor communication with people about nuclear power
||Lack of curriculum on nuclear power in school, especially high schools
||Significant role of mass media to communicate with public: How to use media
||Responding properly to major concern of people on nuclear power
- Safety assurance
- Waste management
- Spent fuel management
- Proliferation of nuclear weapon
||Improving peoples' recognition of essential role of nuclear power for:
- Mitigation of climate change
- Energy security
This session was attended by all FNCA PIPLs, two observers from Korea (KONEPA) and officials and staff of VAEI and VARANS.
Session 9: Technical Tour
In the morning of February 24, the PI PLM participants had a technical tour of the following facilities:
||Central Military Hospital (108 Hospital) - Cyber-knife Center, Positron Emission Tomography Center, and Cyclotron Center
||Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology: Center for Environment and Radiation Protection, Accelerator Center
Session 10: Review of DVD and Poster/Pamphlets
(Chair: Mr. S. BOONPOTIPUKDEE)
On February 25, the PIPLs of each member country presented their respective audio-visual presentations and educational research materials in DVD format and/or pamphlets/posters. The exchange of these information materials has served as invaluable tool for the promotion and dissemination of nuclear information among member countries. Hence, this practice should be continued for future FNCA PIPL meetings.
Other Matters - Media Coverage of the 2010 FNCA PI PL Seminar
Dr. Sueo Machi, was interviewed by several mass media outfits (e.g. VTV-1, INFO-TV, VOV, several newspaper agencies).
Comments of Dr. MACHI:
On the last day of the PIPL Meeting, Dr. Sueo Machi provided the following comments and recommendations on the direction of PI Activities in FNCA Member Countries:
||Management of public information (PI) of nuclear power in FNCA Member Countries is in the most important timing and highly requested to prepare effective strategy and action plan for enhancing public understanding and acceptance of newly introduced nuclear power program.
||Sharing experience and information on effective public information activities in the FNCA PI project for past 10 years has been useful for member countries.
||Utilization of these shared experience and information in planning and implementation of PI activities in member countries is not highly visible.
||Each member country should formulate its own national communication or PI strategy to meet well with national nuclear energy policy, specific needs, culture, education system and other relevant issues.
||The national communication strategy for better public understanding and acceptance of nuclear power should be established by full participation of stakeholders and cooperation of relevant government ministries, such as Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Education.
||PLs of FNCA PI project should take initiative to set a national team to create national communication strategy in collaboration with their senior management by using shared experience and information on PI.
||The FNCA opinion survey of students clearly indicates that they have highest concern about global warming and understand solar power is the best for mitigation of global warming in terms of cost and zero emission of CO2. Nuclear power should be understood as the best energy source for mitigation of global warming in terms of cost and practicability. This advantage of nuclear power should be most emphasized in PI activities.
||Successful approach to media is the most important and should be much more strengthened for enhancement of public communication because TV and newspaper is most accessible for general public. Appropriate strategy should be prepared to enhance approach to media in each country.
||Promotion of dialogues with general public on nuclear issues is obviously effective for better communication. Interactive TV program of dialogue on nuclear power between general public and nuclear experts/administrators should be organized.
||It is clear that public concerns about nuclear power are on safety, proliferation of nuclear weapon, and spent fuel/waste management. Therefore, appropriate response to these questions should be fully prepared.
||Transparency of information is a prerequisite for better communication.
||Trust of general public on nuclear sectors is essential, which should be built by providing transparent information and showing necessary technical and scientific evidence for better understanding.
The PIPL Meeting was officially closed by Dr Machi. On behalf of FNCA he expressed appreciation to the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute for its excellent contribution in the success of the PI PLM.
Dr. Machi said that he sincerely hopes that the FNCA countries would fully utilize the experience and information shared under FNCA project for 20 years in the planning of each country's PI activities.
He acknowledged the EPPUNE of IAEA for its support to the Member States in enhancing stakeholder communication, and the newly established KONEPA of Korea to promote public information in the countries which are going to introduce the first nuclear power plant in collaboration with IAEA.
Dr. Machi again emphasized the importance of nuclear power for securing energy and to avoid further increase of carbon dioxides/climate change.
Dr. Machi expressed his desire for all countries to maintain good contact and communication with each other, to continue to exchange information and experience, and to enhance collaboration in coming years for achieving common goals.
He likewise extended his thanks to Ms.Hong, Mr. Hanh and Ms. Ninh of VAEA, and to Mr. Hong, Mr. Ninh of VAEI, and all the support staff members for their excellent arrangement of the meeting and for their very warm hospitality.
Finally, Dr. Machi wished all participants from abroad a very nice trip home.