On June 1, 2016, the roundtable on "Public acceptance of nuclear technology and the educational mission of Rosatom" took place at the International Forum ATOMEXPO 2016.
The participants of the round table were: Kirill Komarov, First Deputy CEO for Corporate Development and International Business of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Minna ForsstrГ¶m, Project Director of the Finnish company Fennovoima Oy, Attila Aszodi, Hungarian Government Commissioner for the project of Paks-2 NPP construction, Sergey Kruppo, Deputy Head of Rossotrudnichestvo. The moderator of the round table was A.I. Adamski, Scientific Director of the Eureka Institute for the problems of educational policy.
The round table participants discussed the importance of public acceptance as one of the key factors in the development of nuclear technologies. Kirill Komarov said the public acceptance is important for Rosatom: it is a key condition for successful implementation of any complex project, especially of such a large-scale nuclear power plant construction.
During the discussion, Kirill Komarov said: "We have a wide range of projects regarding the public acceptance of nuclear power. In many countries, we open information centers, organize press-tours, gather public opinion leaders and communicate with them, show them our operating nuclear power plants and those in the process of construction, make films, publish books, develop a lot of programs for children and youth."
Speaking of Hanhikivi 1 NPP construction project, Kirill Komarov noted a significant role of the Fennovoima company in the process of informing the public about the project and the construction process. He also stressed that due to the Fennovoima's activities, the project was supported not only by the local population, but also by businessmen who participate in the development of related infrastructure projects.
Minna ForsstrГ¶m spoke about the organization of work on informing the population about the project: "Finns are very practical. They understand that the construction of the NPP means new jobs and a sound economy. We maintain an open dialogue with the public every day. It is very important to ensure that the project is accepted by society. Local population's support of NPP construction increased from 51% to 68% from 2008 to 2015, respectively."
Attila Aszodi told the roundtable participants about the public acceptance on the example of Paks NPP. Mr. Aszodi stressed that a key factor in the public acceptance formation is raising public awareness of the nuclear power projects safety. According to him, their perception will be completely different if the public is aware of a sound scientific and technical basis of the design of the latest Russian generation III+ reactors, combination of safety systems, as well as the absence of a negative impact of nuclear power on the environment: "I think that the choice of generation III+ reactors is of great importance for the population, but our task is to correctly transmit and communicate information about its advantages, to ensure open access to it in order to provide additional public support. I fully agree that a key role is played here by a proactive, open communication, and the use of various channels, which are at our disposal."