National Nuclear Laboratory


Wednesday 24 May 2017

Strengthening the Communication Between Nuclear Energy and Society

The UK nuclear industry commits to enhancing public understanding of nuclear energy and to engaging more effectively with society.

With nuclear new build in the UK now confirmed to take place, the face of the UK nuclear industry is set to change over the next 10 to 15 years. It is recognised however, that technical and political drivers alone are not enough to create a sustainable nuclear future for the UK. Public perception remains a key issue as we go forward, and the successful delivery of the Concordat agreement on Public Engagement depends upon the positive involvement of the public.

The Concordat outlines four principles: Leadership Commitment, Best Practice, Effective Communicators and Making a Difference, which commit the UK nuclear industry signatories to become more effective in engaging with the public. One key component is a commitment to encouraging and supporting the UK nuclear workforce in breaking the barriers associated with talking about Nuclear and to act as ambassadors for the industry.

The initiative stemmed from the Nuclear Industry Council’s strategy to enhance the public’s understanding of nuclear energy, and development of the Concordat was led by Professor Andrew Sherry, Chief Scientist for National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).

More background to the work can be found at the World Nuclear News article below:

Following on from the launch of the Concordat in 2015, a public dialogue study was funded and undertaken by NNL, Sellafield Ltd and Welsh Government working together in partnership. The aim was to inform and, if needed, update the Concordat through public dialogue, as well as to gain insights into public expectations of how public engagement might be demonstrated. Public participants from Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and Wrexham in North Wales were recruited to provide the views of both nuclear and non-nuclear communities.

The work was facilitated by a specialist external agency, Hopkins Van Mil, and a report summarising the findings of the project can be found here

For further information, please contact Adrian Bull, NNL’s External Relations Director, on 07894 836553 or at