Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s nuclear lobby targets young people, using Facebook and Instagram

Mining lobby pushes young people to embrace nuclear power ,  Financial Review, Aaron Patrick, 7 Aug 20,The mining industry has been wrestling for years with how to change one of the most entrenched rules in energy policy: a moratorium on nuclear power.Now, based on insights from a market researcher known for its political insights, the Minerals Council of Australia has begun a campaign to win over a group that could lead Australia to a nuclear industry: young people.

On Sunday, a week ago, 17 different ads started appearing on Facebook and Instagram promoting nuclear as safe, reliable and good for the environment.

Produced by the Mineral Council’s own staff, the ads are based on polling by JWS Research, which estimates support for nuclear power is 40 per cent, some 29 per cent of people are neutral or unsure, and women and people aged 18 to 34 are the least informed about nuclear power. Some aren’t even sure there is a connection between nuclear power and uranium, of which Australia is one of the world’s bigger producers.

After conducting focus groups and an online survey last year, JWS Research told the Minerals Council that support could rise to 55 per cent, or even higher, by providing more information to cou nter the reputational damage of the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents.

“There is an obvious opportunity to educate Australians about nuclear power’s credentials,” JWS said in a report for the lobby group. “Low-level concerns about the cost of nuclear could be countered and its reliability and zero-emissions credentials should be promoted.”

The ad campaign isn’t a slick, big-budget production. Six ads, each about 1½ minutes long, contain statistics and information in graphical form set to music. “What are we afraid of,” says nuclear energy is the safest source of baseload electricity based on output, and no one died of radiation poisoning in the Fukushima meltdown in Japan in 2011.

Eleven other ads feature interviews about one minute long with experts and advocates discussing nuclear waste, medicine and reactor design at a nuclear conference in Sydney…….

In December, a parliamentary committee urged the government to legalise modern nuclear reactors, and in May Energy Minister Angus Taylor included nuclear among energy sources the government will study for investment.

August 8, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, spinbuster

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