Nuclear sector hunts for public champion

Britain's nuclear industry is hunting a comms figurehead to 'win the hearts and minds' of the public as it pushes for a new generation of nuclear power stations to be built.

The Nuclear Industry Association has created the role of head of PR, reporting to chief executive Keith Parker. It wants the post-holder, as its principal spokesperson in the media, to champion the industry.

NIA chairman Philip Dewhurst, who is group corporate affairs director at BNFL, said the campaign to gain acceptance of the role of nuclear power has ‘largely been politically driven for the past three years’.

He added: ‘We need to win hearts and minds in local communities and reassure people about safety.’

The Government is expected to give the go-ahead for the building of new stations when it publishes the findings of the Energy Review next month. Parker has said he believes the public would support new plants built next to existing power stations, where residents are already reassured of safety and where thousands of jobs are supported.

The NIA’s previous top PRO, media manager Ruth Stanway, left in April to become editorial manager at engineering firm Amec. British Energy media and PR manager John McNamara has been seconded to the NIA until the outcome of the Energy Review.

The NIA represents 120 firms, including nuclear power station operators, equipment suppliers and waste management firms.

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