New public relations blitz for “Green Nuclear”

Chuggers For Nuclear Take Us For Mugs Tuesday 6TH  by Alan Simpson, Morning Star  In the sleazy world of energy politics, prepare to be groomed – or even ‘normalised,’  AT A high-powered PR summit in London, energy giant EDF’s head of communications proudly reported that sponsoring the Olympics had “added value to the nuclear brand.” 

Flushed with this success, EDF now plans to harness a new team of company volunteers who will “go out into the community and schools to tell the story.” Their Bringing Nuclear to Life initiative will unleash hundreds of volunteer EDF joggers onto the streets, each carrying the torch for new nuclear. Their stated objective will be to “normalise nuclear to consumers.”

So, just when you thought it might be safe to step out a bit more — when double glazing salesmen, charity fundraisers and energy company “swappers” might be taking a breather — a new sort of “chugger” is about to hit the streets. 

You don’t have to fear being Saved for God or tapped for a standing order.

These chuggers will just want to normalise you. ………..

But you have to give it to the PR guys — they really know how to sell soap to suckers. Knowing that the economics will never stand up to scrutiny, they have to build acceptance on something else.

Fear of “the lights going out” is one angle, but it’s not a secure one. The more that smart technologies allow communities to move towards their own sustainable energy systems, the less willing the public will be to pay for obsolete energy highways. They will become as last century as public phone boxes.

The industry knows it has to try to sell virtue.  That is why David Cameron consistently refers — inaccurately — to nuclear as carbon-free energy.  Clean and Green, that has to be the message if we are to be normalised into loving nuclear enough to pay its extravagant costs.


I’ve even heard the term “green nuclear” used as the shorthand message as to how to save the planet. As oxymorons go, I have to admit it’s a bit of a belter. here are phrases that almost defy belief that they could ever turn up in the same sentence, like the words “He’s a good bloke” and “Jimmy Savile.”

But “green nuclear” will begin to make its way into the sales patter that normalisers use to retell the nuclear tale. Never underestimate either the chutzpah of the advertising industry or the desperation of an energy giant in search of an economic lifeline.

Are we daft enough to fall for it?  Having bought the political parties, the industry believes the public can learn to love the financial millstone that new nuclear requires.  We will have to see whether sanity and technology proves them wrong. Go carefully around the streets.


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