1. Unfortunately this is typical of the industry as a whole. I take it none of these people are familiar with the Parable of the Lamp:

    “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before others around you, that they may see your good works ” – Matthew 5:15-16

    1. I don’t think energy companies are the best people to promote nuclear energy, as for obvious reasons they can’t attack fossil fuels too fiercely.

      1. @George – “energy” companies cannot attack fossil fuels too fiercely. That is why there is a need for some focused nuclear companies or for some companies that recognize how to use synergy.

        I love fossil fuels and think they have been, and will be, a huge blessing for the progress of society. I am just not all that keen on fossil fuel focused companies and promoters. I think it is time for people to start working to knock them off of their king of the universe hills.

        My goal is not to knock the fuel, but to successfully compete with the suppliers.

        1. To recognize that fossil fuels historically have been “a huge blessing for the progress of society” is one thing. But with todays knowledge of climate change and aerosol pollution there is an absolute imperative to “knock the fuel” wherever possible. I just don’t see how you could effectively argue for nuclear if you think fossil fuels are mostly fine.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with the gist of this post. The battle for hearts and minds over nuclear power is being fought on Youtube and Facebook. And the good guys are losing. For every 10 people who read one of Rod’s posts, 1,000 or 10,000 watch fearmongering videos on youtube and repost them for their friends. I live in Japan and I get this all the time.

  3. Rod,

    “Bottom line: Nuclear energy needs more media savvy communicators and fewer engineers, lawyers and accountants!” Absolutely. No question. 25 years ago, I was considered a “loose cannon” for my efforts in trying to push my company pro-active with nuclear energy issues. The industry-itself might be in a Promethean exercise by trying to educate through the media, but they can certainly diminish the damage done by FOE-type organizations by anticipating such shenanigans and hit the air-waves early-on. If nothing else, anti-nuke organizations are predictable. Head them off at the pass!


  4. And the MidAmerican video has ratings and comments disabled. So the people who do support the building of the nuclear plant can’t even show it.

    The FOE video does have ratings and comments enabled, so it is an opportunity to express your opinions.

    Lastly the SimCity video game trailer is great.

  5. Well done FOE ad; poorly conceived response.

    The nuclear industry associations would do well to sponsor education for communications departments of nuclear utilities companies. They need to learn how/what to communicate to the public. Getting top advertising/marketing firms involved would add a new dimension; arguments by engineers don’t tap the right emotions of the public.

    The AREVA animated videos I’ve seen are great: fast, colorful, accurate, positive, modern, musical, historical, benefit-oriented, etc. Why can’t the US industry catch on to advertising?

    A side benefit of paid advertising would be to make the media more aware of the benefits of nuclear power, slowly eroding anti-nuke prejudice.

  6. Sincere response, totally weak and useless in effect. Looks like they are trying to ‘spin’ the issues instead defending and advocating for nuclear by showing it’s advantages. [I hope Rod in your check you send them you give them some ADVICE!].

    Instead of redefining the debate as ‘nuclear is the answer’ it the ad acts defensively and thus allows the FoE to define the parameters of the debate.


  7. Rod, I disagree that nuclear energy needs fewer engineers, but fully agree that it needs more media savvy communicators.

    I know what you intended to convey with that statement (not having solely engineer-types crafting pro-nuclear public relations strategies), but in literal terms I think you and I would both like to see more engineers working towards getting larger quantities of peaceful nuclear energy deployed.

  8. Could someone clarify … what does MidAmerican mean when it says in video: “customer’s will be charged with financing costs.” This seems to contradict one of their main points in video: project will involve no pre-payments from ratepayers. Does anybody have additional clarification about this?

  9. Rod, I gotta leave a dissenting opinion in this case. . .

    I think they are smart to put it on youtube.

    For one thing, you generally can’t run 3 minute ads on TV (well, you can, but it’s pretty expensive). I haven’t seen any 3-minute geico commercials lately.

    Two, there are a lot of people in my generation and younger who hardly watch TV. The Internet is our media.

    Three, when you run a TV ad, it’s on for however long it’s on for, then it’s gone. With a clip on YouTube, people like you and I can link the clip, and people can watch it whenever they want to, and it’ll probably still be there years from now. It’s not fixed to a specific “air time”.

    So, I think the choice of youtube was smart. However, I agree with your notion that the *content* of the 3-minute video just isn’t impactful enough, and doesn’t include a “call to action”. You’re right that nuclear needs more media-saavy friends.

  10. That response with the guy in the blue shirt soooooo borrrring. Would not take much to make it better. I would like to have seen a rendering of the plant and the surroundings, like Walt Disney would do when he talked about Disney World. Then like the other ad, show a couple in a kitchen with an electric bill and having a “favorable” look because it is not so high.

    If any company could take the lead in America it could be Westinghouse. For them I recommend:
    A Bold new logo – what they have reminds of appliances and is dated.
    Improved website, with more information about their product (not just how to get a job there).
    Website can also have photos and videos and animation about their projects.
    I would like to see commercials in a kind of a Japanese Anime style, which would be unique.

    So if anyone from Westinghouse is reading, I will be glad to share more with you!

    1. If any company could take the lead in America it could be Westinghouse. … I would like to see commercials in a kind of a Japanese Anime style, which would be unique.

      Heh … I suppose that would be appropriate, since Westinghouse’s nuclear business is now a Japanese-owned company (owned by Toshiba since 2006).

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