UAE Nuclear Communication Experts Participates at IAEA Stakeholder Engagement Forum in Vienna

Vienna, 2 September, 2013: UAE team of nuclear communication specialists will be sharing its experiences in engaging with stakeholders and the nuclear energy industry at a forum being held at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna from September 2-4, 2013.

Members of the Communications teams from Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)participated at the “Technical Meeting on Engaging the Public and Local Communities in the Development of a Nuclear Power Program” which is being hosted at the IAEA headquarters from September 2 to 4. Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IAEA, delivered the keynote speech at the event which opened today.
“The UAE has taken significant and successful steps in implementing its commitments to transparency and public engagement in relation to the nuclear programme,” said H.E Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi.
“We are extremely proud that our stakeholder engagement program has been considered as a leading example by many countries with interest in pursuing nuclear energy.”
The event’s participants are executives from governments, nuclear energy organizations and states that are considering, planning or implementing new nuclear power projects. It will also attract specialists in communications, marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Participants will discuss strategies for IAEA member states to foster public acceptance for initiating or expanding nuclear energy programs and will share experiences in stakeholder engagement at national and local levels. Event results will be developed into content for a technical document which will provide operational guidance on stakeholder engagement and public information for new nuclear energy programs, as well as providing a ‘model’ stakeholder involvement program backed by real-life examples, including the UAE’s nuclear energy program.
Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi addressed the attendees on UAE’s experience in communicating with its stakeholders to raise awareness of the nuclear energy program across all aspects, as well as its commitment to operational transparency.
Since its establishment in 2009, ENEC has organized a series of community events which aim to increase the awareness and understanding of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy program. The ENEC forums are designed to raise awareness of nuclear energy as a safe, clean, reliable and efficient source of electricity whilst tackling the myths surrounding radiation and electricity generation. Similarly, FANR has conducted its own open forums focusing on the regulatory approach and its oversight mandate. These community events are open to all residents in the UAE and have seen attendance of more than 3,000 UAE citizens in the past three years.
Research has shown that there is a growing public support for nuclear energy in the United Arab Emirates. A survey carried out by independent global research consultancy TNS earlier this year, which studied the perception and attitudes of nuclear energy among the UAE public, showed that 82 percent of respondents supported the country’s peaceful nuclear energy program.