The NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) and the NEA Working Group on Public Communication of Nuclear Regulatory Organisations (WGPC) organised a joint workshop “How to deal with misinformation?” on 10 November 2021. Participants discussed how to identify, anticipate and respond to misinformation and disinformation about nuclear activities or events.
The virtual event featured an introductory presentation by David Brazier, FSC bureau member and Nuclear Waste Assessor at the United Kingdom Environment Agency, followed by presentations from selected member countries and invited experts. Presenters included David Painter (Professor at the Department of Communications of Rollins College, USA), Craig Matasick (Policy Analyst at the OECD Open Government Unit) and Emmanuel Bouchot (WGPC Chair and Head of Crisis Communication at the French regulator ASN). Emmanuel Bouchot presented a case study and lessons learnt from disinformation attacks directed at the French nuclear power plant Flamanville.
The presentations were followed by a Q&A session during which the delegates exchanged their views and best practices how to anticipate and identify misinformation. Participants highlighted the importance of collaboration with public authorities and local stakeholders before and after a crisis. Workshop participants identified lack of communication and information sharing among operators, regulators and general public as one of the major challenges when dealing with misinformation and disinformation.
The FSC and WGPC acknowledged the importance of this topic for NEA member countries and will continue to work on addressing misinformation challenges in the future.