ANS Nuclear Grand Challenge: Using social media to engage the public

November 16, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear NewsAmelia Tiemann

For decades, the nuclear community has fought to win public trust without a whole lot of success. That’s why, back in 2017, public engagement was announced as one of the nine ANS Nuclear Grand Challenges. The challenge focused on the need to transition from a “deficit model” to an “engagement model” approach with the public. Now a new cohort of advocates is taking nuclear communication in an entirely different direction—to the world of social media—and they are having fun doing it.

NRC is now on Instagram

November 1, 2022, 9:31AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is increasing its social media presence with its new Instagram page, the agency announced. The "nrcgov” account on the popular site will post photos, short videos, and graphics to add “a more creative approach to information regarding the NRC’s mission, with a focus on the skilled and diverse employees who carry it out.”

“Nuclear bros” take to social media to spread the word

October 10, 2022, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Shannon Osaka
(Photo: Neel Dhanesha)

A recent Washington Post article profiles an “increasingly loud Internet subculture”: “nuclear bros.” A network of online pronuclear activists whose nickname is often used derisively, the group consists mostly of men who are primarily driven by their confidence that nuclear energy is the best way to combat the dangers of climate change. This is according to the writer, Shannon Osaka, who calls herself a “climate zeitgeist reporter.”

Left and formerly antinuclear: Osaka writes that the nuclear bros usually exchange ideas and information on shared WhatsApp groups, Reddit (r/nuclear), or Twitter. She provides profiles of a few of these bros and suggests that most are on the political Left and used to be antinuclear, until their fears of climate change pushed them to the pronuclear side.

One such bro, 40-year-old Toronto physician Chris Keefer, says he was formerly “tribally antinuclear” just because “everyone else he knew was opposed to it.” Then, after his son was born in 2018, he became “horrified” by the idea of a “much hotter world” in the future. So, he read up on nuclear energy and concluded that “hydro and nuclear are basically the only two tools that have helped achieve deep decarbonization.” By 2019, Keefer was organizing pronuclear rallies with Canadians for Nuclear Power, a group he cofounded. He also hosts a podcast in which he voices his support for nuclear power.

House committee spearheading “Scientific Solutions” tweetstorm today

January 27, 2021, 7:04AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is leading a one-day social media campaign today to highlight the importance of leading with science and scientific solutions as the committee works to provide support for science and the scientific community. The “tweetstorm” will run from noon to 5 p.m. (EST) and will involve a variety of science-related organizations, including the American Nuclear Society.

Organizations are being asked to post messages on their social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) related to five categories:

  • American leadership in STEM
  • Environmental justice
  • Combating the climate crisis
  • Scientific integrity
  • COVID-19

Three hashtags have been created for the campaign: #ScientificSolutions, #SolvingtheClimateCrisis, and #EnvironmentalJusticeforAll.

Nuclear has a good mythbuster

August 12, 2020, 7:10AMAround the Web

There’s a new mythbuster out in the Idaho desert by the name of Don Miley, separating nuclear fact from fiction in the service of science and the Idaho National Laboratory. An article released by INL’s Communications and Outreach staff on August 3—“Nuclear MythBusting: Using Social Media to Set the Record Straight”—explains what you need to know about INL’s new public outreach venture on YouTube. And Miley, a longtime INL tour guide, tells what everyone should know about nuclear technologies in these short videos. Just head to INL’s YouTube channel.