Benefits of nuclear power to Ghana is immeasurable – NPG

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Dignitaries and participants in a group photograph
Dignitaries and participants in a group photograph

Dr Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director, Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG), says the importance of nuclear power to the socio economic development of Ghana is immeasurable.

“Nuclear power is promising and its benefits to the country are enormous, therefore, together, we ought to ensure that the objectives of this programme are realized rather than derail the efforts being made,” Dr Yamoah stated.

He said this on Wednesday in Accra at the opening of a three-day media training for Regional Managers and Editors of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra.

It would be recalled that on June 1st, the NPG, and GNA agreed to a partnership to enhance knowledge sharing, and widen information reach, on Ghana’s efforts to include nuclear power as an alternative basedload in its energy generation mix.

The workshop on the theme, “Strengthening and Sustaining Public Trust Through Accountable Reporting”, was organised by the NPG in collaboration with the GNA to equip participants with the requisite skills and needed information to effectively executive their responsibilities accountably.

“It is the responsibility of NPG to ensure that the needed social license for the project is secured. Upholding safety, transparency and integrity, we would be accountable and work closely with you and other media houses so that accurate engaging information is provided for Ghanaians to further this course,” Dr Yamoah said.

He expressed the firm belief that the training would provide relevant knowledge required for diligent reportage even as the NPG programme advanced.

“How does the Ghanaian media manage sensitive issues? Is it societal or media vetting?”Dr Yamoah questioned.

“Irrespective of the location, sensitive natured issues do not change clothes. The principles of safety, transparency and integrity are relevant to the management of a highly sensitive, systematic and regulated field such as in nuclear science and technology.”

He said accurate and reliable communication on sensitive issues in a technical and specialized field were as significant and as essential and it underscored the importance of specialized energy reporting which should be a major component of the media’s unique role as information managers.

He said discussion must aim at helping to choose between available options for an optimal energy mix to meet desired goals of economic and industrial development; adding that public opinion would have an impact on nuclear power in Ghana.

Dr Yamoah said there were always varying degrees of public skepticism, saying, “this skepticism is based on several factors, including lack of understanding and knowledge about the availability and potential consequences of different energy options, lack of trust in government and institutions, distaste for technology in general, fear of any nuclear, and the spectre of nuclear accident such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima.”

He said public perspective on nuclear energy was influenced by a number of factors such as lack of knowledge about risk, benefits and availability of energy options.

He said in achieving public trust and acceptance for the Project, the role of journalists, reporters and editors would be paramount.

Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, General Manager, GNA, said the partnership with NPG came at an exciting time for the Agency and that the national wireservice was also in the process of revamping its operations to reposition the GNA brand as a major news organisation not only for the domestic market but globally.

He therefore, expressed gratitude to the NPG for agreeing to sponsor two major media training workshops for GNA staff at least twice a year, this being the maiden one.

Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere, former Chairman, National Media Commission, lauded NPG for choosing to partner with the GNA to enhance knowledge sharing and widen information reach on nuclear power generation as an alternative basedload in its generation mix in Ghana.

Adding that despite the fact that the Agency had over the years been going through challenges, it had maintained a high bar of professionalism.

Professor B. J. B. Nyarko, Director-General, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, who doubles as the Board Chair of NPG, said the NPG-GNA partnership would ensure that Ghanaians were served with the right information.

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