Dr Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director, Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG), has restated the potential of nuclear power in boosting Ghana’s industrialisation agenda.
He said this in Accra, at the opening of a three-day media workshop organised by NPG in collaboration with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
Dr Yamoah said though nuclear power was noted to ensure sustainable supply of energy for industrialisation, many people had limited knowledge on it and tasked the media to bridge the information gap.
He said how media professionals framed the narrative would significantly impact people’s perception and understanding of nuclear power.
“Your role is instrumental in facilitating an open dialogue about nuclear energy, its potential benefits to secure our energy needs and employment for our youth,” Dr Yamoah said.
The training, an annual event, was organised for selected journalists in Accra.
This year’s edition is on the theme: “Shaping the Perception of Nuclear Power Technology in Ghana; the Media Factor”.
Dr Yamoah emphasised that the successful integration of nuclear power into Ghana’s energy mix depended not only on technological advancement but also on the shaping of public perception.
He said the media must, therefore, disseminate accurate and comprehensive information on nuclear power.
“Nuclear information must be presented consciously and continually after a well-researched and unbiased information for public consumption,” he said.
Dr Yamoah added that, the discussion on nuclear power should emphasise its immense transformational socio-economic benefits, and must as well address concerns related to safety, waste management, security and safeguards.
Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, General Manager of the Ghana News Agency, said Journalists needed to take keen interest in specialised reporting.
“Good, reliable Journalism is what consumers want and would go for, so journalists must step up their game,” he said.
He added that: “We need to develop insights into subjects that will distinguish our reporting from what untrained journalists put out in social media, that often leads to misinformation.”
Mr Owusu said having full grasp and detailed information on nuclear power technology would enable journalists to render effective reportage to feed the public.
He said areas the media could play critical role regarding nuclear power, included development, public perception, economic viability, long-term sustainability, environmental impact and how nuclear energy could combat climate change.
Professor Benjamin J. B. Nyarko, Board Chairman, NPG, and a former Director-General, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, also emphasised the role of the media in shaping the attitude and perception of the public.
He said the media needed to allay the fears of people while ensuring public safety using case studies.
Prof Nyarko said having a better understanding of the nuclear power technology would guarantee smooth implementation of Ghana’s nuclear energy project to the benefit of all Ghanaians.