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Re: The Friendly Atom
You're right that there is no well-funded organized group (since USEC)
promoting nuclear technology to gain the "good will of the public." In fact,
as soon as one starts up, it is viewed by opponents as a PR/Lobbying arm of
"Who will do it?" It has got to be the responsibility of every single
scientist, health physics worker and informed person to communicate these
issues. I work closely every day with several individuals and groups to put
forth the "good news" of the atom, doing Op Ed pieces, placing articles,
meeting with congressional committees, getting publications out, organizing
meetings and dispelling disinformation and junk science. But I would never
advocate mirroring the tactics of opponents -- it's stooping, and the main
credibility factor we own is science and safety.
One of the main PR problems in talking about radiation is de-linking it from
the atomic bomb in people's minds. A much broader circle of advocates should
include the Surgeon General, NIH, NSF, NAS, etc. thereby lending independent
credibility to what the "insiders" advocate. Radiopharmaceutical companies,
hospitals, universities and related government agencies all have ample
opportunity to "spin" positive stories about nuclear technology and safety,
such as when Gore visited bio-tech companies in Ca. and Shalala was at NIH.
But they tip toe around the radioactive issues anticipating a back lash that
they in fact cause by thier reticense.
Maybe there should be an information clearing house, funded by but independent
from interested entities, but if everyone keeps doing what they're doing and
personally assumes the responsibility to debunk disinformation, that may come.
Just my 2 cents.