Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 20 Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-63

Media Reporting of Nuclear Emergencies: The Effects of Transparent Communication in a Minor Nuclear Event (pages 52-63)

IN 2008, a nuclear event occurred at Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia. Even though it was classified as level 0 on International Nuclear Event Scale, the transparency policy of the Slovenian nuclear safety authorities prompted it to notify the international community. This was the first time that the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE) notification system was used outside the exercise framework. The event was reported in all major European. In this contribution, we report on a content analysis of media articles related to this event. The main research question was if a nuclear emergency generates significant media coverage, even in the case of a minor event and a transparent communication policy. The analysis included more than 200 articles from printed and spoken media in Slovenia and other countries. The analysis revealed a high‐intensity media coverage, emotional reactions and heated political discussion. The main media sources in countries with open political discussions on nuclear energy end up being the politicians, rather than resident experts.

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