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Creating Messages

To maintain confidence in the organization’s fair treatment of information, facts about nuclear science and technology need to be provided in ways that ensure accuracy and full disclosure of facts. People need clear, simple and easy to understand explanations. Organizations managing or regulating nuclear technology should take care to communicate with the public in clear and direct ways. Communication includes what stakeholders want to know in addition to what is considered important by authorities and experts. Stakeholders often want just enough information to understand the situation’s implications for them.

Detailed understanding of the technology itself offers less relevance to audiences who simply want to know if something is safe. For example, the IAEA Publication "Communication and Stakeholder Involvement in Environmental Remediation Projects", suggests additional ways to structure communications to help local populations. The report explains that general audiences are not looking to become experts in the remediation process.  Instead, residents should be aware of the nature of pollution, the means that will be used to remediate it and, most importantly, what measures can be taken by an individual or family to mitigate risk. Active listening and two-way interaction is essential to tailoring messages that will achieve mutual understanding.

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