Views from ...
Communicating nuclear to the Brussels bubble
Vilma Djala, Communications Officer, nucleareurope
I started my new professional adventure at nucleareurope at the end of January. Previously, I worked for more than three years in a large consultancy company dealing with energy projects, mainly in Sub-Saharan and Asian countries. Thanks to my experience I was able to constantly learn new things about the energy mix of these countries. I became familiar with the different energy sources and the financial support provided by, for example, the European Commission (EC), the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the World Bank (WB) to third countries. These multimillion projects aimed at strengthening the energy capacity of these countries and support them in the challenges presented by the energy transition.
That experience, however, left me strongly questioning why a reliable and clean energy source like nuclear was being rejected by some EU Member States. As an Italian, I also questioned why my home country – which used to have nuclear power – decided to phase out nuclear. What pushed Italians to vote against nuclear energy during the two referenda at the time? And would a new referendum today lead to a different outcome? This personal curiosity led me to nucleareurope. As someone who loves learning new things, the nuclear sector provides countless opportunities to do so, as it is constantly evolving and innovating.
In this brief time, I have discovered an association, nucleareurope, which is doing all it can to enhance the understanding of stakeholders when it comes to nuclear and the different solutions it provides in terms of energy, healthcare and much more. The team truly believes that nuclear is part of the solution and this shows in their work. Nuclear remains a very emotive subject. But it is important to continue communicating the facts about this very versatile technology in a digestible way for those not directly involved in the sector.
It has also been incredibly fascinating to start working in nuclear at a time when energy has become into a top priority for citizens and policymakers across Europe. The current situation which we find ourselves in has highlighted the importance of affordable energy in our lives. Many, like me, are asking themselves what can be done to retain our quality of life whilst at the same time ensure a just and fair energy transition. Up until now, many citizens have been sold a narrative that says, “we do not need nuclear”. My hope is that more and more people will be open to learning the facts about nuclear and better understand why it is, in fact, needed.
I am certain that the work we do at nucleareurope will help get this message across and ensure a greater understanding of why we do need this technology.