On April 26, 28, and 29, 2022, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) International Regulatory Development Partnership (IRDP) supported a 3-day Stakeholder Engagement and Communication virtual seminar for Ghana. This was the first of five webinars for the Ghanaian government as part of the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program, led by the U.S. Department of State in collaboration with the NRC and other U.S. agencies. The FIRST program is supporting Ghana as it explores the adoption of nuclear energy technology.
The IRDP’s virtual presentation provided the regulator’s perspective on Stakeholder Engagement and Communication, describing best practices to support and further refine Ghana’s existing strategy to raise stakeholder awareness of nuclear power. The webinar was led by Dr. Kenneth L. Peddicord, Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University and Ms. Kelle Barfield, nuclear communications consultant, and included experts from the NRC, Constellation Energy, the Japanese government, and other organizations.
The online seminar spanned 3 days, each consisting of 3-hour sessions. Day one included discussion of stakeholder engagement objectives, as well as Ghana’s extensive work to date on stakeholder engagement and its plans going forward. Constellation Energy presented on the reactor owner-operator’s work to engage stakeholders. Ms. Maureen Conley of the NRC and Mr. Mark Tonacci of AdSTM, Inc., presented on behalf of the NRC. Day two addressed stakeholder prioritization and message development. Day three was devoted to crisis communication strategies and included remarks by Japanese officials on public engagement during and after the Fukushima Dai-Ichi accident. Each day included breakout sessions and exercises to support and enable the Ghanaian participants to further develop their stakeholder engagement plan.