Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a Government of India Enterprise under the Department of Atomic Energy, was among the top nuclear firms of the world to be bestowed an award for its public outreach campaign at the 10th Anniversary International Forum ATOMEXPO-2018 held at the Black Sea city of Sochi in Russia during 14-16 May 2018.
This was the first international award ceremony at ATOMEXPO, a key exhibition event in the Russian nuclear industry, where global nuclear entities were felicitated their contribution to the world nuclear industry and their performance which led to significant nuclear energy use for the benefit of mankind.
ATOMEXPO represents a site for discussion of various aspects of the modern nuclear power industry and areas of its further development. The participants at the mega congregation included leaders of the world nuclear power industry, representatives of international, national and public organisations, Russian and foreign companies and key experts.
NPCIL’s winning project Atom on Wheels India in the Public Communication category was intended to raise awareness of nuclear energy in the rural population across India through mobile exhibitions in villages in various states. The winners of the ATOMEXPO AWARDS were decided on the basis of a competition which involved submission of projects by corporate participants at ATOMEXPO forums during 2009-2018.
This included five nominations in the following categories: “Best Launch” – the most promising project on nuclear programme implementation; “Nuclear Technologies for better life” – for the best project in the field of non-energy related application of nuclear technologies; “Innovations for the Future” – for the best break-through and innovative technology project; “Public Communication” – the best communication project; “Human Capital Development” – the best human capital management projects).
Incidentally 51 companies from 22 countries — Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, United Kingdom, Hungary, Ghana, Germany, Egypt, Zambia, India, Iran, Spain, Kenya, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Finland, France and South Africa – submitted their applications for the competition.
An independent international jury comprising global experts from the nuclear industry reviewed every project from a professional point of view before deciding on 3 nominees in each category. The Chairs of the jury for each nomination which awarded prizes to winners included Henry Proglio, Member of the Board of Directors of JSC AKKUYU NÜKLEER and Fennovoima Ltd; Fernando Naredo, General Secretary, European Nuclear Society (ENS); Takuya Hattori, Senior Advisor, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (JAIF); Pedro Porras, General Secretary of European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN), and Luis Echávarri, Consultant, Ingeniero Industrial.
While the prize for the best project in the category “Nuclear Technologies for better life” was awarded to “Conversion of NTP’s 99Mo Process from HEU to LEU” submitted by NTP Radioisotopes (SOC) Ltd (South Africa), in the “Innovations for the Future” category Dassault Systems’ project “Innovative Information Management System based on 3DEXPERIENCE platform” bagged the prize.
Meanwhile, the prize in the category “Human Capital Development” was awarded to Tecnatom (Spain) for their project “Learning with Soul Tecnatom”, which introduced a new educational process concept employing advantages of digital transformation, expert knowledge, social and collective learning.
Under the “Best Launch” category the first prize was awarded to the project “The Belarussian Nuclear Power Plant Construction” while the winning project under “Public Communication” was “Atom on Wheels India” by Nuclear Power Corporation of India
The jury members included Fernando Naredo, Secretary General, European Nuclear Society, Belgium; Sergei Novikov, Chief of the Presidential Directorate for Social Projects, the Presidential Administration of Russia, Russia; Virginie Ryan-Taix, Head of Communication, World Nuclear Association, UK; Gaopalelwe Santswere, Executive Chairperson, South African Young Nuclear Professional Society (SAYNPS), South Africa and Tiina Tigerstedt, Independent Strategic Communications Consultant, former IAEA Officer, Finland.
NPCIL’S CROWNING GLORY
Atom on Wheels: An Innovative Tool to Promote Nuclear Energy
Objective: To develop best creative content and to adopt a multi-pronged approach to raise awareness and education among common people about the various aspects of nuclear energy and its applications in a most lucid and innovative way and to dispel myths and apprehensions from their mind.
Tools employed: As a long-term structured approach, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited conceptualised and organised a grassroots initiative to promote the usefulness of nuclear power in the country, its practicality and safety in the form of an educational ‘Rural Integration Program’. The project which included a mobile exhibition ‘Atom on Wheels’ was initiated in six states, viz., Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana. Under this programme, a vehicle was equipped with LED TV, informative and creative panels, AV/PA systems, projectors and models to make people aware about numerous aspects of nuclear energy and to spread positive information.
Target Audience: The people who were covered by this programme included villagers at the grassroots level – students, farmers and housewives – in places where NPCIL’s nuclear power plants are under operation and around the vicinity of new sites where nuclear power plants are proposed to be built. During a span of 2 years, more than 1500 villages with around 600,000 villagers were covered.
Impact of Public Outreach: This was probably for the first time in India that a direct campaign was launched to connect with the masses at large scale through the innovative way. The project led to a lot of media accolade being received as well as a significant change in public perceptions towards nuclear energy. The programme led to the dispelling the myths related to nuclear power by reiterating its advantages through posters, banners, models and audio-visual clips. The campaign also received the PRSI National Award -2017 and “Pratishtha National Award 2017 for Best Public Awareness Campaign about nuclear energy.