Get Schooled in Nuclear Energy: 5 Tips for Effective Advocacy


With kids heading back to school and political conversations buzzing in anticipation of November, ‘tis the season for a lesson in nuclear energy. So, we’ve developed study guides for all your conversations – both elementary and advanced.

Our newest one pager – Nuclear Energy 101 – is available on our website and highlights often complex questions about the power source in a visual, engaging way – everything from the science behind a nuclear reaction to the use of uranium. Check it out and share it with your communities! Once equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to supporting the industry.

But what’s the next step? We’ve got you covered there, too! Whether you’ve recently joined our community or have been an avid supporter for years, study these five tips to quickly become an A+ advocate.



1. Know the facts – Being prepared with facts and figures about the nuclear industry sets you up as a credible advocate. On our website, you will find information on nuclear plants in your state and facts about workers, the environment, our nation’s security and the safety of nuclear energy. When you have the facts, you’re better prepared to make a convincing argument. Adding a strong data point can make all the difference.



2. Tell your story – We support nuclear energy because we believe in it. But everyone has his or her own reason to advocate for nuclear energy. Whether your dad worked in a nuclear plant, you fell in love with the technology in a high school science class or you are concerned about air quality for your kids, your reason for supporting nuclear energy is personal. Sharing it with others makes the industry more approachable and your advocacy voice more powerful. Plus, your personal narrative will bring credibility to the conversation.



3. Make a connection – In advocacy, it’s important to find ways to relate to your audience and educate them on why they should care about nuclear energy. Consider the various viewpoints. Perhaps you are meeting with a state legislator, who is intent on improving the job market. You can reference maps and power source breakdowns and share that for every 100 jobs in a nuclear plant, 66 more jobs are added in the surrounding community. Or you can focus on the high cost of allowing plants to close. Whoever your audience may be, doing prior research about their district, policy opinions and personal interests can make all the difference.



4. Make it real – Nuclear energy can be a complex topic that some people may not fully understand, making them hesitant to support it. A potential way to counter this is with tangible, realistic illustrations found on our website. Take the example of carbon emissions. “Nuclear power eliminates 547 million metric tons of carbon emissions from being released into the air each year” – that’s a bit hard to visualize. However, “nuclear power eliminates the emissions of 119 million cars” adds a bit more color, giving the abstract concept a real-life image. By focusing on using relevant and relatable examples, these important facts become accessible to everyone. And when people better understand the industry, they can see why they should support it.



5. Build your network – Even if you’re the only nuclear energy advocate in your community, there’s a whole network of like-minded individuals and groups across the country who are ready to support you. By joining the Nuclear Matters community, and following us on Facebook and Twitter, you can stay connected to the latest nuclear energy news and a whole group of people who support it. There are also groups you can join, like Nuclear Energy Ambassador Program, Mothers for Nuclear, North American Young Generation in Nuclear or Women in Nuclear. These communities are perfect places to share ideas or ask for support from other advocates. Together we can make a difference to promote the clear benefits of nuclear energy and explore possible policy solutions to preserve this essential energy resource.

Extra credit: send a “thank you” – After taking action, follow up with your legislator or fellow Nuclear Matters community members to thank them for being engaged in the conversation. We are one community of nationwide advocates who rely on each other for support, encouragement and motivation; there’s nothing like a thank you note to keep the momentum going and spirits high!