Atomic Threats In The Baltic Sea Region/Media group/Skype conference on November 15, 2013

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Media group Skype conference, 15.11.2013

Main topics: daily media work and media strategy. We agreed in the beginning that we will not make decisions on media strategy, since M. could not attend this conference.

Daily media work

That would mean that we would need to be updated and react within the same day, if something important regarding nuclear energy in the Baltic sea region would happen.

Is it responsibility of one person, or a group? That should be one person doing it, and others should trust him/her. B.[1] would like to do it, but cannot make it, at least for this year. Next year - not possible at least before spring. For C.[1] it is also not possible, they go away for more than 10 days soon, for example. A.[1] works 42 hours a week and in addition works on their book, etc., so also not possible.

K: Altogether we have an overview, what is happening around the Baltic sea, but not one person.

F: We can suggest to the people involved in the project, that they do this kind of media work themselves for their projects.

Milestones for media group

Reminding what is a milestone - some points of strategy, where you can check, if you are making progress, define, what you want to reach. Milestones are realistic goals, but can also be challenging.

  • B.[1] would like to define as one of milestones: to be able to do everyday media work. We would need to figure out, what needs to be done so it can be reached.
  • Suggestion: to set up collection of milestones for media group. We also need to discuss, what would be the goal of doing everyday media work.
  • K: Possible goals: keep ourselves updated, to be able quickly react to changes. To be visible.
  • F: Visible - do you mean the network, or the book project?
  • K: Both
  • F: Proposal to discuss ideas of milestones in the email (agreed). One of the milestones can be to be received as reliable and trustable contact for the media. How can we measure it and other parameters, e.g. whether the project is visible?
  • K: There can be targets for project, as well as for us as individuals. Possible measures: are releases published; contact by media; more people visiting website. Is there interest of groups and people from Baltic Sea region, willing to join, offering help with materials.
  • F: will make a collection of ideas, what can be used to measure.
  • K: would like not to make the goals too ambitious.
  • F: we should ask M., but they mentioned that they cannot do everyday media work. We can add our thoughts later to those minutes. Info email to be sent to the mailing list.

Email communication with the mailing list

Email – we agreed that the person sending email to the mailing list does not have to consult others from media group. S/he can do it, if needed.

Media strategy

  • F: What do we want to reach, goals. There was an example of Olkiluoto Blockade media strategy, but this was easier as it was limited only to one country.
    • Finnish government at that point of time wanted to build 2 reactors: Olkiluoto 4 and Fennovoima, which would mean more nuclear waste.
    • Arguments for public communication in Olkiluoto Blockade media strategy were:
      • it is highly dangerous
      • there is no suitable disposal concept, no chance in general for safe disposal
      • permanent radiation can have negative health consequences, such as cancer
      • accident risk increasing because of additional plants
      • more plants means more uranium mining; total destruction of surroundings of uranium mines. French company Areva and others want to dig for uranium in Finland. This would mean desertification, hight amounts of radioactivity will be released, huge tailing ponds will be left without any solution what to do with them; mountains of uranium piles will release the radioactivity originally stored in the deep ground; they contain most of the original activity and are stored unprotected on the surface. It will be released to river systems and to the air, depending on weather, depending on heavy storms.
      • Other thoughts: technology of dominance and power. It would mean expansion of dominance technology. High risk facilities would be a target for military and pose risk of terrorism. Building more NPPs means there will be more police state behaviour, because of the threat they pose, and because there will be more protests; the rights of certain people will be limited.
    • Finland is the symbol of the so-called "Renaissance of nuclear power" - pretending it is a country in favour of nuclear power successfully expanding this technology. In international public it was hardly recognized that there is a strong protest against nuclear energy in Finland. Media depicts as if people support nuclear energy. It is important to make internationally clear that people are taking initiative to stop these developments. They experience they cannot trust politicians. For example, the Minister Pekkarinen earlier said there would be no new NPP, and later he said it was a joke.
    • blockade is colourful and diverse; empowering people who are opposing health threats; mixture of information; gathering of local people
    • main demands: no new NPPs, no mining in Finland, no nuclear repository beneath the sea and immediate shut down of all NPPs.
  • This argumentation strategy was easy, because developments only in Finland are not as complicated as in the whole Baltic Sea area. Challenge to make general argumentation strategy, because it is a big field. Maybe it is about focusing on certain issues.
  • K: we should generalize, not get into details. When making local media releases, we can get more into details, for example, on Visaginas NPP. We can make one media release for all Baltic countries, but with other countries it is more difficult. Try to make things simple.
  • A.[1] maybe could work on Sellafield in book project, when have done other investigations. People are concerned about Sellafield, would be possible to find groups.
  • K: We need people who know about country situations, that the audience would understand.
  • F: connected to daily media work, because it would be not only to report on activities. We need to have an overview, so that we could be able to do this detailed media strategy.
  • F: We need information from activists from other countries, to be able to do good work. We need to solve this problem. For now, we only will be able to slowly react on what we hear.
  • L: Feedspot or other similar software helps to be updated. There are a lot English language sources to be updated.
  • F: we should focus more on new nuclear developments in the media strategy.
  • K: Visaginas could be one of them. Salaspils research reactor is not in operation any more, is being decommissioned, was sold to University of Latvia, they want to develop ceicotrones center, do scientific work again; the problem is that the building is poorly maintained. Estonia: uranium mining site and nuclear waste disposal site, close to the sea, which started to leak, it was one million euros to protect the sea from pollution. In Estonia in 90s there were problems with security: people stole radioactive materials and were selling abroad, some people died, someone put it in their pockets and forgot. It was 15-20 years ago. Now the issue is how to ensure that nuclear waste disposal site does not create more pollution.
  • F: Suggestion, on which main nuclear developments to focus, in no order of priority:
    1. Visaginas NPP
    2. Olkiluoto NPP
    3. Fennovoima NPP
    4. Lubmin repository
    5. Onkalo repository
    6. Forsmark repository
    7. Polish NPP
    8. Studsvik plant in Sweden (considered the main polluter at the Baltic sea)
    9. Leningrad NPP
    10. Nuclear transports across the Baltic Sea (in Germany there were recently 2 accidents of nuclear transports)
    11. Baltic NPP
    12. Ostrovets NPP
  • Other suggestions, with question mark:
    1. Finnish uranium developments, there are many groups working in this field, particularly on Talvivara
    2. Loviisa 3 reactor, a new reactor, but not much going on at the moment
    3. Danish repository for nuclear waste, they are searching for it now
  • K: Salaspils, there are recent updates, sold in June
  • L: for media not interesting, what happened in June
  • A.[1] agrees
  • K: What should be included in media strategy are sites creating bigger than average danger or where things are changing all the time. Olkiluoto, or new proposed NPP near Pyhäjoki.
  • L: How do we estimate “bigger than average danger”. There can be accidents in any NPP.
  • F: if there is an active movement, it makes sense involve that development in our media strategy.
  • K: Belarus: state repression, interesting for media.
  • F: challenging to comment on Belarussian policy. What is a good strategy to approach a topic? To emphasize dictatorship, thus repeating what others are saying - that will not bring any change to Belarusian politicians. We should figured out how to approach the goals we set.
  • A.[1] If we repeat what others say, there is a chance that we would not be heard. We are a small group.
  • F: Argumentation strategy is not to put everything in one release.
  • K: Means that we need to be updated on 12 facilities, which is too much.
  • F: What is realistic, and what is milestone - what we would like to reach, but we would need to find out how.

We agreed to take out Loviisa 3 and Danish repository from the list.

  • F: suggests to select Talvivara, because if we want to be good cooperation partner for Finnish anti-nuclear movement, it would look weird, if we ignore their main struggle. Suggests that we write arguments in email, why those facilities are important. We have to be aware that people working on other facilities might not be happy, that their facilities were not chosen for media strategy. We will bring their topics up, if they are having activities. But in the main media strategy we have to focus.
  • L: T. suggested in September meeting to try to convince such bodies as Helsinki Commission that there should be more attention to radioactivity in the Baltic Sea.
  • F: Helsinki Commission already clearly stated in their reports that radioactivity is one of the issues, but they don't consider it to be the most important one. Difficult to make them to change their priorities. However, if we would achieve our goal, scientists would be making a statement, which we can use in one media release and use as footnote later - not worth for us to work to much on this attempt.
  • F: There are different approaches, how to work. Talk to politicians, decision makers. If we would have involved regular NGOs, it could be a good approach, to do lobbying. At the moment mostly independent groups and people are involved, who are not doing petitions or writing letters to authorities much; that is not a style of work what is represented. Doing action, empowerment of activists is a field, where we are good right now.
  • L: We are getting offtopic.
  • F: That is good to know to form our goal of media strategy.
  • L: Can ask, if V. wants to join media group. To find out if they are subscribed to the mailing list already?
  • F: will send two emails:
    1. start for finding milestones
    2. start of media strategy with facilities as mentioned
    • Everyone should comment and write why to chose or not to chose these topics for the main media strategy.

Proposed next Skype conference: 8th of December at 19.00 CET.

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 For protection of privacy of the persons involved, instead of real names only acronyms in form of capital letters starting with "A." are used in these minutes of the meeting.