Are the nuclear industry's efforts to prepare the public during
emergency situations adequate? This study critiques risk
communication programs and questions whether these programs have
convinced residents close to nuclear power plants to follow
instructions in an emergency. The government invests the
responsibility of nuclear risk communication essentially with the
utilities that operate the plants, with little supervision by
either federal or state officials. The study demonstrates that such
programs do not communicate critical safety information, that
people living near plants will make decisions in an emergency
contrary to those recommended, and that disparity exists between
technical and lay perceptions of risk. A unique investigation of
non-governmental public communication, the book analyzes the
persuasive efforts of corporate advocacy and risk management.
Risk communication is seen as a substitute for the more
stringent regulatory measures necessary to protect public health
and safety in a technological age. Speak No Evil begins with a
discussion of issues surrounding risk communication, then describes
how the narrative of the promotional history of nuclear power
developed and eventually contaminated modern nuclear risk
communication messages. Students of organizational communication,
rhetoric, political communication, and public relations issue
management will find this book illuminating.
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