Study on enhancing the public confidence in nuclear safety regulations in Korea – The case study of effective communications with the public

Author: Dong Hee Yeo – Institute of Nuclear Safety, South Korea

This proposal was designed to investigate the possibility of more efficiently communicate with the public about nuclear regulations in terms of enhancing the transparency of the regulatory body.
More specifically, by looking into the case study regarding public information, this study aimed at examining how the Korean regulatory body make in terms of enhancing public acceptance of regulatory decision-making.

The NSSC (Nuclear Safety and Security Commission) as a Korean nuclear regulatory body, has tried to enhance transparency in its regulations. Since 2013, it has formed the council group for a nuclear safety meeting in 5 areas where nuclear installations are located, in order to regularly communicate with local residents on nuclear safety related matters. And, in 2016 the NSSC established a nuclear safety information center whose online portal is providing regulatory documents for the public.

However, despite the NSSC’s endeavor to communicate with the public, the reliability of the regulatory decision has still been challenged. For example, regarding the regulatory approval of the license renewal of a reactor, civic groups and ordinary citizens filed an administrative litigation, insisting the approval be withdrawn.
In this respect, it is important for the regulatory body to have public acceptance of its decision-making based on such scientific regulatory activities as safety reviews and inspections.
Then, how does the Korean regulatory body improve communications with the public and increase the public acceptance in its regulatory actions?
This research address suggestions that the Korean regulatory body should inform the public about the procedures as well as results of the surveillance of nuclear safety in order to increase public confidence through foreign case analysis such as the public information body and the U.S. public hearing which is broadcasted over the internet.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices