South Africa is looking for a nuclear ‘renaissance’ of its own. Whereas the original Renaissance had artists and philosophers as its foot soldiers, this modern renaissance has troops of a different calibre in the front line: PR spokespeople. It seems like whenever a new nuclear initiative is planned, the first phone call made is to the marketing men.

Take a look at this:

A recent [South African Press Association] report said [South African electricity public utility] Eskom and the departments of public enterprises and minerals and energy had enlisted the help of a brand consulting firm to boost the image of nuclear power. They apparently hope to employ prominent "nuclear ambassadors" ahead of Eskom's massive nuclear programme, which aims to generate a quarter of electricity from nuclear by 2025.

Sometimes, when examining the various spin, ‘boosting’ and PR of the nuclear industry, it’s not what is being said but what’s not being said that matters. In this case, the unspoken question is why does the nuclear industry need a ‘boost’

Why does it need ‘nuclear ambassadors’? (Someone should tell these people they sound like something from a bad science fiction movie.) Why does it need to give millions to the Public Relations industry? It wouldn’t be anything to do with nuclear’s terrible reputation and track record would it? Surely those millions could be spent more wisely elsewhere?