atw - International Journal for Nuclear Power | 04.2019


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 4 ı April

Successful Co-Existance of Nuclear Power

Plants with Their External Stakeholders

Milan Simončič and Gordana Žurga

The article deals with the expectations expressed by the external stakeholders of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NPP)

in Slovenia and conditions necessary for their successful coexistence with the nuclear facility. In the survey, several

types of external stakeholders of the NPP participated. Besides them, 45 NPPs joined the research, basically in regard to

their awareness to act in a socially responsible way. The research proved that respecting the interests of stakeholders is

a prerequisite for the acceptability of NPPs in society, and that this strengthens quality of life of all involved parties.

For analysis of essential relationships, the method of structural equation modelling (SEM) was used, in combination

with some relevant statistical tests. NPPs have expressed awareness of their responsibility for possible effects on wider

society, and for respecting interests of their external stakeholders as well. An optimal model of involvement of external

stakeholders that was developed in the research, includes strong partnership relation. Important components of the

model are effective communication, vision, objectives and orientation, strategy, socially responsible actions, the

introduction of continuous improvements and tools for achieving the sustainable excellence of the NPPs as a neverending

process. The research conducted contributes to the scientific fields of organizational theory and management

with special emphasis on social responsibility of NPPs.

1 Introduction

Nuclear energy remains a reality in

many countries even after the events

in Fukushima [Afgan, 2013; Campbell,

2013; Goodfellow, Dewick, Wortley, &

Azapagic, 2015; Horvath & Rachlew,

2016; Kato, Takahara, Nishikawa, &

Homma, 2013; Shadrina, 2012;

Truelove & Greenberg, 2013]. Program

Harmony [2018], managed by the

World Nuclear Association, supports

climate change mitigation efforts to

limit warming below 2 ˚C. Nuclear

energy is proven, available and can be

expanded quickly – making it an

important part of the solution to

problems of air pollution and climate

change. This requires a large increase

of all low-carbon energy sources, of

which nuclear is an important part.

Achieving this means nuclear energy

generation must triple globally by


Coexistence of the nuclear power

plants (NPPs) and various stakeholders

in society is a current and

future challenge. In a socially responsible

environment, a key commitment

for NPPs and their external stakeholders

is ensuring a partnership and

mutual respect. Due to physical placement

of NPPs in the environment,

their external stakeholders expect

certain benefits and respect of their

interests. They also expect responsibility

of NPPs for possible consequences,

which may arise in society

and affect their quality of life. The

challenges for the NPPs are how to

establish the necessary confidence of

their external stakeholders, how to

present specific activities and promote

benefits of nuclear energy. Challenges

for the external stakeholders of NPPs

are how to express and realize own

interests, understand the activities of

NPPs, how to cope with demanding

technology, understand it, and how to

communicate with the NPPs. Trufanov

[2013] says that the number of stakeholders

involved in the development

of the electric power industry has increased

and their priorities and the

ability to influence decision making

processes have changed.

Matuleviciene and Stravinskiene

[2015] found two basic factors of

stakeholder trust: corporate reputation

and organizational trustworthiness.

Other factors as emotions,

propensity to trust, experience with

the organization and sociocultural

factors, same as inborn factors or

acquired during growth, factors

related with the environment where

the person lives or other factors are of

secondary importance. Avetisyan and

Ferrary [2012] analyzed the process

of introducing social responsibility in

France and the USA and described

the role of stakeholders in this field.

They prove the assumption that the

development of social responsibility in

different environments depends on

the nature of the participating local

and global stakeholders and their

interactions. A steady form of social

responsibility in the USA is more

market- oriented (influenced by companies

and investors), while in France

it reflects a significant influence of the

government that promotes corporate

social responsibility and the implementation

of good practices. They

also argue that convergence of stakeholders’

interests strengthens social


The involvement of different groups

of external stakeholders that critically

evaluate activities of NPPs, enables the

NPPs adoption of practical, administrative,

technical and socially responsible

practices. The social responsibility of

the NPPs is an integral part of the

safety culture, which is shown by the

actors involved at all levels. Owners

and operators of the NPPs have to meet

the expected obligations towards

society and the environment. ISO

26000 [2010] argue, that identification

and engagement of stakeholders

are fundamental to social responsibility.

An organization should determine

who has an interest in its decisions and

activities, so that it can understand its

impacts and how to address them.

Banerjee and Bonnefous [2011] claim

that the external stakeholders play a

significant role in shaping the future of

the nuclear power industry. They

identified three different stakeholder

management strategies of NPPs:

reinforcement strategies for supportive

stakeholders, containment strategies

for obstructive stakeholders and

stabilization strategies for passive

stakeholders. The groups differ in their

power to influence policies of NPP. He,

Mol, Zhang and Lu [2013] studied the

attitude of stakeholders to nuclear

energy in China. The case study was

conducted three months after the

Fukushima event. Their results show

that development and decision- making

on NPPs are dominated by ‘iron nuclear

triangle’ of national governmental

agencies, nuclear industries, and

research organizations. The Fukushima

crisis has shown that a lack of transparency,

public participation and

public scrutiny can have severe consequences

for the NPPs.

The optimal strategy for integrating

external stake holders into the

focus sets an effective communication



Energy Policy, Economy and Law

Successful Co-Existance of Nuclear Power Plants with Their External Stakeholders ı Milan Simončič and Gordana Žurga

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