Portuguese Media Discourse on Nuclear Energy Before and After Fukushima


This report presents the results of the analysis of nuclear related content in Portuguese print media. The report is submitted to the first step of the research task untitled Public Discourse about Nuclear Fusion before and after the Fukushima accident, as part of the Socio-Economic Research on Fusion under the general coordination of EFDA
Workprogramme 2012.

From the EFDA point of view, in order to understand the public discourse about fusion as an alternative nuclear technology, it is also important to have an analytical insight into the discourse about conventional nuclear power or nuclear fission. This analysis provides a fundamental tool to understand the social construction of nuclear power imagery in contemporary societies.

The general hypothesis conducting this research is that the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan on March 11 2011 contributed to the enhancement of public discourse about nuclear energy, focusing on risks and perils , thus contributing to diminish the public acceptability of this source of energy. In addition, we propose two other hypotheses in our study of the Portuguese case: i) the accident in Fukushima didn’t have any significant effect on the constructed image of fusion energy in Portuguese print media. We assume that the image of fusion energy remains unaltered and is independently built regardless of the focus given to nuclear accidents by the media; ii) the accident in Fukushima brought forth the debate on fission energy in Portuguese print media contributing for a clearly negative image of this technology.

Publicação associada ao Projecto Fusão Nuclear no discurso mediático português.