Public Affairs Director
Four years ago, just six weeks before the nuclear accident at Fukushima, the NRC initiated this blog. As we said at the time: the blog is intended to serve as a vehicle for informing, explaining and clarifying the actions, roles and responsibilities of the NRC, raising awareness about our agency and its mission, and – most importantly – giving us another opportunity to hear from you.
We believe the blog has served that purpose well. In the past four years, we have published some 540 posts on a wide variety of subjects from tiny jelly fish affecting a nuclear power plant to updates on Hurricane Sandy and posts on nuclear history (some of our most popular posts). Posts have been written by staff throughout the agency and the regions, including the Chairman and Executive Director for Operations, as well as technical staff and public affairs officers. We have strived to model plain language in our blog posts – contrary, perhaps, to some of our official communications – so that these subjects are more readily understood by the public, for whom the blog is intended.
We have also found the blog to be a lively source of comments. Some 4,800 comments have been approved and posted in the past four years. A quick review of the comments reflects how liberally the NRC applies its blog comment guidelines. At times, though, comments may contain personal attacks, “four-letter-words,” or other violations of our comment policy. When that occurs, we remove that verbiage (and note that) and then post the comment. We also may occasionally move some comments to our Open Forum section if they’ve strayed too far from the original post. Very few of the submitted comments are not posted (with the exception of duplicates).
Over the past four years or so, there have been more than 650,000 views to NRC blog. We’re happy the information is reaching an audience. If you have suggestions for topics for future blog posts, please let us know in the comments below.
I should note that the blog is the oldest but not the only social media platform the NRC uses. We also use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and the photo gallery platform Flickr as well.