In recognition of the importance of public outreach in nuclear power development, state-run Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL) on Monday won the top award in the public communication category from the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom at its 10th Atomexpo international conference here.
NPCIL won the award for its "Atom on Wheels" campaign started in 2016 to spread awareness in rural areas about the benefits of nuclear energy and dispel doubts about its risks.
NPCIL Executive Director Gautam Biswas received the award that the organisation won beating the two other finalists from Hungary and Kenya.
"There are a lot of inhibitions about nuclear energy and people need to be convinced," Biswas said while receiving the award by Rosatom who are the equipment suppliers and technical consultants for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu.
The start of construction at KNPP was delayed by protests against the project in the area.
"The campaign mounted on wheels covered over 6 lakh rural population in six states with material on nuclear technology," Biswas said.
A specially-designed bus travelled through 1,500 villages of Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh displaying panels, models, posters and making multimedia presentations in local languages to help to build opinion for setting up nuclear power plants in the country.
The "Atom on Wheels" campaign has earlier received multiple national awards, while Biswas thanked the jury for this international recognition.
The first Rosatom awards were given away in five categories that included for human capital development, nuclear technologies and the best launch of a nuclear power project.
There were participants from 22 countries and entries were judged by a 25-member international jury panel.
(Biswajit Choudhury is in Sochi at the invitation of Rosatom. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)