Winner & Associates Summary of Nuclear Power Experience and Capabilities

Winner & Associates (W&A) is a strategic communications firm with particular expertise in the field of crisis communications and in the energy and nuclear power industries. Since Winner & Associates was founded 32 years ago, we have helped more than 300 clients, including some of the largest energy and utility companies in the world, successfully manage complex, controversial issues, including the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the $4 billion Chad-Cameroon oil project for ExxonMobil and the impact of the energy crisis for Edison International.

Starting in 1975, numerous nuclear equipment makers, plant builders and electric utilities in the U.S. and Europe have retained Winner & Associates to defeat efforts by anti-nuclear groups to close down existing plants. Many of these efforts involved high stakes ballot measure campaigns. In every case we were successful on behalf of our clients, which included:

o General Electric
o Westinghouse
o Combustion Engineering
o Babcock & Wilcox
o General Atomics
o Major electric utilities in New York, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Missouri and Nebraska.

Since the mid-seventies, the nuclear industry has turned to the firm for communications help with all aspects of operations including safety, cost, high and low-level waste, storage, leaks, accidents, transportation and decommissioning.

At one time or another Winner & Associates has worked on behalf of almost every major nuclear plant in the U.S., including San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in California, Callaway in Missouri, Maine Yankee and Connecticut Yankee plants in New England, the Palo Verde plant in Arizona and the Nine Mile Nuclear Facility in New York.

When the accident in one of the two reactors at the Three Mile Island plant occurred in 1979, the public, media and governmental reaction to the accident threatened the viability of General Public Utilities (GPU), which owned the plant. GPU retained Winner & Associates to develop and implement a strategy for dealing with the crisis. The first case study describes how the Winner response enabled the company to calm public fears and regulatory concerns and save the company.

Other relevant experience includes our work for nuclear trade associations. For example, at the request of key companies in the industry, we created (and later represented) a major nuclear industry trade association, the U.S. Council for Energy Awareness. The Council, which operated successfully for many years, is now part of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). We also have represented several existing trade associations involving nuclear issues including the Atomic Industrial Forum and the Edison Electric Institute.

We have had a number of nuclear assignments outside the U.S., many involving safety issues and countering opposition to nuclear power. Our clients outside the U.S. have included:

o ASEA-ATOM (Sweden)
o Framatone, now part of Areva (France)
o Central Electric Generating Board (United Kingdom)
o Deutsches Atomforum E.V. (Bonn, Germany)
o Electrabel, now part of Suez (France)
o The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan

When the Chernobyl accident occurred in 1986, Dr. Armand Hammer, a leading American businessman with strong business and diplomatic relations in the then Soviet Union, asked Chuck Winner, the president of Winner & Associates to accompany him and Dr. Robert Gale to the Chernobyl site to handle communications relating to the effort by Dr. Gale and his team to provide bone marrow transplants to victims of the disaster. In the course of this experience Mr. Winner met with many nuclear officials concerning the accident and its effect on public opinion in The Soviet Union, Europe and the rest of the world.

Winner & Associates has also had extensive experience working on nuclear, chemical, industrial and solid waste disposal issues, including assignments for high-level and low-level radioactive waste sites.

High-level waste site clients have included The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the state of Washington and Barnwell Radioactive Waste Facility in South Carolina.

Since 1976 we have served as the principal communications advisors to Edison International whose Southern California Edison subsidiary owns and operates the San Onofre plant. Over these 31 years we have helped Edison deal with numerous controversial issues, many of which have involved nuclear matters.

Recently Winner & Associates led by Justyn Winner, performed services for another major U.S. nuclear electric utility that operates a large nuclear plant and wants to build a second plant. Due to legal confidentiality restrictions Winner & Associates is prohibited from naming the client. The second case study describes some of the ways in which Winner Associates aided the company in meeting its objective, including the development of a master crisis communications plan that placed special emphasis on potential crises related to their nuclear power facility.

Comments are closed