Nuclear Power: Pros and Cons
Nuclear power has been controversial since it first became an option around the middle of the last century. An excellent (and very fun to read) basic introduction to nuclear energy can be found on this website(http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/students.html). Be sure to read through all of the sub-sections along the top navigation bar (What is Nuclear Energy/Nuclear Reactors/ Radiation/etc.).
Then, visit the website for the Tennessee Valley Authority (http://www.tva.gov/power/nuclear/index.htm), a power authority that produces several kinds of power—including nuclear power—in the Southeast United States, and see how they discuss their nuclear program.
Finally, check out the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) report on the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html). Once you are done, do some research on your own about the pros and cons of nuclear power.
• The risks and relative gains of using nuclear power over other systems (fossil fuel, hydroelectric, solar, etc.).
• What factors need to be considered before building and operating a nuclear power plant.
• How you might go about deciding where to put a new nuclear power plant.
• How you might react if you read in the newspaper that a new nuclear power plant was going to be built 125 miles from your home.
• How your reaction might be different if the distance were only 12.5 miles or even 1.25 miles.
• Your own experiences with nuclear power, if you have any.
• What facts you think it is important for informed citizens to know about nuclear power.
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