Case study: The Power of the Atom
Atom not so scary? What are the prospects and opportunities for the development of nuclear energy in the world in the face of climate change? Nuclear power plants, as a way of generating electricity, began to rapidly lose their popularity after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The failure of the power plant reactor in Japan's Fukushima (2011) completed the work and eventually plunged nuclear power. However, the world leaders, as well as the public opinion itself, in countries where nuclear power plants play an important role are divided on this issue. Nuclear power plants raise many concerns. Their action and the threat associated with failures have even become mythical, and around the topic arose a lot of so-called fake news, which do not favor this technology, because they create a climate of fear, threat and social resistance.
Recommended for: secondary schools 16+, university students, adult learners
Tags: nuclear energy, environment safety, cost of energy, sustainable energy
Building block 2. Does the nuclear power plant produce a large amount of waste?
In our world today, man produces a lot of different waste. It is primarily associated with the consumer lifestyle of people, especially those living in the rich, highly developed countries of Europe and North America. For some time, we have been increasingly aware of this and we are trying to take different activities to reduce the amount of waste in our lives, and everything that can be recycled. In the case of nuclear power plants, it turns out that 96% of plant waste can be recyclable. The remaining 4%, which cannot be recycled, are protected in special silos put deep underground. But how can we know for certain whether so much waste from power plants is recycled? And over time, what happens to the waste that is secured deep underground? Is it really safe for the environment and for man?
1. The Independent about “Green activists need to give nuclear energy a chance if they really want to tackle CO2 emissions
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/climate-crisis-nuclear-power-co2-carbon-fukushima-environment-a9105961.html [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
2. About Russian power plant submarines: This nuclear power plant has been called a ‘floating Chernobyl’, but is that just a hype? Nuclear reactors have been powering submarines for more than 60 years
https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/2/17313174/floating-nuclear-power-plant-russia-academik-lomonosov-chernobyl-titanic [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
3. Article about greenhouse gases emission: Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
4. Article about CO24 in Poland: “Nuclear energy discussed at COP24 as an important clean energy solution”
https://www.world-nuclear.org/focus/climate-change-and-nuclear-energy/nuclear-energy-discussed-at-cop24.aspx [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
5. Paper about disadvantages of nuclear energy: “Various Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy”
https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/disadvantages_nuclearenergy.php [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
1. Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
The learning outcomes represent the competences which learners are expected to develop as a result of the training intervention:
1. The learner will be able to outline the different meanings of term "waste" of human activities and compare them.
2. The learner will be able to describe term of green energy and list the sources of green energy.
3. The learner will be able to outline the greenhouse effect and its gases emission.
4. The learner will be able to develop and use critical thinking about proc and cons for risks of nuclear power plants and radioactive waste.
5. The learner will be able to develop the reasons why nuclear energy is terrible or not.
Suggested teaching methods
> Information searching
> Information comparison
> Present arguments
Suggested learning activities
> Icebreaker: List types of wastes produced by human activities.
> Internet search for the description of waste of nuclear power plants and present them to the class.
> Discussion what is greenhouse effect and what are the reasons of it. Which human activates produce it? If the human produced energy provokes the greenhouse effect?
> Internet search for different information about recycling and what which human activities products can be recycled.
> Division classroom into 3 groups; 1st group defend positive affects, 2nd group defends negative affects of recycling, 3rd group listens their arguments and select (vote) the winner
> Present video about nuclear recycling (video#3) and discuss with learners about possibilities of nuclear recycling, sum up conclusions. Ask learners which are the most believable and why. Present and explain the motivated cognition.
> Use Eggshell model to present elements of disinformation
> Learners create fake or truthful meme about nuclear power plant and present it to others, who try identify whether it is true or fake/identify disinformation in the meme
> Refer to the Eggshell model to analyze their memes and summarize.
De Facto pillars
Frames and Framing: Discussion if nuclear power plant produces a large amount of hazardous waste or not. Does the nuclear power plant produce more waste than other tyoes of power plants?
Motivated Cognition: Compare which researchers and which politicians say that nuclear power plant produces a large amount of hazardous waste. Who is closer to the true? Who presents the real facts then the not checked information?
You have selected a topic from the Disinformation Games area. Please be advised that this area hosts, or links to, resources that contain misinformation or disinformation. The presence of such materials is to assist in developing and sustaining skills for navigating and detecting disinformation. To achieve this goal – and with clear intent – none of the materials are explicitly marked as true or not true.