Share to Google Classroom

Is nuclear power a better option for energy than fossil fuels?

As the debate over how to mitigate global climate change continues, one of the biggest issues is how to replace fossil fuels that create carbon emissions with clean and sustainable energy. While wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower are big contenders, there's a renewed interest in nuclear energy as a way to provide efficient power. But with the fallout of well-known disasters like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima hanging over the industry; the environmental impact of uranium mining and storing radioactive waste; and the costs of building and maintaining reactors, is nuclear power really a better option than fossil fuels?

investigate

Could nuclear power play a major role in reversing climate change?

How The Dream Of America's 'Nuclear Renaissance' Fizzled

Additional resources to think about

Green New Deal Aims To Address Climate Change. Would It Work Without Nuclear Power?
In this full episode of On Point, David Folkenflik talks to climate change experts and reporters about the Green New Deal and its relationship to nuclear power.

Finding Room for Nuclear Energy in the 'Green New Deal'
This video from Bloomberg asks whether nuclear energy is safe enough to play a potential role in combatting climate change.

What's Next for Nuclear?
KQED QUEST explores the history and future of nuclear power.

Nuclear Energy Explained: How does it work? (1/3)
3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Terrible! (2/3)
3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Awesome! (3/3)
In this trio of videos from Kurzgesagt, we learn how nuclear energy works as well as the pros and cons.

Is Nuclear Power Good Or Bad?
The guys from The Good Stuff take a look at the pros and cons of nuclear energy and whether it still has a place in the future.

How do nuclear power plants work? | TED Ed
M.V. Ramana and Sajan Saini detail the challenges of nuclear power, and how exactly it works to create energy.

Why Nuclear Power Plants Must Be Part of the Energy Solution
This article from Yale E360 takes a look at how nuclear energy is the best solution for large-scale power.

5 Fast Facts About Nuclear Energy
This infographic from the U.S. Department of Energy gives a quick overview of some statistics and facts around the United States' nuclear power program.

contemplate

Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?

 

What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?

 

Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy, www.medialit.com

debate

Is nuclear power a better option for energy than fossil fuels?

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How was your Thinkalong experience?

We actively use feedback to provide better resources to students and educators, so please take 1 minute to provide feedback and help us improve.