This video traces the history of nuclear energy and the eventual rise in popularity of light water reactors.
A brief and simple explanation of nuclear fission shows how the process is used to heat water and drive turbines in light water reactors.
Students will be introduced to the risks and benefits of nuclear energy.
The historical background presented in the video will help students understand how and why nuclear energy rose in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s and why it is less popular today.
The video description offers links to additional videos on the pros and cons of nuclear energy.
There is an advertisement at the beginning of the video.
At 2:17 a cartoon bird offers more information if you click on it, but the link does not work.
History classes can use this video to discuss the sequence of historical events (the use of the atomic bomb in WW2, the Atomic Age, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Three Mile Island accident, the Chernobyl disaster, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster) that are mentioned in the video.
Science classes could research different types of nuclear reactors and investigate the pros and cons for each design.
Chemistry classes could discuss why uranium is the most common fuel used in the nuclear power plants.
This video presents a simplified version of how nuclear energy produces electricity without going into details regarding the pros or cons. Though this video is 6 years old, the figures presented are still correct, with only 4 new nuclear energy plants having come online since the release of the video. This resource is recommended for teaching.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: History
D2.His.1.6-8 Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
D2.His.5.6-8 Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ETS1: Engineering Design
HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
PS1: Matter and its Interactions
HS-PS1-5 Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.