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Introduction to nuclear energy

by The Open University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

The 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl power station in the Ukraine is still considered to be the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Sixty-four deaths have been directly attributed to the incident, although it is estimated that between 10,000 and 60,000 people will die from cancers caused by exposure to the radiation. Managing the radiation has cost billions of roubles. It is too early to assess the costs and consequences of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.

Faced with the devastation and death caused when nuclear power goes wrong, can its benefits ever outweigh the risks? This learning pathway looks at the nature of risk, and at the science behind nuclear energy production. It also lays out the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power, featuring France, with a very strong historical commitment, and ends with a brief look at Denmark, which long ago rejected nuclear energy as a matter of policy.

Customer Reviews

This course makes a very feeble attempt at...

… remaining unbiased.

The course includes large mischaracterizations of the risk of nuclear power, makes no mention of future nuclear technologies, and suffers misattribution of the causes and results of the only major nuclear accident (read: at the time this was filmed, Chernobyl was the only fatal nuclear accident).

A great deal has been learned about the current Uranium-fission process and huge technological breakthroughs such as computer modeling, advanced robotics, and advanced computer control systems have mitigated much of the inherent risk that this video series espouses.

Introduction to nuclear energy
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings