Topics Explored: Nuclear Power, Environmental Impacts, Half Lives, How a Nuclear Power Plant Works 

This case study dives into the most tragic nuclear power plant accident in global history, Chernobyl, and weighs the benefits of nuclear fission against the environmental impacts.  Answer key included.

Case Study: Nuclear Energy (Teacher & Student Edition)

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  • ZIP file containing 2 PDF files 
    (1 Teacher Edition and 1 Student Edition)

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
    HS-ESS1-1. Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the life span of the sun and the role of nuclear fusion in the sun’s core to release energy that eventually reaches Earth in the form of radiation.
    HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.

     

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    6.6 Describe the use of nuclear energy in power generation. Describe the effects of the use of nuclear energy on the environment.

     

    AP® Environmental Science Practices:
    Practice 1: Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format. 
    Practice 2: Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes. 
    Practice 3: Analyze sources of information about environmental issues.  
    Practice 4: Analyze research studies that test environmental principles.  
    Practice 5: Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs.
    Practice 6: Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts.
    Practice 7: Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

     

    IB® Environmental Systems Learning Objectives:
    3.3.1 Outline the range of energy resources available to society.
    3.3.2 Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of two contrasting energy sources. 
    3.3.3 Discuss the factors that affect the choice of energy sources adopted by different societies.

     

    AP® is a registered trademark registered by the College Board®. IB® is a trademark registered by the International Baccalaureate Organization®. This work/product/service has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the College Board® or the International Baccalaureate Organization®.