Nuclear energy conversation questions

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Nuclear energy[edit]

  • What opinion do environmentalists have about nuclear energy?
  • Do any environmental organisations support nuclear energy?
  • What are the disadvantages of nuclear energy?
  • What are the advantages of nuclear power?
  • Do you think that nuclear power plants are inherently unstable?
  • Do you think that nuclear power stations could literally "blow up" like a nuclear bomb?
  • What options do we have for dealing with nuclear waste?
  • Which is more dangerous to human life over the next two hundred years - spent nuclear fuel or carbon dioxide/global warming?
  • Would you rather live next to a nuclear power plant than a coal-fired one? Why?
  • Could nuclear energy help the third world to develop carbon-free economies?
  • No energy source is completely carbon free. In what parts of the nuclear generation process is carbon dioxide released?
  • Given the fact that human beings make mistakes and that low-probability unexpected accidents and events occur - should we simply accept that we will have a significant nuclear accident every twenty to thirty years?
  • Is nuclear energy a boon or a bane for society?

Other considerations[edit]

  • What percentage of the world’s energy could be obtained from renewable sources?
  • If less than 100% can be obtained from renewable sources, from where should the rest be obtained?
  • Should cars be banned because they pollute the environment? Are there any other reasons for banning cars?
  • Do coal fired stations produce any other problem in addition to carbon dioxide?
  • Do dams cause problems? What are they?

Nuclear weapons[edit]

  • Does nuclear power lead inevitably to nuclear weapons?
  • Some countries have nuclear weapons and others do not. Can some countries be "trusted" with nuclear weapons and others not? If so, on what should we base this trust?
  • What would be the consequences of a nuclear war?
  • Do you think that nuclear weapons have kept the peace, or do you think they have been a threat to peace?
  • If a country has nuclear weapons do you think it is more likely to be attacked or less likely to be attacked?

For the more technically minded[edit]

(These questions will really only work with students who actually know something about the subject.)

  • What is the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission?
  • What do the words "half life" mean?
  • What is the difference between normal hydrogen, deuterium and tritium?
  • What does "critical mass" refer to?
  • What is a "chain reaction" in nuclear terms?
  • Is there any difference between "radiation" and "nuclear radiation" - what is it?
  • What is the difference between alpha, beta, gamma radiation and neutron radiation? Which are the most dangerous?
  • One sometimes hears reference to "cold fusion" - what was it?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Nuclear power debate A short article which sets out the arguments for and against.