The Science of Nuclear Energy

FutureLearn The Science of Nuclear Energy

Platform
FutureLearn
Provider
The Open University
Length
4 weeks
Language
English
Cost
Free
Credentials
Paid Certificate Available
Course Link
Overview
Understand the science of nuclear power and the arguments for and against it
With the need to reduce carbon emissions around the world, the way we generate our power has to change and nuclear energy is back on the political agenda.

But do you know your fission from your fusion? Would you like to make an informed decision about whether we should get electricity from nuclear power?

This online course will delve into the science behind nuclear power, explaining what happens inside a nuclear reactor and what radioactive elements are.

It will explore the arguments for and against nuclear power, and its role in future energy planning alongside other energy sources.

The course does not assume any prior knowledge of nuclear energy and can be enjoyed by anyone interested in science and becoming more informed of energy choices.

What topics will you cover?
  • Atomic physics and the nature of isotopes and radioactivity. The processes of fission and fusion.
  • The distinction between energy of power and the increasing need to generate electrical power
  • The use of nuclear fission in power stations. The production of radioactive waste and some solutions
  • The cause of nuclear incidents in the past, the effect on the environment and local populations.
  • The national grid and possible energy sources.
  • Future developments in the technology that harnesses nuclear fission and fusion.

Taught by
Sam Smidt and Gemma Warrine
Author
FutureLearn
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