2011 MJC GP JC2 E Learning Module

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2011 MJC GP JC2 E-Learning Module
Environmental Concerns - Nuclear Energy

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2011 MJC GP JC2 E Learning Module

  1. 1. Nuclear Energy Environmental Concerns General Paper 2011 MJC JC2 Continue
  2. 2. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>“ It will be a long time before we make any decision on nuclear energy but we should get ourselves ready to do so. And that means to give Singapore the ability to exercise the option should it one day become necessary and feasible.” </li></ul><ul><li>Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt from a speech made during the </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore International Energy Week </li></ul>Previous Continue
  3. 3. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Learning Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of this E-Lesson, you would have a better understanding on the following issues… </li></ul><ul><li>Why is there the need for a clean and green energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can nuclear energy be this source? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the risks involved? Who (and in which countries) face the most potential risks in the use of nuclear energy as an energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? </li></ul>Previous Continue
  4. 4. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Tips on navigating Click on these “Information buttons”. You’ll never know what you might find  Clicking the “Home button” will redirect you to the home page, where you can access the start of each section directly. Located at the bottom-right of every page, these “Navigation buttons” will ensure you get the correct information. Really. Home Previous Continue <ul><li>To maximise the impact of this E-Lesson, AVOID navigating by: </li></ul><ul><li>Using the arrow keys, or </li></ul><ul><li>Using Powerpoint’s default clicks located at the bottom-left of the screen. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Previous Excellent! I see we’re all ready to start clicking. Now go back and re-join the lesson.
  6. 6. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Previous Home page Why is there the need for a clean and green energy source? Why can nuclear energy be this source? What are the risks involved? Who (and in which countries) face the most potential risks in the use of nuclear energy as an energy source? Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? (Assignment) End slide show
  7. 7. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Before we start… </li></ul><ul><li>There are 4 sections to this E-Lesson. </li></ul><ul><li>These 4 sections are designed to help you explore and systematically address each of the 4 learning objectives posted on the previous slide. </li></ul><ul><li>Included in the fourth section is your assignment for this E-Lesson. </li></ul><ul><li>You are required to follow the slides as directed. Do NOT skip to the last page for answers – we didn’t prepare any! </li></ul><ul><li>Check that you have all the attached handouts , as well as your writing materials . </li></ul>Previous Continue Home
  8. 8. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy And finally… How much you get from this E-Lesson depends on how conscientious you are towards learning. It would be a good idea for you to take note of key-ideas , and make the effort to jot down your thoughts that will help you recall and understand the issues. Let us begin… Previous Continue Home
  9. 9. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Part 1 of 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Why is there the need for a clean and green energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can nuclear energy be this source? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the risks involved? Who (and in which countries) face the most potential risks in the use of nuclear energy as an energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? </li></ul>Previous Continue Home
  10. 10. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy A quick look at how electricity is traditionally generated… Why the need for a clean and green energy source? Previous Continue Home For more information, click the info button on the left. Excellent website, but don’t get carried away clicking all the links  You can always return to it later after you have finished this E-Lesson.
  11. 11. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy … what people have been saying about it… Why the need for a clean and green energy source? Previous AFTER you are done, click here to continue Home
  12. 12. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Why the need for a clean and green energy source? Return to main slide <ul><li>… are cheap, and readily available. </li></ul><ul><li>… are generally efficient (cost less to produce one unit of energy). </li></ul><ul><li>… fulfills a variety of needs (providing fuel for heating and transportation). </li></ul><ul><li>… are the preferred energy source, because people have been using it for a long time. </li></ul><ul><li>… generate large amounts of money. In some countries, it is a major component of the economy. </li></ul><ul><li>… converting to alternative energy sources would incur huge financial costs, as well as affecting the livelihoods of many whose jobs are reliant on the fossil fuel industries. </li></ul><ul><li>You should read more here… </li></ul>“ The great thing is that fossil fuels…”
  13. 13. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Why the need for a clean and green energy source? <ul><li>Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases, and in turn is responsible for global warming… </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon emissions also cause smog, acid rain, and other air toxics harmful to people… </li></ul><ul><li>Being non renewable, when they run out, it is difficult to replace them… </li></ul><ul><li>Political pressures surrounding fossil fuels can lead to social unrest, or even war… </li></ul><ul><li>Even if a country’s development is dependent on fossil fuels, distribution of wealth is dependent on other social conditions… </li></ul><ul><li>You should read more here… </li></ul>“… which makes fossil fuels really uncool.” Return to main slide
  14. 14. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Taken from: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption Last viewed: Jan 2011 We’re #23, not #1… Whew! Look in the crystal ball… Interactive chart on global energy consumption Why the need for a clean and green energy source? Previous Continue Home This table shows the number of barrels of oil consumed per day by different countries to generate electricity. Based on what you have learnt about the impact of burning fossil fuels, your hands should be clammy looking at this. … and why we should be concerned about it.
  15. 15. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Taken from: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption Last viewed: Jan 2011 Why the need for a clean and green energy source? Return to main slide <ul><li>This table presents the same data according to consumption per 1000 people </li></ul><ul><li>(i.e. per capita) </li></ul><ul><li>Do you notice anything interesting? </li></ul><ul><li>Take a minute to think about: </li></ul><ul><li>What are the possible reasons that account for our ranking? Consider individual usage, as well as usage by society. </li></ul><ul><li>Would it be possible for us to reduce consumption? What are some of the challenges that may arise? How would our lives change? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Why the need for a clean and green energy source? Inside the crystal ball… (Prediction 1) Based on 2010 reports, the U.S. Energy Information Administration* (EIA) predicts: Total world consumption is expected to increase by 49% from 2007 to 2035 Continue
  17. 17. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Why the need for a clean and green energy source? Inside the crystal ball… (Prediction 2) Based on 2010 reports, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts: Largest projected increase in energy demand is from non-OECD* economies Previous Return to main slide *OECD – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Comprising of 30 countries, the OECD provides a forum for discussion of issues and reaching agreements, some of which are legally binding.
  18. 18. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Part 2 of 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Why is there the need for a clean and green energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can nuclear energy be this source? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the risks involved? Who (and in which countries) face the most potential risks in the use of nuclear energy as an energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? </li></ul>Previous Continue Home
  19. 19. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>VIDEO </li></ul><ul><li>The following video is a debate on whether the world needs nuclear energy. </li></ul><ul><li>Before we continue, make sure you have: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Handout 01 – Does the world need nuclear energy” </li></ul><ul><li>Writing material and additional paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Read the instructions on the given handout, and know what you need to look out for in the video. </li></ul><ul><li>Ready? Click to launch the video. </li></ul>Why nuclear energy can be this source? Video information TED video: Does the world need nuclear energy? URL: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/debate_does_the_world_need_nuclear_energy.html (As of Jan 2011) Total Length: 23min After the video, click here to continue Previous slide Home
  20. 20. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Part 3 of 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Why is there the need for a clean and green energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can nuclear energy be this source? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the risks involved? Who (and in which countries) face the most potential risks in the use of nuclear energy as an energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? </li></ul>Previous Continue Home
  21. 21. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy What are the risks involved? <ul><li>To recap some of the ideas from the TED video you watched: </li></ul><ul><li>Nuclear power generates a lot of electricity while producing virtually no carbon dioxide. </li></ul><ul><li>However, it still faces the same problems that have stymied the development of new nuclear plants for the past 20 years: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exorbitant costs, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The risks of an accident, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The challenge of disposing of nuclear waste, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The threat of proliferation. </li></ul></ul>Keeping in mind these issues, we will be looking at two case studies: The Three Mile Island accident , and the Chernobyl disaster . Previous Continue Home
  22. 22. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy What are the risks involved? Three Mile Island Accident The United States 1979 Chernobyl Disaster Ukraine 1986 Case studies Click on the pictures to learn more about each incident. Previous Continue Home
  23. 23. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy What are the risks involved? Event Occurred in 1979, the  Three Mile Island accident  was a partial core meltdown in one of the pressurized water reactors. Impact, Consequences The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated the accident and reported very little radiological contamination in the environment. This was attributed to the fact that the accident happened outside of the facility. Implication and Learning Points Importantly, this accident highlighted the wrong decisions made because the operators were overwhelmed with information, much of it irrelevant, misleading or incorrect. As a result of the TMI-2 incident, nuclear reactor operator training has been improved. Before the incident it focused on diagnosing the underlying problem; afterward, it focused on reacting to the emergency by going through a standardized checklist. For more information, visit the following website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident Return to main slide
  24. 24. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy What are the risks involved? Event On 26 April 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in northern Ukraine, a testing error caused an explosion – the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated by inadequately trained personnel. Impact, Consequences During a radioactive fire that burned for 10 days, 190 tons of toxic materials were expelled into the atmosphere. The wind blew 70% of the radioactive material into the neighboring country of Belarus. The explosion of the reactor at Chernobyl released 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the time of the accident, about 7 million people lived in contaminated territories, including 3 million children. About 5.5 million people – including more than a million children – continue to live in contaminated zones. Afflictions include cancer, birth defects, and genetic mutations. For more information, click on the following links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster http://www.chernobyl-international.org/documents/chernobylfacts2.pdf (PDF document) Return to main slide
  25. 25. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Against </li></ul><ul><li>Financing costs are unusually high due to the lack of support and subsidies from governments, uncertainties, and a shortage of engineering and construction skills in the nuclear industry. </li></ul><ul><li>The only way to make nuclear power economically competitive would be the imposition of steep &quot;prices&quot; on carbon-emitting power sources. This imposes an unacceptably high price on consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if a high price of carbon makes nuclear economic, the costs of renewable energy such as wind and solar power are cheaper, and getting cheaper all the time. By contrast, nuclear is more expensive, and getting more expensive all the time.  </li></ul>What are the risks involved? To supplement your notes from the video, these are some of the lessons learnt from the Three Mile Island accident, and the Chernobyl disaster. Hint: You might want to take notes … Previous Continue Home <ul><li>For </li></ul><ul><li>As we build more, financing costs will no doubt come down as financiers become more comfortable. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>With the construction of more plants, the number of companies supplying parts will increase to meet the demand, lowering the price. </li></ul><ul><li>Most important, nuclear power appears economically uncompetitive primarily because the price of &quot;cheaper&quot; fossil fuels, mainly coal, don't reflect the high cost that carbon emissions pose for the environment. Add those costs, and suddenly, nuclear power will look like a bargain. </li></ul>Economic concern: High cost involved
  26. 26. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>For </li></ul><ul><li>The accidents led regulators and the industry to bolster safety at U.S. nuclear plants. There are more safety features at the plants, plant personnel are better trained, and reactors have been redesigned so that accidents are far less likely to occur. </li></ul><ul><li>The next generation of plants is designed to be even safer, to ensure fewer possible places where equipment failure could cause a serious accident. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. plants are designed to make sure that no radiation is released into the environment. Reactors are contained inside a huge structure of reinforced concrete with walls that are as much as four feet thick; the Chernobyl reactor lacked such a structure. </li></ul>What are the risks involved? Previous Continue Home Safety concerns <ul><li>Against </li></ul><ul><li>1979 accident at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania, USA. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The safety of nuclear plants has certainly improved, thanks to changes adopted in the wake of the accidents. However, safety problems persist, as there still exist a lack of adequate enforcements of safety standards and strong system for regulating nuclear safety. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>To supplement your notes from the video, these are some of the lessons learnt from the Three Mile Island accident, and the Chernobyl disaster. Hint: You might want to take notes …
  27. 27. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Against </li></ul><ul><li>The long-term disposal of nuclear waste is also a problem. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radioactive materials must be prevented from entering the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They also must be guarded against theft or terrorist attack. </li></ul></ul>What are the risks involved? Previous Continue Home Problem of disposing nuclear waste <ul><li>For </li></ul><ul><li>Current interim storage in deep pools next to nuclear plants is considered sufficiently safe to meet the industry's needs until well into the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Older, cooler fuel can also be stored for decades in dry casks. </li></ul><ul><li>Longer term, advanced fuel recycling and reprocessing can reduce the amount of waste that needs to be stored. While reprocessing would not eliminate the need for a long-term repository, it can reduce the amount, heat and radioactivity of the remaining waste. </li></ul>To supplement your notes from the video, these are some of the lessons learnt from the Three Mile Island accident, and the Chernobyl disaster. Hint: You might want to take notes …
  28. 28. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>For </li></ul><ul><li>To curtail the risks, governments need to strengthen current international anti-proliferation efforts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has a system of rigorous safety standards that are applied worldwide, wisely using a system of peer review. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Among other things, governments need to give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more information about a country's nuclear-related activities and IAEA inspectors greater access to suspect locations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Further, current fuel-reprocessing techniques are limited and new processing technologies are being developed to limit the amount and accessibility of weapons-grade materials (by, for instance, producing a form of plutonium that needs further reprocessing before it could be used in bombs). </li></ul>What are the risks involved? Previous Continue Home Security threat: Danger of proliferation <ul><li>Against </li></ul><ul><li>An expansion of nuclear power will increase the danger that potentially hostile nations will use nuclear material from a power program to develop atomic weapons, or that rogue states or terrorists will steal nuclear material to make bombs. </li></ul><ul><li>Plants that enrich uranium for power plants can also be used to enrich for bombs; this is the path Iran is suspected of taking in developing a weapons program. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel for reuse pose the danger that the material can be diverted for weapons. </li></ul>To supplement your notes from the video, these are some of the lessons learnt from the Three Mile Island accident, and the Chernobyl disaster. Hint: You might want to take notes …
  29. 29. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Part 4 of 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Why is there the need for a clean and green energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can nuclear energy be this source? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the risks involved? Who (and in which countries) face the most potential risks in the use of nuclear energy as an energy source? </li></ul><ul><li>Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? </li></ul>Previous Continue Home
  30. 30. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? Previous Continue Home Assignment To what extent is nuclear energy a suitable alternative for Singapore to meet her energy needs?
  31. 31. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? Previous Assignment To what extent is nuclear energy a suitable alternative for Singapore to meet her energy needs?
  32. 32. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy <ul><li>Instructions </li></ul><ul><li>Review your notes on all the arguments for and against nuclear energy. </li></ul><ul><li>In your pair or group, discuss how you would approach the question (assignment). Decide the stand you would adopt. </li></ul><ul><li>To help you along, you could examine the following guiding questions: </li></ul><ul><li>a) What are Singapore’s current energy needs? </li></ul><ul><li>b) What are some of the arguments supporting the use of alternatives to </li></ul><ul><li>fossil fuels to meet Singapore’s energy needs? </li></ul><ul><li>c) Is nuclear energy more suitable in comparison to other alternatives to </li></ul><ul><li>meet Singapore’s energy needs? Why or why not? </li></ul><ul><li>d) Why would the use of nuclear energy be potentially disadvantageous </li></ul><ul><li>or harmful to Singapore? How can potential threats be neutralised? </li></ul>Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? Previous Continue Home Assignment question
  33. 33. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? <ul><li>Deadline </li></ul><ul><li>Check with your tutor. </li></ul><ul><li>Method of submission </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare 3 paragraphs (i.e. 2SVs + 1OV+R). </li></ul><ul><li>Post your group’s answer on IVLE. </li></ul><ul><li>AFTER making your post, review another group’s argument. As a group, post your critique on IVLE. </li></ul><ul><li>Your tutor may wish to </li></ul><ul><li>amend the method of submission. </li></ul><ul><li>CHECK with your tutor first . </li></ul>Previous Continue Home Assignment question To help you start off your assignment, here are some websites you might want to look at. We’re not heartless, you know…
  34. 34. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Helpful websites Reminder: You are NOT supposed to copy-and-paste any of these arguments. These websites help you contextualise the issue of nuclear energy to Singapore. You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to source for your own resources and articles. Speech made by PM Lee Hsien Loong during the 2010 Singapore International Energy Week. http://www.news.gov.sg/public/sgpc/en/media_releases/agencies/mica/speech/S-20101101-1.html Written in 2008, author offers his opinion on some of the concerns raised. http://www.post1.net/lowem/entry/singapore_nuclear_power_not_ruled_out Article written by a student (NUS Political Association). http://www.nuspa.org/cms/?q=node/38 Is nuclear energy suitable for Singapore? Previous
  35. 35. Environmental Concerns Nuclear Energy Home Exit Previous

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