Understanding Nuclear Power

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Add a Verified Certificate for £39

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Course Provider

FutureLearn online courses
At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. Our aim is to connect learners from all over the globe with high quality educators, and with each other. We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, with plenty of opportunities to discuss what you’ve studied, in order to make fresh discoveries and form new ideas....
At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. Our aim is to connect learners from all over the globe with high quality educators, and with each other. We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, with plenty of opportunities to discuss what you’ve studied, in order to make fresh discoveries and form new ideas. Courses are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life, rather than your life around learning. We are a private company wholly owned by The Open University, with the benefit of over 40 years of their experience in distance learning and online education. Our partners include over 20 of the best UK and international universities, as well as institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, including the British Council, the British Library, and the British Museum.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
126 reviews

Course Description

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Nuclear power remains a contentious issue - does it offer our best chance at sustainable energy future? Or do the risks outweigh the benefits? This course will answer some of these questions and is aimed at a broad audience - whether you’re an engineer or scientist thinking of working in the nuclear industry; a policy adviser working in energy or technology; a technical journalist; a teacher or lecturer; concerned with how infrastructure is financed or simply keep to develop your understanding of nuclear power.

Why do we use nuclear power?

Despite accidents like Fukushima Daiichi, countries around the world are keen to build new nuclear power plants. In the UK, a ‘nuclear renaissance’ is under way, while in other countries, like Poland, there is a lot of interest in building nuclear power plants for the first time. China and India have pressed ahead almost without interruption. In this course you’ll learn why the world has suc...

##

Nuclear power remains a contentious issue - does it offer our best chance at sustainable energy future? Or do the risks outweigh the benefits? This course will answer some of these questions and is aimed at a broad audience - whether you’re an engineer or scientist thinking of working in the nuclear industry; a policy adviser working in energy or technology; a technical journalist; a teacher or lecturer; concerned with how infrastructure is financed or simply keep to develop your understanding of nuclear power.

Why do we use nuclear power?

Despite accidents like Fukushima Daiichi, countries around the world are keen to build new nuclear power plants. In the UK, a ‘nuclear renaissance’ is under way, while in other countries, like Poland, there is a lot of interest in building nuclear power plants for the first time. China and India have pressed ahead almost without interruption. In this course you’ll learn why the world has such an enthusiasm for nuclear power.

How does nuclear power work?

This course introduces the engineering aspects of nuclear power and asks how developers can finance these large infrastructures. You’ll learn about the technologies involved and explore how fuels and radioactive waste should be managed. Nuclear safety and the safety culture of organisations are vital issues.

What’s the future of nuclear power?

This course will also examine the future of nuclear power: exploring the challenges that lie ahead for companies and countries alike and whether these challenges can be overcome.

This course is intended for those with a basic understanding of nuclear energy. You’ll need to be familiar with the following concepts: protons, neutrons, elements, isotopes; the difference between nuclear fission energy and nuclear fusion energy; alpha, beta and gamma radiation; radioactive decay; the difference between momentum and kinetic energy; the separate roles played by conduction and convection in heat transfer; the basic concept of a nuclear reactor; and finally the probability of four coin tosses yielding four ‘heads’ results.

If you’re new to this area we’d suggest trying The Science of Nuclear Energy course first.

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