Combating Misconceptions About Nuclear PowerPublic
The long-developing energy crisis is now upon us, and we need cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Nuclear power is one such possible power source, but it has faltered in the United States. Since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, no new nuclear power-plants have been built in the U.S. We believe the lack of support for nuclear power in the U.S. stems from an overall fear of the technology based on a lack of knowledge about the technology. We realized that nuclear power could not become a widespread power source in the U.S. without educating people about it and combating many common misconceptions people have about it. We designed a knowledge and opinion based survey to quiz WPI students on their nuclear awareness. Using data we gathered from students’ quiz answers, we were able to identify some of the most common misconceptions about the nature and perceived danger of nuclear power. With our data we were able to create an outline for an educational course on nuclear power including all the sources needed to create a robust and informative one- or two-hour course. The proposed course would combat commonly held misconceptions about nuclear power in an effort to increase nuclear awareness and favorably change opinions towards nuclear technology as a feasible power source.
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