Topics in Environmental Science


The conspicuous effects of global climate change compels a reexamination of nuclear power. It is also true that in terms of a power source globally, nuclear power is not going away. (The same can be said of concerns about nuclear conflict.) This 1-cr course will meet once a week for 80 minutes and provide a technical overview of nuclear power. The lecture outline is as follows: four lectures on the relevant nuclear science, one lecture on the essentials of any nuclear reactor, two lectures are devoted to the reactor designs labeled as GEN I, II, III, IV and modern plans for modular reactors, one lecture each on the coupled problems of accidents, proliferation and waste, one lecture on the difficulties posed by nuclear reactors in conflict zones and grid issues, and a final lecture on how fusion reactors could work and if this is a realistic energy source. Each class will be partitioned into 60 minutes of lecture and 20 minutes for open discussion. This class is designed to be a technical complement to ENSt 315 but each can be taken without the other. There will be three quizzes and one paper. A field trip to either a power reactor or a research reactor (MURR) will be arranged. The level of presentation is commensurate with that of Scientific American articles, from which several of the readings will be taken. The prerequisite requirement is fulfilled by either general chemistry or physics.
Course Attributes: FA NSM; BU SCI; AR NSM; AS NSM

Section 01

Topics in Environmental Science
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