Generate an Argument: Indian Point Nuclear Plant
Students will utilize conservation of mass-energy to explain how a nuclear power plant operates.
Students will explore nuclear energy by researching and arguing for or against federal approval to operate Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant's reactors for 20 more years.
- Students will self-select into groups of three or four.
- Students will read the background information on the topic and create a tentative argument in favor of or opposed to re-licensing of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.
- Students will develop supporting evidence (minimum three strong statements) for their argument.
- Students will research the political environment surrounding this issue by filling out index cards for the parties interested in the outcome of this argument (minimum four). Each card should contain:
- Name of interested party / political leader.
- One sentence summarizing the position of the party/leader.
- One sentence summarizing why that party/leader is interested in the outcome of the argument.
- List ways in which re-licensing would benefit party/leader.
- List ways in which re-licensing would harm party/leader.
- Students will create a poster summarizing their stance, supporting evidence, a table of interested parties and their positions, which will be presented in a walk-around poster session.
- Posters may be 8.5"x11" up to 24"x32".
- Posters should be neat, legible, professional, and attractive.
- Posters should include the following information:
- Name of all group members on back.
- A large, clear, easy-to-read title.
- Position statement on nuclear plant re-licensing.
- Bullet list of three supporting statements.
- Organized summary of interested parties and leaders with their positions (include at least three cited sources).
- Areas for further work.
- Students will individually submit final written arguments on the APlusPhysics Community Forums, and constructively respond to at least one other student.
Each year the Indian Point Power Plant generates roughly 2000 Megawatts of power for New York City's needs through the harnessing of nuclear fission. The plant's two nuclear reactors, generators #2 and #3, are licensed by the federal government for operation in 20-year increments. The generators come up for re-licensing in 2013 and 2015.
The electricity generated by the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant is typically the lowest-priced power source in the area, as nuclear power is considerably cheaper than other forms of power generation after the initial cost of the plant is recovered.
Following Japan's disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, legislators and environmental activist groups have re-energized the long-running debate on the use of nuclear power in the United States. Following some research, you are to create an argument either in favor of license renewal or opposed to license renewal for the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. This argument must have a minimum of three strong supporting statements. Use the resources below to begin exploring the issues surrounding the use of nuclear power plants.
- Nuclear Power Plants
- Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Supporting Evidence||One strong supporting statement.||Two strong supporting statements.||Three strong supporting statements.||Four strong supporting statements.|
|Poster||Poster created.||Poster contains most required components.||Professional and attractive poster with most required components.||Professional and attractive poster with all required components.|
|Forum Post||Statement posted.||Statement posted and includes all supporting evidence.||Statement posted and includes all supporting evidence clearly stated. Comment added to another's post.||Position statement and all supporting evidence clearly stated, constructive comment on another's post shows thought and insight.|
|Political Research||Superficial restatement of research.||Organized summary of research on interested parties and explanation of interest, potential benefits.||Organized summary of research on interested parties includes explanation of interest, potential benefits. Multiple sources cited.||Organized summary of research on interested parties includes explanation of research, potential benefits, and tie-in to thematic content. Multiple sources cited.|
|Post-Lesson Assessment||Political stance of interested party accurately and appropriately conveyed.||Political stance of interested party accurately and appropriately conveyed, counters to opposition presented.||Political stance of interested party accurately and appropriately conveyed, logical counters to opposition presented professionally||Political stance of interested party accurately and appropriately conveyed, potential arguments of opponents highlighted and countered proactively. Logical and creative counters to opposition's stance presented professionally.|
Student teams will be randomly assigned to represent interested parties/leaders in a mock debate on the re-licensing of Indian Point.