NIE account
Contact NIE

Science Time

Science Time

Program Content for June 18, 2014

Read the article “Nuclear industry explores accident-resistant fuel rods” on page A7 of the Sunday, June 15, 2014 edition of The Seattle Times.

Pre-Reading and Vocabulary: Define each term and use it in a sentence to demonstrate your understanding.

1.      nuclear

2.      radiation

3.      corrosion

4.      oxidized

5.      tsunami


Comprehension Questions

1.      How did the U.S. government respond to the Fukushima Daiichi accident?   

2.      What is the goal of scientists working on nuclear fuel?  

3.      If scientists reach their goal what will they have provided for workers at nuclear power plants?  

4.      What is nuclear fuel made of?

5.      What are three purposes of the metal cladding in a reactor?  

6.      What led to nuclear fuel safety failures at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan?  

7.      What happened as water levels dropped inside of the Fukushima Daiichi plant?  

8.      What role did hydrogen gas play in the damage caused at the Fukushima Daiichi plant?

9.      List three changes to nuclear fuel that different research labs are working on to make it safer.  

10.    What must occur for safety improvements to actually take place at nuclear power plants?  


Prompts and Extensions

1.      Class Discussion:  First build your background knowledge about nuclear power plants.  Create a table that demonstrates the pros and cons of this energy source.  Next, write an evidence based position statement in which you explain whether or not you think nuclear power is safe.  Once you position statement is written discuss your position in class.  This video can help you build background knowledge

2.      Watch this video clip from Time for an in-depth look at what happened to the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan.,32068,833602970001_2059584,00.html

3.      Play this online simulation that allows you to make energy decisions for an imaginary city.  Nuclear power is one of many energy sources to choose from.


Science Time is posted to the Web on Wednesdays. Please share this NIE Science Time program with other teachers. To sign-up for the electronic edition for your class, please register by e-mailing or by calling 206/652-6290 or toll-free 1-888/775-2655.

Copyright © 2014 The Seattle Times Company

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company
Privacy statement

Register Now for Elementary, Middle School and High School Programs!