- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- Online learning
- 1 The motivation for nuclear energy
- 2 The science behind nuclear energy
- 3 How a reactor works
- 4 Waste management
- 5 Health effects of radiation
- 6 Regulation
- 7 Future developments
- 8 Sustainability
- 9 Where next?
- Next steps
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Unclear about nuclear?
The unit will provide an opportunity for young people (18+) who are interested but...
The unit will provide an opportunity for young people (18+) who are interested but unsure about entering the nuclear industry to develop their learning about nuclear energy, improve their study and maths skills in a nuclear context and investigate further training (within and beyond the OU) and employment opportunities in the industry.
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
- engage in learning about the science behind nuclear energy
- have been introduced to online learning using OU pedagogies
- be able to improve your study skills in a nuclear context, so equipping you for further study and in particular study of the courses STG074 Learn about nuclear energy or ST174 Inside nuclear energy.
- be able to improve your maths skills in a nuclear context and equip yourself for further learning, within and beyond the OU
- be informed about further training and study, within and beyond the OU, that could equip you for employment in the nuclear industry.
Unclear about nuclear?
So you’ve heard about nuclear energy, but you’re not sure what it is. Some people talk about nuclear providing vast amounts of cheap and clean energy. But you will probably also have heard about safety concerns in harnessing this source of energy.
As world energy needs increase due to a growing population and increased demand for technology for transportation, communication, entertainment, etc., it is impossible to meet these energy demands without considering the contributions from a variety of sources. On a global scale, one of the major players in energy supply is bound to be nuclear.
In order to supply all our energy needs in the future, the nuclear energy industry looks set to expand over the coming years, with an expansion of employment opportunities available at different levels requiring a variety of skills in a variety of sectors where there are a whole range of opportunities; in the decommissioning industry, for example, where there are many innovative and exciting engineering and technical challenges within power generation and in the defence industry, as well as new nuclear build. Although specialist training will be available for those entering employment within the nuclear sector, the aim of this unit is to provide you with background to help you decide whether this is an area that interests you, and whether you would like to take your interest further. This unit will provide opportunities to develop your knowledge and point you to opportunities for further study.
The material you will meet here was drawn from a variety of sources, including the Open University course Learn about nuclear energy that might provide a suitable next step that you can study for credit. You will find out more about this at the end of this unit. This unit has been partly funded by the National HE STEM Programme., or
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th October 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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