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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: Problems and Alternatives

Type: Webquest
Subjects: Science
Grades: Grades 9-10
Duration: 2 to 3 lessons
Purpose: To research, examine, and report on an issue
Summary: Using a variety of Web-based resources, students will research and report on an issue related to the use of nuclear power, and make recommendations based on their work.


In the 1960s, Canada led the world in the generation of nuclear power. Its Candu reactor was on the leading edge of the search for safe, economical power. But over time, ethical and environmental issues around nuclear energy have arisen.

The Task

Students will research and write a report, including a recommendation, about one of the following issues around nuclear power:

Comparison of efficiency, safety, and cost of other reactors to Candu

Reactor accidents

Nuclear waste disposal

The lifetime of a reactor and the physical state of many current reactors

Alternate energy source: fusion

Alternate energy sources: wind, solar, biomass, tidal

The Process

Students can work individually or in groups. They will begin their research on the topic Candu: The Canadian Nuclear Reactor on the CBC Digital Archives website.  They may also use other Internet resources or any resources they find helpful. Students should keep detailed notes and a record of sources consulted and cited.


When students have completed their reports, they will meet with other groups who researched similar topics. Groups should compare their research and recommendations and prepare a summary. The new, combined groups will present their summaries to the class. Following each report, encourage student discussion on the topic and recommendations. Based on all reports, each student will write a synopsis of whether to continue or shut down all Candu reactors.

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