Nuclear Energy Debate

Let’s judge a debate!

[Note: a couple of students wanted to know more about new nuclear generation technology. How possible is it? What are the dangers? One of the most interesting new designs is being supported by Bill Gates. He has invested over $1,000,000,000 in a company producing what is known as a traveling-wave reactor. This type of reactor uses the nuclear waste we have already produced and is said to be very safe. If you’re interested in learning more about the technology, please watch his Ted talk, Innovating to Zero. The company, TerraPower, is working with Chinese companies to produce the first traveling-wave reactors ]

In a debate, there are two sides: The Pro side (for), and The Con side (against). Each side uses arguments and counter arguments to try to “win the debate.” Goal for this class: to identify the arguments and counter arguments in a debate about nuclear energy.

For example:


“I am in favor of increasing the speed limits in Japan. We can drive faster and still be safe.”


“I am against increasing the speed limits in Japan. There are too many accidents now!

The Pro side: The people who like the idea are in favor of the idea. The people who like the idea are for the idea.

The Con side: The people who don’t like the idea are opposed to the idea. The people who don’t like the idea are against the idea.

Example Debate

The Kochi University school cafeteria should sell beer to students who are 20 years old and over. Students would be happier if they drank beer.
Well, students might be happier, but they would be sleepier in class. Their grades would go down.
(counter argument)
Selling beer at university is not such a good idea. Drunk students would cause trouble for the university and cost more money for cleaning. (argument)
Selling beer would actually make more money for the university because beer is expensive. The school would be rich.
(counter argument)
Beer is not a healthy drink. The university should try to help students be healthier by serving good food and drink in the cafeteria.
Beer is not as healthy as green tea, I agree. But students who are adults should be able to decide for themselves what to eat and drink.
(counter argument)

Which side won?

We evaluate arguments based on their relative strength and weakness. Some arguments are stronger points than others. In a real debate, the winner is the one with the stronger arguments. In the debate above, you might decide the Con side has the stronger argument, even if you believe that the university should sell beer.

The important question is: Which side made the strongest arguments? Not Which side do you agree with?

Please watch the following TED debate about Nuclear Energy. Take notes about each side’s arguments and counter arguments.

  • What were the Pro Arguments?
  • What were the Con Arguments?
  • What were the Pro Counter Arguments?
  • What were the Con Counter Arguments?
  • Which side had the stronger arguments? (Not which side do you agree with!)

12 thoughts on “Nuclear Energy Debate

  1. Twist the debate nuclear power is environmentally friendly more than wind power generation side of output CO2 gas. so it will be stop melting ice of north pole. but nuclear power have big risk. so reactor fuel have dangerous radioactive ray. because if serious accident occured damage of radioactive pollution at widespread area. wind power is not have risk of radioactive pollution. but presenter say wind power blowdown CO2 more than nuclear power. however compare risk of wind power and nuclear power. nuclear power causes catastophic damage once an accident occurs. so we should choice using wind power and accept melting north pole ice.


  2. 1
    He agree newclear energy.
    So newclear energy is least CO2 than other main power generation method ,
    and renewerbul energys don’t many generate energy.

    CO2 emission is not least than other main power generation method todo newclear energy, and land use area is not least.


    Newclear energy don’t concern in war.

    They research wend speed every hour from load to 80m.
    15% from USA can get power from wind countervail cost.



  3. What were the Pro Arguments?
    We need Nuclear because even we have renewable energy they still can not give us sufficient power witch we use. And these renewable energy need more and more space to set them also they need great weather to be use.

    What were the Con Arguments?
    We don’t need Nuclear, because we have abundant natural resources. These resources can provide our energy in all year. Also we still have no idea to processing the Nuclear waste. Before the problem get solved, we still have danger of Nuclear.

    What were the Pro Counter Arguments?
    For example, the U.K have a heavy snow in last week, and the winds renewables energy cant be used, so they need to buy the Nuclear energy from France. That’s why we need nuclear power now, because just have renewable energy is not able to give everyone sufficient power to use.

    What were the Con Counter Arguments?
    Actually we don’t need a huge location then we can get the renewable energy to use. We not just have winds , also have solar power and hydroelectric power. But Nuclear not just the waste of it will destroy people and environment but could be have some state want to use its power to make war. So if we have sufficient power why we need Nuclear power.

    Which side had the stronger arguments? (Not which side do you agree with!)
    Need Nuclear power side had the stronger arguments.


  4. Those in favor of nuclear power argue that there is a limit to the use of only those energies, since wind and solar energy, other than nuclear power, are not. Moreover, wind power is not enough to actually use and there are even areas that are already over the limit. They also argue that natural environments are ruined because they have to push through a large area of land to supply wind power and solar heat.
    Opponents of nuclear power argue that there is sufficient supply of wind and solar energy, other than nuclear power. Even the space required to install wind farms is a different concept than the area. Not only is it possible to have a very small area than other energy sources, but the space can also be used as a farm site unlike nuclear power plants. They say it’s not a big problem in space because they can even be installed in the sea, not in the ground.
    Supporters of nuclear power also argue that only nuclear power can solve the problem, saying wind or solar power supply is too low for demand. Those who support the opposition to nuclear power are arguing about future possibilities. Those who say nuclear power is the only solution to the problem argue that technological development needs to be considered because they are judging only from the current situation, without considering any future development possibilities.
    I think the opinion of those who support the opposition to nuclear power is more powerful. Everyone may be aware that nuclear power produces a large amount of carbon dioxide. Then, everyone can see that there should be energy to replace it. It is persuasive because it numerically explains that wind power and solar power are realistically feasible energy. Also, among those who supported against nuclear power, what was most persuasive was the talk about the potential for future alternative energy generation, which is now inevitably supplied by nuclear power, but if wind or solar energy takes over or if new renewable energy takes its place, then carbon dioxide energy will naturally not be used. Only by thinking about and supporting this will we be able to develop renewable energy.


  5. * What were the Pro Arguments?
    Experts on climate issues tend to Worry about the problem. Against them,experts on nuclear power don’t. And We will promote nuclear power.
    We need more electricity in order to live in urban,educate children, and live peaceful. We have made peaceful use of atomic energy for 40 years.And about each waste, Nuclear power waste can be stored,but Carbon dioxide, a waste from thermal power generation using coal can’t store and Thermal power generation emits a lot of carbon dioxide.
    About renewable Energy and nuclear energy,renewable energy is paid a lot of costs for power generation for examples Construction costs and land. In contrast,nuclear energy power can be made compact like nuclear battery.
    The government of the world are going to have to decide that coals need to be made expensive,and these will go ahead.

    * What were the Con Arguments?
    Nuclear energy puts out more CO2 and air pollutants,enhances mortality more and takes longer to put up than real renewable energy systems.It costs many times to use Nuclear plant.In America,many people died by air pollutants.And they have a relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.Some countries,nuclear weapons are made at nuclear plants.
    About costing area between renewable energy and nuclear energy,nuclear energy has to use huge areas for Uranium quarry and nuclear plant,but renewable energy don’t use huge area from estimates.

    * What were the Pro Counter Arguments?
    It doesn’t have relationship between nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.The risks of global warming is bigger than nuclear weapons.It can’t be able to provide enough power of renewable energy.

    * What were the Con Counter Arguments?
    There’s clean power like wind and solar energy and we don’t have to use dangerous power.And in the future,we may be able to have new energy substituting nuclear power.

    * Which side had the stronger arguments? (Not which side do you agree with!)
    I think con arguments are more reliable for me.Because pro arguments don’t think if nuclear power destroyed in any kind of way. Complete safety doesn’t exist.


  6. The proponents of nuclear power argue that nuclear power is sustainable unlike wind and solar heat, and that there is less waste generated than other resources, so it should be used for the environment.They also claim that it is positive that arms reduction is possible on the arms side.
    However, the opposite opinion is that energy production through wind and sun is more effective and necessary. Wind power plants can be installed in several locations along the coast and argue that figures require a smaller area than other energies.
    Reversing in favor of nuclear power is not suitable as energy for the environment because nuclear power plants generate more carbon dioxide and increase mortality. It can also be dangerous because it can be used as a weapon. Claims that complete safety is not guaranteed.
    The counterargument to renewable energy is highly weather-limited and unsustainable. In fact, in Germany, nuclear power was purchased from France because there was not enough renewable energy. And they claim that installing a wind or solar power plant requires a lot of space, which destroys the landscape.
    Upon hearing the above panel’s arguments, many people agreed more on the pro-nuclear side.


  7. The Pro Debate calls for reducing the use of carbon dioxide-producing coal and using nuclear energy to use safer and more efficient methods.
    The ‘con debate’ argues that the generation of energy through nuclear energy will bring us great dangers and a terrible future, and that we need a realistic solution through clean energy.

    Procurator claims that people need electricity the most, and that even a small amount of coal produces too much carbon dioxide. However, nuclear energy does not produce carbon dioxide, and it claims that the waste left over from its lifetime is worth a can of Coca-Cola. It will also be incredibly safe, and so the best solution today is to find the answer through nuclear energy. This choice is said to provide a bright future in the future. On the other hand, the socket-outlet argument argued with accurate figures that the future would not be much different from reality when using the time, area and atomic energy generated by supplying energy through nuclear power. It also raised the issue of distorted facts that nuclear power generation is 100 percent safe. Nuclear weapons can be a big force for us, but they say it will be a disaster for us if we change the direction aimed at them. It also presented many examples of North Korea, Iran and others. The consequences would be appalling if such nuclear energy were to spread around the world,” he said.

    Through this debate I can say that the Concounter’s argument was even more powerful. Almost all of his claims were digitized through a graph to provide a basis. He showed accurate information and statistics as figures, and what results he could see when using nuclear energy. His rationale is that the aforementioned pro’s plan will continue to hurt and hurt us.And it made him meaningless to say that nuclear health is safe on the grounds that it causes nuclear weaponization. He received applause from the audience for his practical ways. Finally, I think the effect on nature that changes into our choice has great persuasion and power to agitate many people through visual data.


  8. is necessary to use nuclear energy.
    2.There is no necessary to use nuclear energy .It puts mor energy and more dioxide .Since Nuclear energy facilities extent ,a nuclear bomb would be created 30years across .Due ti nuclear energy death rate would be high.
    3. Only a few numbers of countries have nuclear weapons .If they are sold out it becomes zero weapons .
    4.The side which says nuclear energy is not necessary by Proffessor Jacob


  9. The Pro Argument: A nuclear energy might reduce global warming. People need electricity. And 66% of electricity are came thermal power. Now, Nuclear power are more cheep.
    The Con Argument: In total, nuclear power discharge CO2 more than renewables energy. A wind power covers energy of car in America.
    The Pro Counter Argument: Wind power take a lot of lands. Nuclear power is downsizing.
    The Con Counter Argument: Land is enough. Don’t confuse land occupancy with space occupancy. Downsizing nuclear power might use nuclear bomb.
    I think the Pro Argument is storing.


  10. ・What were the Pro Arguments?
     Nuclear energy needs now in the world.
    ・What were the Con Arguments?
     Nuclear energy doesn’t need now in the world.
    ・What were the Pro Counter Arguments?
     The earth is facing climate change and is now half urban. The world population in 2010 was divided developed countries into developing countries. But the latter is about five times as much as the former. Most people in developing countries are strongly required for electricity. So, we get the amount of electricity immediately. Also considering the aspect of the environment, if we depend on fossil fuel power plants, unfortunately, we’ll produce gigatons of CO2. Nuclear energy enables us to decrease the number of greenhouse gases. So, it is good energy system in the world.
    ・What were the Con Counter Arguments?
     Nuclear energy puts out more carbon dioxide, puts out more air pollutants and takes longer to put up than renewable energy systems, wind, solar geothermal power, hydro-tidal wave power. As to the construction time, the nuclear energy power plant takes about from 10 to 19 years to construct it from the phase of the plan to really moving. We must generate electricity while waiting for the construction of it. Also, nuclear energy is a very big size. Compared to the wind energy system, it is more efficient than nuclear energy. Also, we should think about the combination of the renewable energy system. It is possible!
    ・Which side had the stronger arguments? (Not which side do you agree with!)
     As to the figure of the date, I think strongly the Pro Argument is better. For example the number of the world population, the amount of CO2 emissions, and so on. I think it better, the Con Counter Argument should say the dangerous side of nuclear energy.


  11. The Pro Arguments
    nuclear is down greenhouse gases with wind,hidro,solar and fossil fuels.
    Renewable energy needs a very large footprint on the land, a very large footprint in terms of materials, five to 10 times what you’d use for nuclear.
    In terms of weapons, the best disarmament tool so far is nuclear energy.

    The Con Arguments
    Wind and concentrated solar have the lowest CO2 emissions.It takes between 10 and 19 years to put up a nuclear power plant from planning to operation. On the other hand, wind need between about 2 and 5 years.
    The footprint on the ground for wind is by far the smallest of any energy source in the world.

    The Pro Counter Arguments
    Nuclear and nuclear weapons are not related.
    Global warming risk exceeds nuclear accident risk.Renewable energy alone cannot provide a sufficient supply.So,We need nuclear power that can always generate electricity.

    The Con Counter Arguments
    Be aware of the proaganda.

    I think the Con Arguments is stronger.


  12. Stewart Brand said that the amounts of co2.If we make nuclear enegy whici is corresponding a person use in a year,we release about 900g in a Coke can.But only one day of coke,it makes a lot of carbon oxiden.So he means the nuclear plant can makes enegy more clean.He aiso said that the disposal of radioactive waste is able to being treated easily.However in case the waste materials from thermal power generation such as co2 we can’t treate.His additional argument is that when we make renewable energy we need 5or 10 times of material and more plece to build.So it’s not good.
    Mark Jacobson firstly said a negative point of nuclear plant. when a plant completed of construction, it takes 10~19years.Conpared nuclear plant to wind power generation ,more the estimate of CO2e is released by nuclear power.He also said the technology of nuclear plant make new weapon. Wind and solar power generation land area is smaller than nuclear one.A matter of concern is that can renewable energys provide for demand power. In case of California, it’s sufficiently .
    the Pro Counter Arguments
    Using nuclear power can make manage nuclear power safty.Conparing the risk of accident, global warming has more big risk than nuclear power. It’s necessary to generate electricity without weather condition.
    the Con Counter Arguments
    Renewable energy dom’t make new matter, can solve all of problems. So we don’t need to use nuclear technology. And after generating energy by nuclear power it has big risks like terrorism.And according to the date, it can make enough energy to cover electric power demand.
    I think the con arguments is more stronger than pro ones. In my viewpoint, Mark Jacobson described pro counter argumets with some dates such as enough energy by renewable energy.


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