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Nuclear Energy Basics

Advantages and Challenges of Nuclear Energy
An overview of the main advantages of nuclear energy and the challenges currently facing the industry today.
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These Accident Tolerant Fuels Could Boost the Performance of Today’s Reactors
Three of the largest U.S. nuclear suppliers are working with the Energy Department to develop new accident tolerant fuels for the nation's reactors.
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6 Things You Should Know About Nuclear Thermal Propulsion
Six things everyone should know about nuclear-powered rocket engines.
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What's the Lifespan for a Nuclear Reactor? Much Longer Than You Might Think
Nearly 10 years of research is giving U.S. nuclear companies the data and confidence they need to operate up to 80 years.
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What is a Radioisotope Power System?
Nuclear has powered space exploration for decades. Learn radioisotope power systems' role in the most successful space missions in U.S. history.
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5 Problems You Didn’t Know Nuclear Could Solve
Nuclear is tackling a multitude of issues impacting the world. Here are 5 problems you didn't know nuclear could solve.
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5 Fast Facts About Nuclear Waste
Get up to speed with these five fast facts about nuclear waste.
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TRISO Particles: The Most Robust Nuclear Fuel on Earth
TRISO particles cannot melt in a reactor and can withstand extreme temperatures that are well beyond the threshold of current nuclear fuels.
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NUCLEAR 101: How Does a Nuclear Reactor Work?
Learn how boiling and pressurized light-water reactors work.
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What is a Nuclear Microreactor?
Microreactors are not defined by their fuel form or coolant. Instead, they have three main features...
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Navigating Nuclear

Navigating Nuclear Energizing our World
American Nuclear Society | Discovery Education

The Office of Nuclear Energy is supporting a collaboration between the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and Discovery Education to develop a nuclear science curriculum for high school students. ANS will work with Discovery Education to provide new lesson plans, career profiles, and a virtual field trip for students in grades 9-12. Curriculum will be developed for elementary schools in 2020-21 to complete the K-12 initiative.

In 2018, Navigating Nuclear made nuclear science curriculum content available nationwide to an estimated 442,000 students in grades 6-8.

Learn more about the program

The Harnessed Atom

The Harnessed Atom is a middle school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum extension that focuses on nuclear science and energy. The curriculum includes essential principles and fundamental concepts of energy science.

In The Harnessed Atom kit, you will find a student edition, a teacher’s guide with lesson plans, standards, instructor notes, interactive games, classroom activities, laboratory experiments, and outside resource suggestions. Teachers, scientists, and experts at universities, professional societies, and national laboratories reviewed and tested the kit as it was developed. 

The U.S. Department of Energy is responsible to keep the public informed about our nation’s energy sources, research, policies, and options. The Harnessed Atom helps meet this goal by providing students with factual information about our nation’s energy options and future.

Curriculum documents/activities are available at the links provided below.

Note: PDF files are accessible using Mac, Windows, Android, and most other operating systems. Interactive games and videos that accompany the teacher’s kit may have separate system requirements.