Nuclear Energy Explained – How does it work? – Listening activity

Video made by In a Nutshell, a Munich-based YouTube channel, and design studio.

In my opinion, this is a very informative channel, great for English students and teachers. This is why I suggest that you check it out: In a Nutshell.

The video I picked for today’s lesson is about nuclear energy and it’s the first of a trilogy. It won’t take you long to watch it since it lasts about 5 minutes. As always, you should read the vocabulary list before watching the video. After that, you can test your listening comprehension answering some questions.

For teachers:

Before watching the video, I suggest that you ask your students what do they know about Nuclear Energy and what do they think are the pros and cons of it. Are they against or for nuclear energy? Can they justify their answer? Ask them to write down their reasons and if you have enough time, made a mind map with all the pros and cons.

VOCABULARY

  • Frustrating: making you feel annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want.
    Ex. It’s frustrating when you’re not on the same page.

  • Get/come to grips with something: to start to deal with a problem, situation, or job that you have to do.
    Ex. We need to get to grips with our different world views.

  • Spin-off: something useful that results from work done to produce something else.
    Ex. The World Summit on the Information Society produced valuable results; it also had a spin-off, a focusing effect.

  • On your feet: in a good position or condition.
    Ex. Experts say the economy should be back on its feet any year now.

  • Hangover:  a letdown, as after a period of excitement.
    Ex. The students hadn’t recovered from their summer break hangover yet and did terribly on their first test.

  • To stick with something: to continue to do or use something, and not change it.
    Ex. If you’ve found something that makes you happy, you should stick with it.

  • To skyrocket: to increase quickly to a very high level or amount.
    Ex. Housing prices have skyrocketed in recent months.

  • Dazzling: very attractive or exciting.
    Ex. The actor has had a dazzling career.

  • Pace: the speed at which something happens.
    Ex. Since the elections of 1998, the pace of reform has been impressive.

  • Underdog: in a competition, the person or team considered to be the weakest and the least likely to win.
    Ex. It was a surprise to everyone when the underdog won the match.

  • Nuclear fission: a process in which the nucleus of a heavy atom is split apart.

    nuclear fission visual.png

    Image source
  •  On the brink of: extremely close to.
    Ex. Eagleton is on the brink of an epic financial disaster.

  •  Turbine: an engine that has a part with blades that are caused to spin by pressure from water, steam, or air.
  • To threaten:  to be likely to harm or destroy something.
    Ex. Difficulties experienced by an individual institution may affect other banks in a way which could threaten the banking system as a whole.

  •  Drawn-out: continuing for or taking a long time.

    Ex. The network doesn’t want a long, drawn-out trial.

Downloadable PDF version: VOCABULARY – Nuclear Energy Explained

After watching the video, try to answer the following questions:

1. What did private companies think about nuclear power?
2. When did nuclear power’s success finally come?
3. What were the advantages of the light water reactor?
4. What does a water reactor do?
5. Is the water reactor the safest one?
6. What happened in 1979?
7. When did the Chernobyl catastrophe take place?
8. What’s the situation today?

Downloadable PDF version (Questions): NUCLEAR ENERGY EXPLAINED – Questions

Downloadable PDF version (Answers): NUCLEAR ENERGY EXPLAINED – Answers


 

 

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