Introduce students to the IPEC debate, perhaps using Flickr image above and map of Indian Point’s location in Buchanan, New York to give a sense of distance and scale.
See https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/How-Nuclear-Reactors-Work for a summary of how nuclear reactors work and a helpful graphic that shows how nuclear power plants heat water to create steam and drive turbines for electricity generation.
From the NEI site: “Nuclear power plants split uranium atoms inside a reactor in a process called fission. At a nuclear energy facility, the heat from fission is used to produce steam, which spins a turbine to generate electricity. There are no emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide during the production of electricity at nuclear energy facilities. Nuclear energy is the only clean-air source of energy that produces electricity 24 hours a day, every day.”
Once students are familiar with Indian Point and how nuclear power plants generate electricity, note that nuclear facilities have had disasters that have led to contamination and evacuations – the two worst being:
1.) The 1986 Chernobyl Reactor meltdown in the Ukraine, which caused radioactive material to spread over large areas of Europe.
2.) In 2011, a tsunami flooded the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor in Japan, causing damage and evacuations.