The Nuclear Energy Debate

Published: 12.27.2021
Level 5   |   Time: 6:00
Accent: American
Source: Vox

A nuclear power plant is being closed in New York. Is this is a good thing or a bad thing?


triangle Directions 목표 Direcciones


    It is important to read the vocabulary before you watch the video. This will improve your ability to understand the video. It will also help you understand how the new vocabulary is used naturally.

  2. WATCH the VIDEO

    The first time you watch the video, just try to understand the overall situation.


    First try to answer all the questions from memory. Then rewatch the video and try to answer the questions that you missed.

  4. WATCH and READ the SCRIPT

    Watch the video again while you read the script. Reading and listening at the same time will help you hear each individual word and improve your listening accuracy.


    There are several different activities that focus on test preparation, vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure.


    Es importante leer el vocabulario antes de ver el video. Esto mejorará su capacidad para comprender el video. También le ayudará a comprender cómo se usa el nuevo vocabulario de forma natural.

  2. VER el VIDEO

    La primera vez que vea el video, intente comprender la situación general.


    Primero intente responder todas las preguntas de memoria. Luego, vuelva a ver el video e intente responder las preguntas que se perdió.


    Mire el video nuevamente mientras lee el guión. Leer y escuchar al mismo tiempo lo ayudará a escuchar cada palabra individual y mejorará su precisión auditiva.


    Hay una serie de actividades diferentes que se centran en la preparación de la examen, el vocabulario, la gramática y la estructura de las oraciones.

  1. 어휘 읽기

    비디오를 보기 전에 어휘와 배경을 읽는 것이 중요합니다. 이렇게 하면 비디오를 이해하는 능력이 향상됩니다. 또한 새로운 어휘가 어떻게 자연스럽게 사용되는지 이해하는데 도움이됩니다.

  2. 비디오 보기

    비디오를 처음 볼 때 전체 상황을 이해하려고 노력하세요.

  3. 문제에 답하기

    먼저 모든 질문에 답을 해보세요. 그런 다음 비디오를 다시보고 놓친 질문에 답해보세요.

  4. 비디오 보면서 대본 읽기

    대본을 읽는 동안 비디오를 다시 보세요. 읽기와 듣기를 동시에 하면 각각의 단어를 듣고, 듣기 정확도를 향상시킬 수 있습니다.

  5. 액티비티 하기

    듣기 정확도, 발음, 어휘, 문법 및 문장 구조에 초점을 맞춘 다양한 액티비티가 있습니다.

triangle Vocabulary 어휘 Vocabulario

  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a plant [n] - a building where electricity is produced
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a protest [n] - an action expressing anger of disapproval toward something [image]
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ shut down [v] - close, end
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ fossil fuels [n] - fuels from coal, gas, and oil
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ generate [v] - make, produce
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ widely agree [exp] - most people agree
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ carbon emitting [adj] - makes carbon when burned (coal, gas, oil)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a nuclear reactor [n] - a building where nuclear material produces electricity [image]
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ half a gig [n] - 50% of a gigawatt
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a gigawatt [n] - a unit to measure energy (1 000 000 000 watts)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ carbon free energy [n] - energy that doesn't emit carbon (wind, solar, nuclear)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ natural gas [n] - underground gas that can be used to produce energy
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ instrumental [adj] - very important
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a nuclear meltdown [n] - an accident at a nuclear reactor (that likely causes radiation to leak out)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a skewed picture [n] - an inaccurate representation
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ premature deaths [n] - dying before your natural lifespan
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ renewables [n] - renewable energy (solar, wind)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ take into account [exp] - include, consider
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a grate [n] - a metal fence [image]
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ filter [v] - remove dirt
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ grills [n] - metal fences [image]
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ flow [v] - the action of water moving
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ organisms [n] - animals, plants
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ unrestrained [adj] - uncontrolled
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ devastating [adj] - terrible, destructive
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ conceivable [adj] - able to be imagined
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ at play [exp] - in the situation
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ vulnerable [adj] - weak
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ plummet [v] - go down quickly
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ regulations [n] - rules
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ prohibitively expensive [n] - too expensive to be useful
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ firm [adj] - constant, continuous
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ decarbonize [v] - stop using carbon-based fuels
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ emit [v] - produce and give off
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ trickier [adj] - more difficult
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ candidates [n] - possible choices

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions 문제 Preguntas [ ? ]


These are guided listening questions. These questions are NOT designed to test or trick you. They are designed to guide you through the video.

TIP: If you don’t understand something in the video, click "Show Answers". You should be able to understand all of the important points of the video by reading the questions and the correct answers.


Estas son preguntas de escucha guiada. Estas preguntas NO están diseñadas para ponerte a prueba o engañarte. Están diseñados para guiarlo a través del video.

CONSEJO: Si no entiende algo en el video, haga clic en "Show Answers". Debería poder comprender todos los puntos importantes del video leyendo las preguntas y las respuestas correctas.


이것은 안내식 듣기 질문입니다. 이 질문들은 당신을 시험하거나 속이기 위한 것이 아닙니다. 동영상을 통해 안내하도록 설계되었습니다.

팁 : 동영상에서 이해가 되지 않는 부분이 있으면 "Show Answers"를 클릭하세요. 질문과 정답을 읽으면서 영상의 중요한 요점을 모두 이해할 수 있어야 합니다.

  1. The Indian Point nuclear power plant was shut down in 2021.

  2. The Indian Point nuclear power plant used to provide New York City with most of its electricity.

  3. The U.S. generates a lower percentage of its energy from nuclear than the global average.

  4. When nuclear energy plants are shut down, the energy production is usually replaced with natural gas in the U.S.

  5. Nuclear energy production emits a lot of carbon.

  6. 20 million people live relatively close to the Indian Point nuclear plant.

  7. Al-Qaeda considered targeting a nuclear plant as a terrorist attack.

  8. Renewable energy is considered very safe.

  9. Nuclear energy leads to more deaths per year than coal and oil.

  10. The Indian Point nuclear plant caused the death of billions of organisms.

  11. The cost of renewable energy production is increasing.

  12. The cost of natural gas energy production is increasing.

  13. The cost of nuclear energy production is increasing.

  14. Renewable energy (wind, solar) is firm.

  15. Fossil fuel energy (gas, coal, oil) is firm.

  16. Nuclear energy is firm.

triangle Summary 요약 Resumen [ ? ]


This activity is designed to improve sentence accuracy and complexity. Most students can produce the key content words in a sentence. However, they have difficulty with accuracy because the functional words are difficult or can seem unimportant. This activity will help learners eliminate problems with these functional words by giving them immediate feedback on the mistakes they are making. It will also help students develop their use of more natural, varied and complex sentence structures.

TIP: Say the sentence out loud. Notice the types of mistake you make often. Focus on those types of errors. (singular/plural, subject-verb agreement, article use, prepositions, gerunds and infinitives, noun clauses, adjective clauses, word order, and word forms.)


Esta actividad está diseñada para mejorar la precisión y complejidad de las oraciones. La mayoría de los estudiantes pueden producir las palabras clave del contenido en una oración. Sin embargo, tienen dificultades con la precisión porque las palabras funcionales son difíciles o pueden parecer poco importantes. Esta actividad ayudará a los alumnos a eliminar problemas con estas palabras funcionales al brindarles retroalimentación inmediata sobre los errores que están cometiendo. También ayudará a los estudiantes a desarrollar su uso de estructuras de oraciones más naturales, variadas y complejas.

CONSEJO: Diga la oración en voz alta. Observe los tipos de errores que comete con frecuencia. Concéntrese en ese tipo de errores. (singular / plural, concordancia entre sujeto y verbo, uso del artículo, preposiciones, gerundios e infinitivos, cláusulas sustantivas, cláusulas adjetivas, orden de las palabras y formas de las palabras).


이 액티비티는 문장의 정확성과 복잡성을 개선하기 위해 고안되었습니다. 대부분의 학생들은 문장에서 핵심 내용 단어를 생성 할 수 있습니다. 그러나 기능적 단어가 어렵거나 중요하지 않은 것처럼 보일 수 있기 때문에 정확성에 어려움이 있습니다. 이 액티비티는 학습자가 실수에 대한 즉각적인 피드백을 제공함으로써 이러한 기능적 단어의 문제를 제거하는 데 도움이 됩니다. 또한 학생들이 보다 자연스럽고 다양하며 복잡한 문장 구조를 사용하는 데 도움이 됩니다.

팁 : 문장을 크게 말하세요. 자주 저지르는 실수 유형과, 이러한 유형의 오류에 집중하세요. (단수 / 복수, 주어-동사 일치, 관사 사용, 전치사, 동명사 및 부정사, 명사절, 형용사절, 어순 및 단어 형태)

Directions: Write sentences about the video clip using the words given. You can change the word form or add words, but you cannot change the word order.

Instrucciones: Escriba oraciones sobre el videoclip usando las palabras dadas. Puede cambiar la forma de la palabra o agregar palabras, pero no puede cambiar el orden de las palabras.

지시 : 주어진 단어를 사용하여 비디오 클립에 대한 문장을 씁니다. 어형을 변경하거나 단어를 추가할 수 있지만 어순은 변경할 수 없습니다.

Sentence 1

Indian / Point / nuclear / power / plant / shut / down / 2021

The Indian Point nuclear power plant shut down in 2021.
The Indian Point nuclear power plant was shut down in 2021.

Sentence 2

vast / majority / New York City / electricity / not / come / fossil / fuel / used / come / Indian Point

The vast majority of New York City's electricity that didn't come from fossil fuels used to come from Indian Point.

Sentence 3

in / U.S. / nuclear / plant / generate / 20% / percent / electricity / U.S.

In the U.S., nuclear plants generate 20% of the electricity in the U.S.

Sentence 4

each / nuclear / power / plant / shut / down / remove / half / gig / to / gigawatt / mostly / carbon / free / energy / grid

Each nuclear power plant that shuts down removes half a gig to a gigawatt of mostly carbon-free energy from the grid.
Each nuclear power plant that is shut down removes half a gig to a gigawatt of mostly carbon free energy from the grid.

Sentence 5

when / nuclear / plant / shut / down / it / most / likely / replace / electricity / generate / natural / gas

When a nuclear plant shuts down, it is most likely replaced with electricity generated from natural gas.
When a nuclear plant is shut down, it is most likely replaced with electricity generated from natural gas.

Sentence 6

people / who / against / nuclear / power / mainly / worry / meltdown

People who are against nuclear power are mainly worried about meltdowns.

Sentence 7

specifically / people / worry / about / terrorist / target / nuclear / power / plant

Specifically, people are worried about terrorists targeting nuclear power plants.

Sentence 8

tragedy / nuclear / disaster / create / skew / picture / how / dangerous / nuclear / energy / actually

The tragedies of nuclear disasters create a skewed picture of how dangerous nuclear energy actually is.

Sentence 9

one / way / measure / how / dangerous / energy / production / be / be / compare / how / many / death / it / cause / how / much / energy / it / provide

One way to measure how dangerous energy production is is to compare how many deaths a type of energy causes [with/to] how much energy it provides.

Sentence 10

wind / solar / nuclear / safest / while / coal / oil / most / dangerous

Wind, solar, and nuclear are the safest while coal and oil are the most dangerous.

Sentence 11

it / estimate / about / billion / organism / year / kill / filtration / process / Indian / Point

It is estimated (that) about a billion organisms [a/per] year were (being) killed by the filtration process at Indian Point.

Sentence 12

cost / renewable / and / natural / gas / plummet / while / cost / nuclear / increase

The cost of renewables and natural gas has plummeted while the cost of nuclear has increased.
The cost of renewables and natural gas is plummeting while the cost of nuclear is increasing.

Sentence 13

one / advantage / nuclear / power / be / it / firm / power / source / while / wind / solar / not

One advantage of nuclear power is (that) it is a firm power source while wind and solar aren't.

triangle Discussion 논의 Discusión

  1. Do you think this video presents a fairly positive or negative image of nuclear power? Does it seem fair and balanced? Why?
    (This is not actually the full video. You can see the full video [ here ].)
  2. How did you feel about nuclear energy before watching this video? Did your feelings change after watching it?
  3. What are the three factors (in the video) that are leading to the decline of nuclear power generation in the U.S.?
  4. How do proponents of nuclear energy production address these three concerns?
  5. Wind and solar are considered green energy. Why? Do you agree?
  6. Should nuclear energy be considered green energy? Why?

triangle Script 대본 Texto

That is the Indian Point nuclear power plant. It's just 30 miles north of New York City, which is one reason people have been fighting over this plant for decades.

If we ever had a major problem at Indian Point, that might be a problem that we couldn't solve.

In early 2021, after years of protest, Indian Point finally shut down. Here's the problem. Up until then, the vast majority of the electricity used in New York City that didn't come from fossil fuels came from Indian Point.

What happened here is an example of the complicated role that nuclear energy is playing in the fight against climate change.

Nuclear plants generate about 10 percent of the electricity that we use around the world, but 20 percent in the U.S. and 52 of the electricity in the U.S. that's not from fossil fuels. Experts widely agree that in order to slow climate change, we need to use fewer carbon emitting fossil fuels. But the number of working nuclear reactors in the U.S. has been declining.

Each one that shuts down, you know, it's like a half a gig to a gigawatt of mostly carbon free energy gone from the grid.

That's long-time energy reporter David Roberts.

If you shut the nuclear plant down today, most likely you're going to get a bunch of natural gas to replace it.

But of course, when it comes to nuclear energy, people have some concerns.

This is Batu.

Is Batu coming with us?

He’s my crew.

I've come to see Indian Point for myself with John Lipscomb and Richard Webster, who were part of an environmental group that was instrumental in the agreement to close the plant.

20 million people live within 50 miles of this plant. You can't afford an accident here.

People think about Chernobyl. People think about Three-Mile Island. People think about the sort of famous nuclear meltdowns.

With Indian Point, people are worried about a meltdown with a specific cause.

Al-Qaeda actually considered targeting a nuclear power plant.

It became clear to many of us that this was a was a safety hazard.

The thing is, the tragedies of nuclear disasters create a skewed picture of how dangerous nuclear energy actually is.

All energy sources come with some degree of danger. One common way to measure that danger is to compare the number of deaths a type of energy has caused (like through accidents or premature deaths from pollution) with how much energy it provides. What we'd call renewables (solar, wind, waterpower), these are extremely safe by this measure. Natural gas is less safe. Oil and coal are much much more dangerous.

Here's nuclear. This takes into account all nuclear accidents including thousands of deaths from radiation. S

So if you're choosing between nuclear and fossil fuels, purely on a safety basis, there's no comparison.

But human safety wasn't the only concern that led to the plant's closing. When operating, Indian Point needed to take in three Olympic swimming pools worth of Hudson River water to cool its reactors. The water went in through these grates, and then was filtered through a grill, then flowed on into the rest of the plant. It was supposed to keep fish and other organisms from getting in and getting killed. But often it didn't.

And there are organisms that are either pushed onto the grill or they're entrained on the water go through the plant and get killed. And we estimated about a billion organisms a year were being killed in that way.

The people who have those concerns are sincere and those concerns are real, but in all human affairs, you have to ask, “Compared to what?” Climate change if unrestrained, that is going to be far more devastating for far more ecosystems and far more rivers and bodies of water than any conceivable effect of, you know, a nuclear power plant.

And then there's the third big factor at play here, which is the reason these nuclear plants are so vulnerable to public opinion in the first place.

In the last 10 years, the price of electricity from renewables and natural gas has plummeted as their production has gotten cheaper and easier. The price of electricity from nuclear has gone up in part because of regulation to address safety concerns. Existing nuclear plants are struggling to compete and building new plants has become prohibitively expensive.

So when you combine cost plus the fear of a disaster plus the environmental threats, it's not hard to understand why nuclear plants are closing, but David says there's one final distinction here that should be getting more attention. Something that nuclear energy has that renewables don't yet.

Wind and solar energy come and go with the weather, so you need something that… you need power that's firm. And by firm, firm just means you can turn it on when you want to and run it as long as you want to. We have tons of firm power now. I mean most of the power on the grid right now is firm. Every fossil fuel power plant counts as firm power, but what you need if you're going to decarbonize is clean firm power. I.e firm power that doesn't emit greenhouse gases. That's much trickier. There are not as many candidates for that.

Nuclear is not the only option for clean firm power, but it is one that we have right now. One that's currently putting huge amounts of power onto the electricity grid.