The Science of Nuclear Energy

Online Course

Future Learn
The Science of Nuclear Energy

What is the course about?

The Science of Nuclear Energy
The course The Science of Nuclear Energy is an online class provided by The Open University through Future Learn. It may be possible to receive a verified certification or use the course to prepare for a degree.

Discover the science behind nuclear energy and its role in energy provision in the past, present and future.

Course description
  • Understand the science of nuclear power and the arguments for and against it
  • 4 weeks
  • With the need to reduce carbon emissions around the world, the way we generate our power has to change and nuclear energy is back on the political agenda.
  • But do you know your fission from your fusion? Would you like to make an informed decision about whether we should get electricity from nuclear power?
  • This online course will delve into the science behind nuclear power, explaining what happens inside a nuclear reactor and what radioactive elements are.
  • It will explore the arguments for and against nuclear power, and its role in future energy planning alongside other energy sources.
  • Atomic physics and the nature of isotopes and radioactivity. The processes of fission and fusion.
  • The distinction between energy of power and the increasing need to generate electrical power.
  • The use of nuclear fission in power stations. The production of radioactive waste and some solutions.
  • The cause of nuclear incidents in the past, the effect on the environment and local populations.
  • The national grid and possible energy sources.
  • Future developments in the technology that harnesses nuclear fission and fusion.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physics of nuclear fission.
  • Explore how a nuclear power station works.
  • Explore and examine the problems associated with nuclear power. Weigh up and debate potential solutions to these problems.
  • Assess the energy needs today and the part that nuclear power has to play.
  • Compare and survey current and future technologies.
  • The course does not assume any prior knowledge of nuclear energy and can be enjoyed by anyone interested in science and becoming more informed of energy choices.
  • The Open University
  • The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Prerequisites & Facts

The Science of Nuclear Energy

Course Topic

Physics, Science, Engineering & Maths

University, College, Institution

The Open University

Course Skill Level

Course Language


Place of class

Online, self-paced (see curriculum for more information)



Degree & Cost

The Science of Nuclear Energy

To obtain a verified certificate from Future Learn / The Open University you have to finish this course or the latest version of it, if there is a new edition. The class may be free of charge, but there could be some cost to receive a verified certificate or to access the learning materials. The specifics of the course may have been changed, please consult the provider to get the latest quotes and news.
The Open University
The Science of Nuclear Energy
provided by Future Learn


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School: The Open University
Topic: Physics, Science, Engineering & Maths