Due to increasing concern regarding global climate change, Canada needs to consider using more nuclear power as a possible solution.

There is a lot of controversy on the subject of nuclear power due to the many pros and cons of the topic.

A positive outcome of nuclear power in Canada would be that there will be less air pollution compared to burning fossil fuels. We would also start producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions during the production of electricity compared to coal power plants. Overall it would make Canada a much more environmentally friendly country.

Another advantage of nuclear power is that it produces very inexpensive electricity. The cost of the element uranium, which is used as a fuel in this process, is low. Even though the expense of setting up nuclear power plants is moderately high, the expense of running them is quite low. The typical life of a nuclear reactor is anywhere from 40-60 years. These variables make the expense of delivering power low.

Unlike solar and wind energy, nuclear reactors are not dependent on weather conditions and can run without disruption in any climatic condition. It is also much more proficient than fossil fuels. Their energy densities are extremely high compared to fossil fuels and the energy released by nuclear fission is about 10 million times greater than the amount of energy being released by fossil fuels. Canada currently has 19 CANDU nuclear reactors (in Ontario and in New Brunswick). None of them have experienced any incidents like the one in Chernobyl in 1986.

Overall, it isn’t a bad idea to consider using nuclear power in Canada because it does not pollute the atmosphere, it is not very costly, it is reliable, and it is much more proficient than fossil fuels.

A negative affect of nuclear power is the amount of radioactive waste that comes with 20 metric tons of nuclear fuel per year created by a single nuclear power plant. When considering each nuclear power plant on Earth, the amount of nuclear fuel produced is 2,000 metric tons. It is difficult to dispose of nuclear waste as the half life of uranium is 70 million years. Another downside is that although it is not an air pollutant, nuclear waste is a water pollutant. A nuclear power plant takes about 5-10 years to build. Also, uranium is finite and there is only enough of it for the next 70-80 years as well as only a few countries have uranium.

There have been accidents regarding nuclear power plants. When discussing nuclear power, the incident in Chernobyl often comes up. On April 26th, 1986, in Pripyat, Ukraine, an explosion and fire in a reactor sent radioactivity into the atmosphere. This had harmful effects on humans and ecology that can still be seen today.

Nuclear weapons were used at the end of World War II in the form of atomic bombs. These bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. They created mass destruction and impacted human health (both physical and neurological birth defects) for years to come.

Due to all these pros and cons, I can see both sides of this issue and understand why it is a controversial topic that is being considered to be put in place in Canada.

The Magic of Light

Refraction is the bending of light waves and occurs when a wave passes from one medium to another. In this case, the penny is originally in the bottom of the cup without any water and is not visible to the camera. As water is added, the light is refracted and the penny is “magically” brought into view without the camera being moved. The penny we see at the end is a virtual image as the penny (object) is in the same spot it started.

Every transparent medium has its own index of refraction. At first, there is no bending of light as there is only one medium and that is air. The greater the index of refraction, the greater the change in direction of light. Water has a greater index of refraction than air. Therefore, once water is added to the cup, the penny will come into view because the light is now bending as it passes through a different medium. The penny appears to keep moving as the water level rises because as the depth of the water increases, the angle of refraction increases. The angle of incidence remained the same as the camera did not move. Only the angle of refraction increased as the water depth rose.

Wave Interference Activity: Constructive and Destructive Interference

Constructive Interference



Constructive interference is when a crest from one source meets a crest from another source, the energies combine to displace the medium (the energies are additive). In other words, when the two crests meet, they produce a single amplitude equal to the sum of the two individual amplitudes. The same thing occurs when trough meets trough. When the crests of the waves line up, there is constructive interference. Often, this is described by saying the waves are “in-phase”. In the first video, we put the slinky on the ground and flicked the same way to represent the crest meeting the other crest. The same thing occurred in the second video except we flicked the other way to represent the trough meeting another trough.

Destructive Interference


Destructive interference is when a crest and trough meet the energies combine to work against each other- they tend to cancel out. The sum of two waves can be less than either wave and can even be zero. When the crests of the wave in one wave match up with the troughs of the wave in the other, the waves are said to be “out-of-phase”. In this video, the slinky is flicked 2 separate ways to represent a crest and a trough. When they meet, they

Exploring Waves Lab

Pulse Wave


A pulse wave is a single disturbance that is non-repeating and has one major crest. It often refers to some type of one-time disturbance. A pulse has a velocity and an amplitude but since there is only one crest, there is no frequency or true wavelength, although the width of the pulse relates to its wavelength. To measure a pulse wave’s speed, we use v=d/t.

Periodic Wave


This type of wave repeats at regular intervals and requires regularly recurring disturbances. Periodic waves are usually characterized by their amplitude, frequency, and wavelength. A wave whose displacement has a periodic variation with time or distance or both.

Transverse Wave


This type of wave occurs when the spring is pulled sideways. It’s a moving wave that consists of oscillations in which the direction of displacement is perpendicular to the direction of propagation. Transverse waves may occur on a string, on the surface of a liquid, and throughout a solid. Transverse waves cannot propagate in a gas or a liquid because there is no mechanism for driving motion perpendicular to the propagation of the wave.

Longitudinal Wave


A longitudinal wave is one in which the direction of displacement is the same as (parallel) the direction of propagation. It involves a wave consisting of a periodic disturbance or vibration that takes place in the same direction as the advance of the wave.