Attention Getter: Video of reactor explosion at Fukushima and resulting destruction to surrounding area followed by “This is what enters many people’s heads when they hear the words “nuclear energy,” but here’s why there’s nothing to be afraid of.” URL: https://youtu.be/B3_ZRO5oATk?t=56
Relation to Audience/Credibility: Draw attention to the fact that if we will all one day have to pay energy bills or, if we live on campus, already do in the form of payment for our room and board.
By switching from our primary dependence on fossil fuels to that of being on nuclear energy, bills would become remarkably cheaper. Also mention how it is much more sustainable and better for the environment. Assert my status as a credible source by telling the audience that I worked for two nuclear engineering firms for a year and a half as a researcher, even presenting my research at two international conferences.
Thesis: “Our coal standard is dying and nuclear energy stands as one of the strongest of all viable contenders for what will prove to be our savior from the energy crisis we currently live in. Hopefully, you you’ll agree that nuclear energy is the way of the future after a discussion of its status as a clean energy source, a sustainable energy source, and after dispelling the myths and common misconceptions that instill the populace with fear concerning nuclear energy.
Background: Type of nuclear reactor commonly used and how it works.
Transition: “Let’s start with saving the environment.”
Argument: Global warming is the result of greenhouse/carbon emissions, the largest concentration of which are released from coal-burning power plants. Nuclear energy releases considerably fewer emissions. Global warming holds dire consequences, so it makes sense we would seek to stop it by stemming emissions. Additionally, the waste from nuclear energy offers little pollution of any concern. In its entirety, nuclear energy actually saves lives.
Ethos: Citation of scholarly articles from ScienceDirect and NASA as well as references to prior/common knowledge/sense as well as reference to my previous work experience.
Pathos: If we continue on the path we’re on and allow global warming to go unchecked, the consequences could be dire for all of mankind. Also, nuclear waste does not create the horrors many believe it does and is far less dangerous than the prospect of global warming.
Logos: Coal plants result in emissions of about 600-1200g CO2/kWh (where CO2 is the primary and thus most harmful emission), whereas nuclear only produces about 10-130g CO2/kWh (65 on average) (Lenzen). As for waste, when placed in containment, the levels of radiation reaching the public are negligible (Ewing).
Transition: “Now that nuclear’s position on a largely benevolent concern has been established, let’s shift our focus to a slightly more selfish one.”
Argument: In addition to being clean, nuclear energy is also sustainable. Our coal reserves are currently rather small and are depleting rapidly. Given the growing demand for energy, their rate of depletion will even continue to grow. Nuclear energy, on the other hand, receives much more energy per unit of its resource than coal power does, and there is an abundance of it.
Ethos: Citation of another article from ScienceDirect and appeal to common sense.
Pathos: Instill sense of urgency surround the depletion of coal reserves.
Logos: The standing reserves of Uranium waiting to be processed already could provide the entire world over with energy for several hundred years. If re-enriched, the depleted reserves could provide several hundred more. We already have centuries of energy at our hands without even having to mine more, of which there is much. All told, there is enough fuel for nuclear reactors to last them until well after the end of the world (Brook).
Transition: “Now that we understand the benefits of nuclear energy, we can examine its disadvantages and dispel the myths souring them.”
Argument: Man believe nuclear meltdowns are a major threat, but they are not nearly as dangerous or common as they seem. There have only ever been seven nuclear accidents, only four of which weren’t contained. All of them, however, were the result of the facility not being run as according to protocol, which is simply the result of human laziness. If nuclear reactors are run properly, meltdowns are virtually impossible. Furthermore, current innovations being researched would make meltdowns COMPLETELY impossible once implemented.
Ethos: Citation of INIS and ACS articles, as well as a reference to my past work experience.
Pathos: Emphasize that this segment of the speech is the truth prevailing over misconceptions and lies.
Logos: SiC TRIPLEX tubing would prevent meltdowns (Markham), use of nuclear energy has actually SAVED 1.84 million lives(Kharecha), and currently implemented technology is outdated(Kurzgesagt).
Transition: “We can now move to the close of our discussion with a better understanding of what’s true and false about nuclear energy.”
Thesis: *See Introduction*
Call to Action: Implore audience to spread word of nuclear energy: its benefits and dispelling myths, so public opinion of it improves and innovation may continue.
Final Statement: “Help herald in a brighter future… one lit by nuclear energy.”