Sunday, January 07, 2007

Science Teachers Resource

This is a really interesting article to me. About tens years ago, a group of educators received a tour of regional factories. It was part of an initiative to help teachers better understand the demands industry placed on their workforce. One of the plants we visited made nuclear fuel pellets. They look like dark gray mini marshmallows to me. Today, I read that researchers have learned that reshaping those pellets by basically cutting out the holes like Krispy Kreme dough nuts, will increase their efficiency by half. So, if that is true, them maybe we should invent a doughnut shaped everything. How about dough nut shaped food in our school cafeteria? Doughnut shaped pizza would increase student's efficiency to learn by 50%. How about doughnut shaped coffee cups for teachers. Now, I would be for that. Then I could finish my lesson plans in half the time. I wonder if I invented a doughnut shaped textbook, classrooms would become 50% more efficient? Or, how about a doughnut shaped computer...yeah now that is the ticket...Hey! Steve Jobs!-- I know you read my blog (yeah right-- in my dreams), how about a dough nut shaped iPod? It could increase its efficiency 50%.

I think I need some coffee. Check out this resource for your environmental classroom at

It may be a little over high level for most of my kids, but if you teach AP Environmental, add it to your list of required reading if you have not already done so.

ES Online News: Reshaping nuclear fuel

Reshaping nuclear fuel

Doughnut-shaped fuel can cut nuclear energy's environmental impact.

light-water nuclear reactors

Westinghouse Corp.

When used as fuel for light-water nuclear reactors, the hollow 14-mm cylinders shown here can increase efficiency by 50%.

By reconfiguring nuclear-fuel pellets into "dough nuts", scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to boost the amount of energy that nuclear reactors produce by 50%. The new design also helps diminish the chance of meltdown by slashing the temperature at which reactors must be operated, and it renders the spent fuel more proliferation-resistant.

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