Navy recruiters

Navy recruiters Adam Raske, left, and Kyule Yoder talk about nuclear power operation to combined chemistry classes Thursday at Ellison High School in Killeen.

In an effort to build application into what can be an obscure and frightening topic, chemistry teachers at Ellison High School brought in the U.S. Navy.

On Thursday, a pair of Navy recruiters spoke to six chemistry classes about the benefits of nuclear power and the science behind nuclear reactor operation.

It’s no easy task to find presenters in the field of chemistry, so teacher Jennifer Lapierre referred to Adam Raske and Kyule Yoder as royalty.

Raske, an electrician, and Yoder, a mechanic, explained that nuclear power is a clean, safe, readily available source of energy that is growing in use.

They explained that nuclear power plants heat water through a process called fission in which uranium atoms split, creating steam that drives turbine generators and creates electricity.

Nuclear power propels Naval submarines and aircraft carriers and is growing in public acceptance, the two presenters said.

A nuclear power plant employs four types of workers, Yoder said. One controls and monitors plant operations.

Other specialists, he said, are electricians, mechanics and chemists.

“We do use nuclear power around us,” said Raske, naming plants in Texas.

New York City, he said, generates about 80 percent of its power from nuclear sources.

The speakers also addressed the fear factors associated with nuclear power. The nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 in what is now the Ukraine and the earthquake-triggered nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 spark concern.

Mistakes in design and engineering factored into the disasters at Chernobyl and Japan, they said.

The meltdown at the American plant actually resulted in no deaths or injuries.

Ellison chemistry teacher Mandy Morris said she invited the Navy spokesmen to teach benefits of nuclear power and to dispel myths that breed fear about the energy source.

“We are here to talk to civilians about nuclear power,” Raske said. “We want to give them knowledge. We would love for them to come away understanding that nuclear power is safe and is a viable energy source.”

“We wanted them to learn the chemistry behind it,” said Lapierre, another teacher whose classes heard the presentation.

“It’s really difficult to find speakers on this topic,” she said. “They are royalty to us. We’re honored they would come speak to our students.”

The teachers said the Navy recruiters also showed the relevance of chemistry to the future job market in engineering and mechanical fields.

Yoder said there are nuclear power-related jobs in the private sector that pay $120,000 a year to start.

(1) comment


So now we have public school teachers and government paid employee's promoting nuclear energy in the classrooms?

Would be good if they got the facts straight.
First of all, NY does not get 80% of their energy from nuclear.
This chart is from 2010, but more renewables have come on line and Fitzpatrick NPP is to close.

Dispel myths that breed fear about nuclear?
Fukushima 3 core melt down'melt through is an ongoing disaster.
A top American government nuclear expert – William D. Magwood – told the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works:

It is very difficult to overstate how difficult the work is going to be at that site. There will need to be new technologies and new methodologies created to be able to enable them to clean the site up and some of these technologies don’t exist yet, so there’s a long way to go with that …. There’s a long, long way to go.

What about WIPP, Hanford or all the abandoned uranium mines/superfund sites?

Was it ever mentioned that this industry is passing on their highly radioactive waste problem on to them and future generations? Waste that is so hazardous that it must be isolated for thousands of years?

Two things were made clear in this article:
(1) nuclear energy industry is tied to the nuclear weapons industry.

(2)This form of indoctrination of our children without giving them a fair, balanced and unbiased presentation covering all the possible choices, is unethical and wrong.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.