Radiation Spill, Chernobyl USA

Team: 37

School: Melrose High

Area of Science: Ecology

Interim: Team Number: 37
School: Melrose High School
Area of Science: Ecology
Project Title: Radiation Spill, Chernobyl USA
Problem Definition:
Chernobyl, Ukraine was a very bad disaster. It scared a lot of people, killed and injured many, and brought about a huge economic loss. It made the surrounding a dangerous place to be with the amount of radiation that was released. It affected people’s attitudes about nuclear power and their willingness to have such a power plant near their homes.
I decided to do a project on this after I saw a program on the topic that interested me. I wonder what would have happened if this had occurred in the United States, so it became my supercomputing topic.
There is a nuclear plant that is nearby New Mexico that is within the United States called Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona. So, since is the largest and nearby, using Arizona as a testing center in a computer model, I could see how it would affect the area around it if a Chernobyl type disaster ever occurred there.
Problem Solution:
I am creating a computer model of the area around the Arizona power plant. I have found a data spread sheet from Chernobyl that could be used to overlay the radiation spread from that disaster to this nearby location. From there I can predict the amounts of damage that could likely occur given the data utilized. Data will also be altered from the Arizona plant based on differences in the sizes of the facilities. Using this, both can be compared and damage estimates made.
Progress to Date:
Honestly, the progress of this project is very low. After having been given feedback on my proposal, I decided to switch the emphasis of my project. I have been doing a lot of research on this new project and I have started to design the computer model I want to make. I have only begun the basics, but I have found lots of interesting research material.
Expected Results:
I hope that I will be able to see how a disaster of this type would affect the Arizona population and its economy compared to the original Chernobyl disaster. I propose that if the damage appears high, then it would cause greater arguments against the use of nuclear power. If the effects seem fairly low, then we would have to re-examine our bias against nuclear energy. Knowing the results would help our national dialogue on the different types of energy to use to make our country energy self-sufficient.
Team Members: Gracie Sanchez
Sponsor: Alan Daugherty

Team Members:

  Gracie Sanchez

Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty

Mail the entire Team