The troubles with Japan's nuclear power plants following last month's earthquake and tsunami put concerns about the safety of nuclear energy back in the news. Declan Butler from The Great Beyond blog on Nature.com has created a Google Earth file displaying all of the world's nuclear reactors. Each placemark on the map is color coded according to reactor type. Click on each of the placemarks to learn more about each reactor. You can view the file in your browser by going to The Great Beyond blog or by downloading the kmz file.
Applications for Education
One way that you could use the Nuclear Reactor map is to have students explore the map and compare it to this Google Earth map of CO2 emissions around the world. Ask students if they can identify any correlations between CO2 emissions and the number of reactors in an area.