A False Sense of Security?

Probing the Complex Nuclear Landscape of the 21st Century



An interactive online certificate course 




Syllabus Outline


Opening Webinar: May 15, 2021

Online Certificate Course dates: May 22, 2021

Concluding Zoom Q&A Panel: June 26, 2021







The Global Nuclear Awareness (GNA) program addresses the pressing questions many ask themselves as they take in the news every day:

Is America prepared for a nuclear accident or war?

Could our family survive a nuclear disaster?

Is nuclear power a safe alternative for our energy needs?


This course intends to arm you with research-based facts and knowledge that is imperative for living in the Nuclear Age. 


Schedule: Complete the course at your own pace during the 5 week duration of the program


Effort: 2-3 hours per module, 12 hours in total for the GNA Certificate


Level: Beginner-Intermediate, no prerequisites are required   


Language: English


Cost: $100 


Refund policy:

A full refund is available if the participant withdraws within 24 hours of registering. In the case of extenuating circumstances, contact us directly.




Certificate Program includes eight modules to choose from. These include 4 new topics, one updated live presentation, and three topics from 2020. 

Certification is based on completion of 4 modules of your choice. The requirements for each module include: (1) watch video or live presentations, (2) complete the quizzes, and (3) submit the course evaluation at the end. Presenters are available to answer questions by email. 

Format and Components


At the core of this program are educational video presentations that emphasize objective facts and events and explore key issues in the global nuclear reality. They combine clear, accessible lectures by knowledgeable experts with stimulating online activities that encourage interaction between participants and presenters. 


Engagement and Interactive Learning

The program elements engage students in the issues presented and deepen their learning experience.


Each module includes:

  • Video presentation (45-75 minutes long) segmented thematically into shorter clips

  • Questions posted to encourage deeper reflection on the materials, but there is no requirement to answer them

  • Quiz to allow participants to test their knowledge after each presentation

  • Links to extra readings and materials

  • Email of the course moderator to facilitate communications between participants and presenters

  • Short evaluation of the program at the end of the course 



A Global Nuclear Awareness Certificate will be awarded to those who complete the above requirements. Participants are encouraged, although not required, to participate fully in all elements of the program.


Course Communication

If you have a question or comment for a presenter, email the course moderator info@globalnuclearawareness.org.


Please include the name of the presenter in your email. You can expect a response within 5 days. 



The Reality of Nuclear Risk: Situating ourselves in the context of Nuclear Accidents and Nuclear Waste

Marissa Bell, PhD


Learning Objectives: 


  • Understand the fundamental risks associated with nuclear energy 

  • Comprehend the nuclear fuel cycle and production of nuclear waste

  • Analyze and understand the history of nuclear accidents

  • Examine the social and political issues surrounding nuclear waste siting 

  • Understand shifts in nuclear waste management approaches 



Nuclear Weapons and Catastrophic Risk

Feroza Joosub, PhD


Learning Objectives:


  • Understand contemporary security challenges and their relation to nuclear weapons and why the probabilities of inadvertent nuclear use are higher than has been previously considered


This involves:

  • Assessing the profoundly adversarial relationships between the nuclear superpowers (Russia and the U.S.)

  • Awareness of the complexity of deterrence relationships in the new multipolar nuclear order

  • Knowing why even a regional nuclear war concerns the existential security interests of all countries

  • Considering innovations in military doctrine 

  • Innovations in military technologies including disruptive technologies

  • Evaluating the implications of the nuclear deterrence doctrine 



Living in a Radioactive World


Tedd Weyman, MEd

Leaning outcomes:


  1. Just how much radiation is there in our lives; does it really make any difference

  2. The unique and profound physical characteristics of radiation

  3. The universality, source and origins of ionizing radiation

  4. How radiation protects the earth and enables life

  5. How radiation harms life and presents an existential challenge to humans

  6. The public health outcomes of 100 years of man-made radiation 

  7. Nuclear options and constraints to the most important social, science and technology endeavors



The Waters of the World: Global Nuclear Concerns


Linda Redfield Shakoor PhD


Learning Outcomes:


Students will be able to:

  1. Explain in broad terms the magnitude of nuclear and radiological contamination concerns in the Great Lakes Basin

  2. Generally, identify the sources of internal contamination in the human body and genome by inhalation and ingestion

  3. Broadly assess the ongoing challenge of stranded nuclear waste near shore and coastal lines

  4. Identify the environmental risks of radioactive waste in fresh and salt water

  5. Understand how climate change places nuclear cooling systems at risk



Live Presentation on May 15, 2021:

Personal and Family Protection in the Enhanced Radiation Environment


Paul Zimmerman, BA


Learning Outcomes:

  1. Promote an understanding of alpha and beta contamination, the extreme penetrating power of gamma photons, and the capacity of these types of nuclear radiation to produce negative health effects

  2. Identify the three basic principles of radiation protection

  3. Define the principles of properly constructing a protective shelter in an emergency situation to shield potential victims from the results of exposure to gamma photons

  4. Provide instruction on the importance of proper, inexpensive radiation detection equipment in order to evaluate the degree of hazard in the contaminated environment and provide the basis for safe decision-making

  5. Acquire a basic understanding of Acute Radiation Syndrome

  6. Increase awareness of decontamination procedures to minimize external exposure and internal contamination

Updated Presentation: Personal and Global Realities of the Nuclear Era


Tedd Weyman, MEd

Learning Outcomes:

To orient the Global Nuclear Awareness program participant to the 7 existential realities and issues associated with nuclear technologies and the anthropogenic use of nuclear radiation.

  1. Thermonuclear war

  2. Nuclear winter (consequences of nuclear war)

  3. Nuclear powered electricity (nuclear energy)

  4. (Accidental) Loss of containment at nuclear reactors

  5. Life-saving uses of nuclear technology and radiation

  6. Global warming – Is nuclear technology a solution?

  7. Radiation in the environment 

Nuclear War: Why we Should be Concerned about the New Nuclear Arms Race


Isaac Zimmerman, JD, BS


Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe the historical development leading to thermonuclear weapons

  2. Distinguish between an atomic and hydrogen bomb

  3. Name the nine nuclear states and the size of the worldwide arsenal

  4. Identify the characteristics of a nuclear winter

  5. Understand the scale of destruction that could result from execution of the current nuclear war plans 



The American Nuclear Landscape: Is our Country Prepared for a Nuclear Crisis?

Linda Redfield Shakoor, PhD, MS

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify the five current major radiological and nuclear risks in the United States, particularly the Great Lakes region

  2. Compare and contrast the benefits and risks of nuclear power

  3. Assess the perceived risks of high-level radioactive waste transportation

  4. Describe how 2020 federal policy has impacted the debate surrounding on-site versus off-site storage of nuclear waste

  5. Identify local resources for disaster emergency planning and management

©2021 by Center of Excellence. 

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