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    Upper Intermediate [23]

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    Nuclear industry: choose the one answer that suites best



    Choose the one answer you think best


    The nuclear industry is beset by controversy and mischance. Partially constructed plants have been closed down for several reasons. Construction costs have escalated, the demand for the power has decreased, and the number of antagonists to nuclear plants has increased tremendously. Nuclear energy, once hailed with hope for a future with cheap, plentiful power is currently reaching an impasse.

    The major cause for the deterioration in the nuclear industry is the fiasco at Three Miles Island in 1979. Ordinary machines break down, and humans are prone to error. But a nuclear power plant accident can cause widespread catastrophe. Salvage operations and cleanup of debris at Three Mile Island are going to take twenty years and more than a billion dollars (more than the plant cost to construct). The most significant factor about the accident is, however, that it has jeopardized the whole future of nuclear energy. Public dissent, present though dormant when the first nuclear plants were constructed, has solidified after the deplorable chaos at Three Mile Island.

    Nevertheless, the nuclear plants built twenty and thirty years ago continue to operate safely and economically. Smaller than more recently built plants, they have produced power that is consistently less safe, and managed and run by less qualified personnel. Many of these plants were designed and constructed so negligently that they are now closed down.

    The investigation of the three Mile Island accident revealed that supervisors and management alike were inadequately trained to cope with a crucial mechanical failure in the nuclear system. Training programs today are developed more precisely. Now prospective operatives take two years of classroom work and spend three months under supervision in a control room and two more monthsat the simulator, a computer programmed to recreate the Three Miles Island diaster, before returning to another two months in the classroom. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission administers oral and written exams before licensing new operators. Every six weeks compulsory refresher courses are given. Presumably, more scrupulous training requisites will reduce the chances of another Three Mile Island debacle.

    One solution to the nuclear power plant dilemma may be to standardize facilities, as the French have done. Because France has neither oil nor coal, nuclear  power is clearly the solution to its energy demands. The government constructs and operates plants that produce 44% of the nation’s electricity. The French envisage that by 1990 they will have facilities to produce 75% of their power.

    Standardization, however, would never be acceptable in the United States, but there are more palatable alternatives. Plants would have to be standardized to some degree. Nuclear wastes  must somehow be disposed of more safely than they are at present. Most important of all, safety must be assured to appease the fears of a potent antinuclear coalition of the American public.


    1. What is the public’s biggest objection to nuclear plants?

    A. their cost

    B. the length of time it takes to construct them

    C. the amount of electricity they generate

    D. their danger


    2. Why has construction of new nucler plants been stopped?

    A. They cost too much to build.

    B. People are using less electricity

    C. The plants are unsafe

    D.All of the above


    3. Why has the Three Mile Island accident jeopardized the future of nuclear energy?

    A. The public saw the potential danger of nuclear plants and has united to protest their use.

    B. It will cost more than a billion dollars to clean up the debris.

    C. It will take twenty years to get the plant running again

    D. Nuclear energy is too expensive.


    4. Why are the older plants still in operation?

    A. They were built twenty years ago

    B. They have better supervision that the new plants

    C. They are cheap to operate

    D. They are relatively safe, produce cheap electricity, and have efficient personnel


    5. Why have new plants been shut down?

    A. Too much time was spent building them

    B. They were designed and built too carelessly

    C. The public objected to htem

    D. Their operators were not well enough trained


    6. Who or what is to blame for the three Mile Island disaster?

    A. poor design

    B. inadequately trained personnel

    C. leaks in the reactor

    D. a faulty computer


    7. How long is the training course for nuclear  plants operators?

    A. a year

    B. long enough to enable them to take exams

    C. thirty-one months

    D. six weeks


    8. After being licensed, what further training do power plant operators get?

    A. they get experience on the job

    B. they take frequent refresher courses

    C. none

    D. they have to take exams


    9. Why are the French committed to nuclear power?

    A. They have nationalized their nuclear plants

    B. They have government control of plants and equipment

    C. They have no alternatives

    D. Their plants are producing 44% of their electricity


    10. What must the United States do before nuclear plants can be considered acceptable to their antagonists?

    A. nuclear plants  must be nationalized

    B. nuclear plants must be less expensive to build

    C. waste disposal and safety must be assured

    D. antinuclear groups must conceal their fears




    Категория: Upper Intermediate | Добавил: philantrop (02.10.2010)
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