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  1. Fill in the gaps with the proper article if necessary Nuclear radiation - a risk?

Given that there are some 440 nuclear reactors worldwide you’d expect 1. ____ risk of radiation to be high. However, 2. ___ only major nuclear accident that saw radiation escape over 3._______large areas has to date been 4.____ Chernobyl.

We hope 5.______2011 Japanese nuclear situation will not be added.

A limited number of people died in 6.______ Chernobyl event and there are various estimates of how many people will be affected over the long term. It should be pointed out that 7 ______ Chernobyl plant lacked 8.___ protective housing, unlike almost all other nuclear reactors and that the shut-down procedures followed were contra-indicated.

Then 9. _______ Japanese reactors did have such 10. ______housing but it was not enough to shield 11.______ plants from them blowing up, as a result of multiple factors going wrong, notably 12. _____ tsunami that killed off 13._____energy supply to cooling 14.____ reactor core.

15._______D/distinguished scientist James Lovelock, an author of The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity and 16._____other books, holds that 17._______every person on Earth has radioactive elements in their bodies from past nuclear bomb tests.

However he also holds that 18._____cancer rates have not demonstrably risen as a result. According to him 19. _____ risks of nuclear energy are minimal and outweigh the risks posed by global warming by the use of 20._____fossil fuels.

Of course others vehemently disagree. Obviously one serious accident is too many, like 21. _____ March 2011 Japanese earthquake and its effects on 22. ______nuclear reactors there show. As well, 23_____ each nuclear bomb and depleted uranium-tipped missile is one too many.

Nuclear energy then, like any other energy has 24. _____ advantages and disadvantages. But perhaps we are now forcibly learning that 25. ______disadvantages are too great a risk.

  1. Find and learn Russian equivalents for the following words and expressions:

1) emitting alpha particles


2) to sustain a nuclear chain reaction


3) to generate intense heat


4) fissile material


5) hydrochloric and nitric acid


6) to be injected into the fission zone


7) grid


8) discarded waste


9) beyond one’s safety limit


10) immediate corrective action


  1. safety precautions and norms

  1. the imminent dangers of

  1. Find and learn English equivalents for the following words and expressions:

  1. глубоко в земле

  1. атомное число

  1. урансодержащая руда

  1. период полураспада радиоактивного элемента

  1. ядерное оружие

  1. растворять(ся)

  1. продукт, выпуск продукции

  1. громадный ядерный взрыв

  1. важнейшая причина

  1. система автоматического отключения устройства

  1. Твердо придерживаться чего-либо

  1. толчки после землетрясения

  1. Translate the following article from English into Russian.


    Although only ever one serious nuclear accident has occurred, in Chernobyl in 1986, such an accident affects many thousands of people, livestock and agricultural production over a large geographical area. In the case of Chernobyl in the Ukraine, nuclear fall-out reached as far as areas of the UK.

Supposedly poor reactor design at Chernobyl allowed the emission of radioactivity and this has not been repeated elsewhere. However one accident is too many.

Nuclear weapons proliferation

It is not easy to handle the highly toxic plutonium that is needed to produce a nuclear bomb. So, for terrorists this is nigh impossible. Constructing a ‘dirty’ nuclear bomb for instance is much easier.

However some governments of nuclear states may now or in the future be regarded as terrorist in their willingness to use nuclear weapons or sell uranium to states that have not signed the international nuclear proliferation treaty.

Nuclear power requires a large capital cost, involving emergency, containment, radioactive waste and storage systems

Long-term storage of nuclear waste is difficult.

And not only from a geological standpoint. Where to store it is difficult in a world where political stability cannot be guaranteed for 50 years, let alone for 10,000. No-one can predict who will access this waste in future generations and for which purposes. Ground water contamination would be a deadly nuclear legacy.

Take Germany, where its previous Social-Democrat/Greens government resolved to phase out nuclear energy and its present Conservative government has put it back on the agenda. But nuclear waste is now a big headache.

126,000 rusting containers of atomic waste are buried 750 meters down in a disused salt mine in Asse, Lower Saxony. They contain low-grade radioactive waste from nuclear reactors, buried between 1967 and 1978. The waste comprises some 100 tones of uranium, 87 tones of thorium and 25kg of plutonium. Water is leaking into the mine at a rate of 12,000 liters a day and geologists have warned that the mine could collapse. It now needs to be brought back to the surface to try and stop ground water contamination.


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