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    #1

    a passage about the nuclear power accident in Japan

    The following passage is taken from CNN: 5-10-2011 about the nuclear power accident-Japanese catastrophe.

    The Fukushima I nuclear accidents are a series of ongoing equipment failures and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, following the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. The plant comprises six separate boiling water reactors maintained by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). This accident is the largest of the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents arising from the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and experts consider it to be the second largest nuclear accident after the Chernobyl disaster, but more complex as all reactors are involved.

    At the time of the quake, reactor 4 had been de-fueled while 5 and 6 were in cold shutdown for planned maintenance. The remaining reactors shut down automatically after the earthquake, with emergency generators starting up to run the control electronics and water pumps needed to cool reactors. The plant was protected by a seawall designed to withstand a 5.7 metres (19 ft) tsunami but not the 14-metre (46 ft) maximum wave which arrived 4160 minutes after the earthquake. The entire plant was flooded, including low-lying generators and electrical switchgear in reactor basements and external pumps for supplying cooling seawater. The connection to the electrical grid was broken. All power for cooling was lost and reactors started to overheat, due to natural decay of the fission products created before shutdown. The flooding and earthquake damage hindered external assistance.

    Evidence soon arose of partial core meltdown in reactors 1, 2, and 3; hydrogen explosions destroyed the upper cladding of the buildings housing reactors 1, 3, and 4; an explosion damaged the containment inside reactor 2; multiple fires broke out at reactor 4. Despite being initially shutdown, reactors 5 and 6 began to overheat. Fuel rods stored in pools in each reactor building began to overheat as water levels in the pools dropped. Fears of radiation leaks led to a 20-kilometre (12 mi) radius evacuation around the plant while workers suffered radiation exposure and were temporarily evacuated at various times. One generator at unit 6 was restarted on 17 March allowing some cooling at units 5 and 6 which were least damaged. Grid power was restored to parts of the plant on 20 March, but machinery for reactors 1 through 4, damaged by floods, fires and explosions, remained inoperable. Flooding with radioactive water through the basements of units 14 continues to prevent access to carry out repairs.


    When the earthquake occurred, how many plants were inactive?
    A. 3
    B. 4, 5, 6
    C. 5, 6
    D. 5

    I chose C but the answer is A. I didn't find any clue in the passage.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a passage about the nuclear power accident in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by san2612 View Post
    The following passage is taken from CNN: 5-10-2011 about the nuclear power accident-Japanese catastrophe.





    When the earthquake occurred, how many plants were inactive?
    A. 3
    B. 4, 5, 6
    C. 5, 6
    D. 5

    I chose C but the answer is A. I didn't find any clue in the passage.
    The first line of paragraph 2 tells you that plants 4, 5 and 6 were out of action for one reason or another. Therefore, a total of 3 plants were inactive hence answer A is correct.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a passage about the nuclear power accident in Japan

    Aren't "plants" and "reactors" different things? I thought every plant had several reactors. If that's so, then the passage gives you no indication at all about how many plants were offline.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a passage about the nuclear power accident in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by san2612 View Post
    The following passage is taken from CNN: 5-10-2011 about the nuclear power accident-Japanese catastrophe.
    "The plant comprises six separate boiling water reactors" 1 plant = 6 reactors.
    Unless all the reactors in a plant are inactive, the plant can't be called inactive. I thought all the plants (but not all the reactors) were functioning when the quake hit, making the answer 0.
    3 is the correct answer to "When the earthquake occurred, how many reactors [at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant] were inactive?"
    This is a bad question.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a passage about the nuclear power accident in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This is a bad question.
    So many of them are!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: a passage about the nuclear power accident in Japan

    I see everyone's point here! Apologies for my somewhat kneejerk response in the first place. That'll teach me to try and read these things on my phone instead of waiting for my computer!

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a passage about the nuclear power accident in Japan

    You answered what the question seems to have meant to be asking. It's the question that's the problem. Not your answer.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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