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实用英语综合教程第二册9

UNIT 9
Text A

PRE-READING TASK

Exercise 1
Before reading the passage, think about the statements. Do you Agree or Disagree with them? Why?

1. There is no need to worry about the problem of energy.
2. Something has to be done to solve the problem of energy.
3. The best way to solve the problem of energy is to use nuclear power.

Now read the passage to compare your answers with what are stated in the passage.

Energy Crisis

1 "Welcome again to the 'Michael Parkhurst Talkabout'. In tonight's programme, we're looking at the problem of energy. Pessimistic forecasts say that there is only enough coal for 450 years, enough natural gas for 50 years and that oil might run out in 30 years. Obviously we have to do something, and we have to do it soon
2 "Our first guest is a professor from the New England Institute of Technology, Professor Marvin Burnham."
3 "We have to do something quickly about our energy crisis. Fossil fuels are rapidly running out. The tragedy is that fossil fuels are far too valuable to waste on the production of electricity. If we don't start conserving these things now, it will be too late. Nuclear power is the only alternative. There's been a lot of protest lately against nuclear power but nuclear power-stations are not as dangerous as some people say. Safety regulations in power-stations are very strict.
4 "We could develop stations which create their own fuel and burn their own waste. In many parts of the world, nuclear power is the only alternative. Just imagine what the world would be like if we didn't have electricity -- no heating, no lighting, no transport, no radio or TV. Surely we don't want to go back to the Stone Age. That's what will happen if we turn our backs on nuclear research."
5 "Thank you, Professor. Our next guest is a member of CANE, the Campaign Against Nuclear Energy, Jennifer Hughes."
6 "I disagree totally with Professor Burnham. Look at the facts. Machines fail. An accident must be inevitable -- sooner or later. Huge areas would be evacuated, and they could remain contaminated with radioactivity for years. No insurance company covers nuclear risks. There are accidents. If the nuclear industry didn't keep them quiet, there would be a public outcry. Radioactivity causes cancer and may affect future generations.
7 "There is no technology for absolutely safe disposal of nuclear waste, which will remain active for thousands of years. Is that what you want to leave to your children? By the year 2000 we'll have 'retired' 26 reactors in the UK.
8 "Next, terrorists could hold the nation to ransom if they captured a reactor. In the USA, the Savannah River plant lost enough plutonium between 1955 and 1978 to make 18 atom bombs. Where is it? I consider that nuclear energy is expensive, dangerous, and evil, and most of all, absolutely unnecessary. Dr. Woodstock will be saying more about that."
9 "Thank you Jennifer. Welcome Dr. Catherine Woodstock. She is the author of several books on alternative technology."
10 "Hello. I'd like to begin by agreeing with Jennifer. We can develop alternative sources of power, and unless we try we'll never succeed. Instead of burning fossil fuels we should be concentrating on saving more energy, doing research on solar energy, wind power, wave power, tidal power, hydroelectric schemes. Energy from the sun, the waves and the wind lasts for ever. We really won't survive unless we start working on cleaner, safer sources of energy."
11 "Thank you, Dr. Woodstock. Our final speaker is Charles Wicks, MP, the Minister for Energy."
12 "I don't agree with some of the estimates of world energy reserves. More oil and gas is being discovered all the time. If we listened to the pessimists, none of us would sleep at night. In the short-term, we must continue to rely on the fossil fuels -- oil, coal and gas. But we must also look to the future. Our policy must be flexible. Unless we thought new research was necessary, we wouldn't be spending money on it. After all, the government wouldn't have a Department of Energy unless they thought it was important. The big question is where to spend the money -- on conservation of present resources or on research into new forms of power. But I'm fairly optimistic. I wouldn't be in this job unless I were an optimist!"


New Words

crisis
n. (pl. crises) a point or moment of great danger, difficulty, or uncertainty 危机

pessimistic
a. 1.悲观的
2.悲观主义的

forecast
n. 预言,预告
v. 预测,预报

gas
n. 1. a mixture of gases used as a fuel 可燃气体,天然气
2. a kind of air-like substance 气体

technology
n. 技术(学),工艺(学),工业技术

fossil
a. 1.化石的
2.从地下采掘出来的
n. 化石

fuel
n. 燃料

tragedy
n. 1.灾难,不幸
2.悲剧,悲剧性作品

conserve
v. to prevent from being changed, lost or destroyed 保存,保全

protest
n. the (statement of) disapproval or objection 抗议,反对
v. 抗议,反对

power-station
n. 发电站,发电厂

transport
n. 1.运输工具
2.运输,运送
v. to carry (goods, persons) from one place to another 运输,运送

campaign
n. a series of planned activities to gain a special object 运动

inevitable
a. that can not be avoided; that is sure to happen 不可避免的,必然发生的

evacuate
v. 撤离

contaminate
v. to make dirty 弄脏,污染

radioactivity
n. 放射现象,放射性

insurance
n. 保险,保险业

outcry
n. a public protest (against something) 反对

cancer
n. 癌,恶性肿瘤

disposal
n. 除去,处置

retire
v. 1. to withdraw from the market or from usual use 停止使用,报废
2. to give up one's work, position, business, etc. 退休

reactor
n. (= nuclear reactor) 核反应堆

terrorist
n. 恐怖分子

ransom
n. 赎金

capture
v. 1.夺得, 占领
2.捕获,俘获

plutonium
n. 钚(放射性元素)

evil
a. 有害的,罪恶的

solar
a. of the sun 太阳的

tidal
a. of a tide or tides 潮(汐)的

hydroelectric
a. of electricity produced by water-power 水力发电的

estimate
n. 1.意见,判断
2.估计
v. 评估

reserve
n. something that is being or has been stored for later use 储备
v. to store or keep back for a later occasion 储备

pessimist
n. 悲观的人,悲观主义者

rely
v. count or depend (on) 信赖,依靠

flexible
a. 1. readily changed or changing 可变通的,灵活的
2. easily bent without breaking 易弯曲的,柔韧的

conservation
n. saving and protecting 保护,保存

optimistic
a. expecting the best; confident 乐观的

optimist
n. a person who believes that all things happen for the best
乐观主义者,乐观的人

Phrases and Expressions

run out
被用完,被耗尽

turn one's back on
拒绝接受,否认

sooner or later
迟早,终归

hold...to ransom
胁迫...同意, 要挟

rely on
依赖,依靠

look to
展望,盼望

Proper Names

Michael Parkhurst
迈克尔.帕克赫斯特

the New England Institute of Technology
新英格兰技术学院

Marvin Burnham
马文.伯纳姆(人名)

CANE
反核能运动(the Campaign Against Nuclear Energy 的缩写)

Text B

PRE-READING TASK

Exercise 1
Before reading the passage, answer the questions.

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power?
2. From the title of the passage, guess whether the author is for or against the use of nuclear power.

Now read the passage and see if you agree with what the author says.

Nuclear Power: Advantages
That Outweigh the Risks

1 The views expressed in the debate on the safety of nuclear power have come mainly from the interested parties -- the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and British Nuclear Fuels Limited on the one hand, and the various environmental groups on the other. It is not surprising therefore that the public is confused by the many contradictory statements, some of which have been sensational. Furthermore, most of the responsible contributions to the debate have been written in such highly technical terms as to be incomprehensible to the lay reader. We believe there is a need for an impartial and dispassionate analysis of the issues involved in language the public can understand.
2 While every effort should be made to develop the more promising natural sources as quickly as possible, we believe it will be virtually impossible for any of them to make a significant contribution to the energy gap before the beginning of the next century.
3 If the world is not to face a substantial fall in living standards with a very real risk of civil upheaval -- if not war -- there is no alternative but to rely on a major contribution of energy from nuclear sources. However, as it is, there are genuine anxieties which must be answered objectively. These fall under the following broad headings:
(I) The long-term effects of the low level radiation to which workers in the plants and the public may be exposed;
(II) the possibility of a "run away" leading to an atomic explosion;
(III) the disposal of radioactive waste.
4 We will deal with these in turn.
5 [1] Acceptable limits of radiation: The long-term effect of low doses of radiation is a particularly difficult subject since medical experts disagree on the interpretation of such statistical evidence as is available. However, two facts emerge which seem to us significant: (a) there is no evidence that the incidence of cancer or other diseases among the work-force of the United Kingdom nuclear plants is higher than the national average. (b) the average exposure of the public to radiation as a result of nuclear power is only a minute fraction (0.2 per cent) of the radiation from other sources -- mainly natural.
6 [2] The worst conceivable accident: It must be accepted that no process or mechanism can be 100 per cent safe. However, under no circumstances could a thermal power reactor of any type explode like an atomic bomb. The worst that could happen in the improbable event of a whole series of unlikely incidents happening together, would be an escape of radioactivity to the surrounding atmosphere.
7 It has been calculated by Professor Rasmussen, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that the chances of such an accident causing 100 deaths for a group of 100 power plants would be one incident in 100 000 years.
8 [3] The disposal of radioactive waste. The spent fuel elements from any reactor are highly radioactive and contain fission and other products with half lives ranging from a few seconds to many thousands of years.
9 It should be realized, however, that the radiation (of whatever sort) emitted by a particular element is caused by the process of its radioactive decay. The elements with a high rate of decay (short half lives) therefore emit very intense radiation, while those with low rates of decay (long half lives) emit only low levels.
10 After chemical separation, some of the elements (uranium and plutonium) are recycled for further use; the remainder have to be stored or disposed of in some way. The highly active concentrated wastes in liquid form are at present stored in stainless steel double-walled tanks for additional safety. There would be obvious advantages from the point of view of long-term storage if the concentrates could be converted to a solid, and a process has been worked out for turning them into an insoluble glass.
11 There are areas in the earth's crust where the natural levels of radioactivity are already high, and as in so many other instances, the additional radiation due to man's efforts would be insignificant compared with natural sources.



New Words

outweigh
v. to be greater in value or importance than 比...更重要

debate
n. a formal discussion; a contest between two speakers 辨论
v. to argue about something 辨伦

atomic
a. of an atom or atoms 原子的

environmental
a. 环境的,有关环境(保护)的

contradictory
a. 互相矛盾的

statement
n. an expression in words 陈述

incomprehensible
a. that cannot be understood 不能理解的

lay
a. 外行的,非专业性

impartial
a. fair 公正的

dispassionate
a. free from passion 冷静的

analysis
n. (pl. analyses) 分析

virtual
a. 实际上的,实质上的

virtually
ad. 实际上,实质上

significant
a. important 重要的,重大的

substantial
a. 1.大的,多的
2.实质的,实际上的

upheaval
n. a great and sudden change 骤变

objective
a. not influenced by feelings or opinions 客观的

objectively
ad. in an objective manner 客观地

long-term
a. lasting for a long time 长期的,长远的

radiation
n. 辐射,放射

explosion
n. 爆炸

radioactive
a. 放射性的

dose
n. 1.(X射线、辐射等的)吸收剂量
2.(药的)剂量,一剂

interpretation
n. an explanation 解释,说明

available
a. able to be used 可用的

incidence
n. a rate of occurrence 发生率

work-force
n. 工人总数,劳动人口

exposure
n. 暴露,显露

fraction
n. 分数,小数

conceivable
a. that can be believed 可信的

mechanism
n. the working parts of a machine 机械装置

thermal
a. of heat 热的,热量的

explode
v. to burst with a loud noise 爆炸

improbable
a. not likely to be true or to happen 不太可能的

calculate
v. to find out by working with numbers 计算

fission
n. splitting or division 裂变,分裂

emit
v. to give or send out 发出,放射

decay
n. 衰变,衰减

intense
a. high in degree
剧烈的

chemical
a. 化学的

uranium
n. 铀

recycle
v. to treat so that further use is possible 重新利用

remainder
n. that which remains 剩余物

liquid
a. 液态的
n. 液态

stainless
a. 用不锈钢制的,不锈的

double
a. 1.双的,双重的
2.两倍的
v. to make twice as great 使加倍

double-walled
a. 双层的

additional
a. extra 额外的, 外加的

storage
n. 储存

convert
v. to change 使转变

insoluble
a. 不能溶解的

crust
n. 地壳

Phrases and Expressions

as it is
事实上,既然如此,像现在这样

be exposed to
暴露,面临

in turn
依次地

under no circumstances
无论如何不,决不

range from... to...
在...范围内变动, 在...范围内变化

convert...to
把...转变成

Proper Names

the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
联合王国原子能管理局

British Nuclear Fuels Limited
英国核燃料(股份有限)公司

Rasmussen
拉斯穆森(人名)

the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
麻省理工学院
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