Nuclear Station Performance Fuels Industry Renaissance



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Nuclear Station Performance Fuels Industry Renaissance



The US is producing not only more electricity than ever, but also more favorable consideration as a viable part of the nation's energy mix. Consider that, for the first time in decade, political leaders are proposing nuclear power as an important, long-term energy solution. And utility companies that canceled nuclear projects in the wake of the 1979 Three Mile Ireland accident are studying the feasibility of resurrecting these projects, while other power producers are investi­gating new nuclear plants orders. Even the mainstream media - known for its harsh treatment of the industry - has begun talking in terms of a nuclear industry "renaissance".

The near-term impetus for this turn-around stems from recent events - regional power shortages, increased natural gas costs, and premium mar­ket prices for electricity. However, the fact that nuclear power is in the position to be favorably considered is a result of the substantial perfor­mance improvements achieved at US plants during the past decade.

Most important, these performance gains came with equally im­pressive improvements in safety indicators. For instance, the number of unusual events reported to the US NRC dropped from 151 in 1990 to just 18 in 2002. The challenge for individual nuclear stations is to con­tinue this momentum by solidifying competitive gains already achieved and squeezing further improvements from each unit.

US nuclear plants have done an excellent job of maintaining and improving plant design margins and operating reliability. Extensive monitoring and surveillance testing of plant systems, structures and components such as containment building, reactor vessel, reactor cool­ing system pressure boundary, steam generators, pressurizer, piping, pump casings, and valve bodies are performed yearly to verify the plant is maintained in excellent condition. Few if any nuclear plant compo­nents will require replacement specifically to achieve extended opera­tion for an additional 20 years.

TMI, Chernobyl, Now Tokaimura

Japan, which ranks second only to France in the size of its nuclear power plant fleet, has suffered an accident that could become Asia's version of the US's Three Mile Island and Europe's Chernobyl. In terms of severity, however, the accident is nothing like Chernobyl but more serious than TMI, according to observers.

At the fuel reprocessing plant in Tokaimura, about one hour from Tokyo, workers apparently mixed nuclear fuel with nitric acid in viola­tion of government and company procedures. The fuel was for Japan's experimental breeder reactor.

 

Vocabulary

favorable consideration- благоприятное мнение

in the wake of- на поводу у кого-либо, под влиянием чего-либо

accident- авария

to resurrect- воскрешать, возрождать

harsh treatment- жесткое отношение

renaissance- Ренессанс, возрождение

impetus- стимул, толчок

performance improvements- улучшение рабочих характеристик

unusual events- чрезвычайные происшествия

challenge- сложная задача, проблема

surveillance testing- проверка наблюдением, надзор

to verify- проверять, контролировать

severity серьезность

in violation of- в нарушение

mishap- несчастный случай

lapse in judgement- ошибка в суждении

to spill- разливать

 

2. Выполните упражнения:

1)Подберите соответствующие русские эквиваленты из б) к английским из а):

a) b)

1) energy mix 1) ошибка

2) long-term 2) ранить

3) to cancel 3) пожарник

4) mainstream media 4) уступать

5) to stem from 5) основные средства массовой информации

6) premium 6)структура энергетики

7) gains 7) азотная кислота

8) safety indicators 8) происходить от

9) to drop 9) падать

10) to solidify 10) в отличном состоянии

11) to squeeze 11) прибыли

12) design margins 12) отменять

13) in excellent condition 13) более высокая цена

14) to rank second 14) твердеть

15) nitric acid 15) вынуждать

16) to injure 16) предельное значение

17) firefighter 17) показатели безопасности

 

 

2) Скажите, верны ли утверждения:

1. The fact that nuclear power is in the position to be favorably con­sidered is a result of the substantial performance improvements achieved at US plants during the past decade.

2. The challenge for individual nuclear stations is to continue this momentum by solidifying competitive gains already achieved and squeezing further improvements from each unit.

3. Extensive monitoring and surveillance testing of plant systems, structures and components such as containment building, reac­tor vessel, reactor cooling system pressure boundary, steam gen­erators, pressurizer, piping, pump casings, and valve bodies are performed yearly to verify the plant is maintained in excellent condition.

4. For the first time in decade, political leaders are proposing nu­clear power as an important, long-term energy solution.

5. Other power producers are canceling new nuclear plants orders.

6. The fact that nuclear power is in the position to be favorably con­sidered is a result of the mainstream media harsh treatment.

7. The number of unusual events reported to the US NRC dropped from 151 in 1990 to just 18 in 2002.

8. A lot of nuclear plant components will require replacement spe­cifically to achieve extended operation for an additional 20 years.

9. As crucial to the scenario as the mishap were the lack of proper safety and emergency expertise and equipment at the site.

3) Дайте определение к следующим фразам по- английски:

1. nuclear industry "renaissance"

2. plant systems, structures and components

3. nuclear power plant fleet

4. the lapse in judgement

5. turn- around stems

6. fuel repro cessing plant

7. power shortages

8. safety indicators



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