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Company Is Scolded for Mistakes at Fukushima

By MARTIN FACKLER for the "New York Times"

The agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, summoned the president of the operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, to explain the accidents and spills that have plagued the cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi plant since it suffered a triple meltdown two years ago. In the most recent mishap, workers spilled 114 gallons of contaminated water this week while trying to fill an already overflowing tank, said the company, known as Tepco. It said some of the water might have run into the ocean.

In a public hearing, an official at the regulatory agency, Katsuhiko Ikeda, dressed down Tepco's president, saying the problems raised serious questions about the company's ability to operate its other nuclear plants, like the huge Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility, which Tepco wants to restart .

"That these leaks occurred due to human error is very regrettable," Mr. Ikeda told the president, Naomi Hirose. "The failure to make rudimentary checks reflects a clear deterioration in the ability to manage the site."

Mr. Ikeda said Tepco should consider emergency measures like bringing in workers from its other nuclear plants to help improve the cleanup.

Such blunt and direct criticism is rare in confrontation-averse Japan.

Bowing toward his antagonist, Mr. Hirose apologized, saying his company would try to end the problems by "deploying people, materials, money, everything we can to respond."

Tepco has struggled to handle the technically complex task of stabilizing the stricken plant, and beginning the process of cleaning up the melted nuclear fuel. In particular, it has scrambled to build enough tanks to hold millions of gallons of radioactive water produced by groundwater that has flowed into the cracked reactor buildings, and must be removed before it overwhelms makeshift systems for cooling the damaged reactor cores.

One of the biggest recent spills came in August, when Tepco discovered that 80,000 gallons of water laced with radioactive strontium and cesium had leaked out of one of the huge tanks, with some reaching the Pacific.

The repeated problems at the plant, which have also included blackouts and failed efforts to stop the flow of contaminated groundwater into the sea, prompted Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to order the national government to take a more direct role in running the cleanup.

Critics have faulted the government for leaving the plant in the hands of the same operator that many blame for failing to sufficiently fortify it before the earthquake and tsunami that struck in March 2011, knocking out vital reactor cooling systems.

1. Find English equivalents to the following word combinations.

Забруднена (заражена) вода; завод, що працює на ядерному паливі, прем'єр міністр; здатність (можливість) управляти; охолодження пошкодженого ядра; недавні викиди відходів в океан; неприхильність до суперечностей; підземні води, неодноразові проблеми.

2. Choose the correct answer (a, b or c).

Such blunt and direct criticism is rare in confrontation-averse Japan.

a) People in Japan like to criticize.

b) People in Japan like to be criticized.

c) People in Japan avoid criticism.

Company would try to end the problems by deploying people, materials, money

a) The company is trying hard to stop the problem.

b) The company had to spend much money and materials to employ people.

c) The company's end is close: the materials and money are ending.

Tepco has struggled to handle the technically complex task of stabilizing the stricken plant, and beginning the process of cleaning up the melted nuclear fuel.

a) Tepco is fighting with technical companies because it needs to begin the process of cleaning up the melted nuclear fuel.

b) Tepco has managed to fulfill some steps of stabilizing the stricken plant.

c) Tepco has struggled to handle the complex task and is unable to deal with melted nuclear fuel.

The repeated problems at the plant included blackouts and failed efforts to stop the flow of contaminated groundwater into the sea.

a) They stopped the flow of contaminated ground water into the sea.

b) They did not stop the flow of contaminated ground water into the sea.

c) They want to stop the flow of contaminated ground water into the sea.

3. Translate the following sentences from Russian into English.

1. Забруднена вода потрапила в океан: сотні галонів вилилися з баків у відкритий океан. 2. Ми пропонуємо різні невідкладні заходи, наприклад, запросити працівників з інших підприємств. 3. Аварія сталася понад два роки тому і вони не можуть стабілізувати ситуацію до сих пор.4. Ми не налаштовані на конфлікт, але ви повинні відповідати за свої помилки. 5. Прем'єр міністр виступить з промовою з цього приводу.

4. Ask as many questions as possible to the following question.

One of the biggest recent spills came in August, when Tepco discovered that 80,000 gallons of water laced with radioactive strontium and cesium had leaked out of one of the huge tanks, with some reaching the Pacific.

5. Write a paragraph on Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster (when, why, what measures were undertaken, current status, people affected by it).


 



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