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《经济学人》:日本灾难,钚与米奇鼠

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Disaster in Japan日本灾难,钚与米奇鼠

Plutonium and Mickey Mouse钚与米奇鼠

Japan’s nuclear crisis drags on, exposing profound failures both at the company and in national energy policy
日本核危机悬而未决,暴露出公司和国家能源政策的深刻失败

IT IS daylight, but the darkness inside the headquarters of the world’s biggest privately owned electricity company is sepulchral. Officials, heads bowed, apologise in whispers for the trouble Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has caused. Their 66-year-old boss, Masataka Shimizu, went into hospital on March 30th, suffering from hypertension; he has been absent for much of the past three weeks. In the gloom TEPCO’s logo on the walls of the building resembles a mutant Mickey Mouse.

外面晴空万里,世界上最大的私有电力公司总部里却是阴云密布。管理人员低着头小声为东京电力公司(TEPCO)造成的事故而道歉。东京电力公司66岁的总裁清水正孝由于高血压于3月30日入院,过去的三个多星期里他一直不在公司。而挂在大楼墙上阴沉的东京电力公司商标就像是一只发生突变了的米奇鼠。

About 250km away, at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear-power plant, hundreds of TEPCO employees and some subcontractors are trying to prevent further leaks of radioactive material from three damaged nuclear reactors and various sources of spent fuel. Their conditions are close to intolerable. At times, they have been exposed to more radiation in a few hours than they are supposed to endure in a year. Their rations are biscuits and canned food. They have a blanket each, and sleep on the floor. Some have lost homes and families to the tsunami that left 27,690 dead or missing. TEPCO sees them as soldiers. “We don’t think they are heroes. They are doing what they should,” an official says.

250公里之外的福岛第一核电站,成百上千的东京电力公司雇员和一些转包商正试图阻止由三个损坏的核反应堆和各种来源的废燃料产生的放射性物质的进一步泄露。他们的工作环境非常的糟糕。有时,他们在暴露的几小时内所承受的辐射量就超过了他们理应一年承受的量,配给的食物是饼干和罐装食品,人手一张毯子,睡觉就打地铺。部分工作人员已经在造成了27,690人死亡或失踪的海啸中失去了房屋和家庭。东京电力公司把他们视作战士:一位高层说:“我们不认为他们是英雄,他们正在做自己该做的事。”

TEPCO is getting most of the blame for Japan’s nuclear disaster. For much of the past three weeks, the authorities have held out hopes that they could regain control by reconnecting cooling systems damaged by the tsunami. These are supposed to prevent fuel from melting and rupturing the protective steel case of the reactor vessels.

东京电力公司受到了源于日本核灾难的大多数指责。在过去的三个多星期里,当局提出希望通过重新连接在海啸中损坏的冷却系统来重新控制局势。他们要阻止燃料融化和破坏反应堆容器的保护性外铁壳。

This week the discovery of large pools of highly radioactive water and raised levels of radiation in seawater near the plant has shown how far the authorities really are from regaining control. Previous releases of radioactive iodine and caesium had shown that material from the core of at least one reactor has been released. The new findings suggest that the systems designed to contain such releases may have been badly compromised. The tanks into which contaminated water is being pumped will eventually fill up. And conditions for workers are getting more dangerous, which means that fixing up the cooling systems and hooking up vital measuring instruments takes longer.

本周发现的大量高放射性水以及核电站附近水域中升高的辐射水平都显示了:对于重新控制局势当局还有很长的路要走。过去泄露的放射性碘量和铯量已经说明至少有一个反应堆核心有放射性物质泄露。最新的发现证明被设计用于盛放这些泄露物的容器已经严重损坏。抽出的污染水最终将填满这些贮水池。作业环境对于工人来说正在变得越来越危险,这意味着修复冷却系统以及挂接重要的测量仪器将花费更长的时间。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
obvious ['ɔbviəs]

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adj. 明显的,显然的

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triangle ['traiæŋgl]

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n. 三角(形)

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margin ['mɑ:dʒin]

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n. 差额,利润,页边空白,边缘
vt. 使围

 
immediate [i'mi:djət]

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adj. 立即的,即刻的,直接的,最接近的

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democratic [.demə'krætik]

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adj. 民主的,大众的,平等的

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varied ['vɛərid]

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adj. 各种各样的 动词vary的过去式和过去分词

 
threat [θret]

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n. 威胁,凶兆
vt. 威胁, 恐吓

 
gauge [geidʒ]

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n. 测量标准,轨距,口径,直径,测量仪器
v

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operate ['ɔpəreit]

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v. 操作,运转,经营,动手术

 
eventually [i'ventjuəli]

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adv. 终于,最后

 


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