The ViCTE Newsletter  

Helps professionals keep and improve their English through the Internet since February 2009

 Number 28                                                                       March   2011         


Word order is so important in English that it is worth revising it again and again. In the offered technical text you find useful and helpful information concerning two principles of nuclear power plants (NPP) operation, i.e. fission and fusion. Energy created during these processes is used to heat water to produce steam, which runs a turbine together with a generator that produces electricity.

You are offered a relatively long exercise (ten sentences) based on this text. Your task is to create sentences from given words a rule about correct word order in English (see ViCTE Newsletter Number 15 – SVOMPT (Word Order) / November 2009). At the same time you should revise the words used in the text.

Good luck

Nuclear power – fission and fusion

Fission.  Nuclear power stations use nuclear fission to generate energy inside a nuclear reactor. Atoms of the reactor uranium rods are split in the process of fission, releasing a large amount of energy. The process continues as a chain reaction with other nuclei. The energy heats water to create steam, which rotates a turbine together with a generator, producing electricity.

Depending on the type of fission fuel presumptions for existing supply at known level varies from several decades for the Uranium-235 to thousands of years for uranium-238. At the present rate of use, there are (as of 2007) about 70 years left of uranium-235 reserves at a uranium price of $ 130/kg. The cost of fuel is a minor cost component for fission power. More expensive, more difficult to extract sources of uranium could be used in the future. Even if prices increased enough, the price of uranium would have little effect on the overall cost of nuclear power. A doubling in the cost of natural uranium would increase the total cost of nuclear power by 5 %. On the other hand, if the price of natural gas was doubled, the cost of gas-fired power would increase by about 60%.   

Fusion.  Fusion power could solve many of the problems of fission power but, despite research started in the 1950s, no commercial fusion reactor is expected before 2050. Many technical problems remain unsolved. Proposed fusion reactors commonly use deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen) as fuel and in most current designs also lithium. Assuming a fusion energy output does not increase in the future, then the known lithium reserves would last 3000 years, lithium from sea water would last 60 million years, and a more complicated fusion process using only deuterium from sea water would have fuel for 150 billion years.

Practicable nuclear fusion appeared only 30 years ago whereas the idea was first proposed in the 1950s. Due to a joint effort by the European Union (EU), America, China, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea a prototype reactor is suppose to be constructed on a site in Cadarache

Location of Cadarache, France

Image via Wikipedia

 (France) by 2018. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) aims to produce energy by fusing together the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, confined in a magnetic field at high temperatures – a process akin to that which powers the sun.

However, ITER has run into the earthiest of difficulties: spiralling costs. Initial projections in 2006 put its price at €10 billion ($13 billion): €5 billion to build and another €5 billion to run and decommission the thing. Since then construction costs alone have tripled.

As the host, the EU is committed to covering some 45% of these costs with the other partners contributing about 9% each. In May 2010 the European Commission asked member states to stump up an additional €1.4 billion to help keep the project through to 2013. The member states rejected the request. 

Reference: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia


English Russian Czech 
as of 2007
  по данным на

2007 г.

v roce 2007
billion миллиард miliarda
costs расходы; затраты náklady
decommission вывод из эксплуатации vyřažení z provozu
deuterium дейтерий, тяжёлый водород deuterium, těžký vodík
fission расщепление ядра štěpení
fission power энергия расщепление ядр energie štěpení
fusion ядерный синтез (termo)nukleární syntéza
hydrogen водород vodík
chain reaction цепная реакция řetězová reakce
isotope изотоп izotop
lithium литий lithium
magnetic field магнитное поле magnetické pole
meltdown разрушение из-за расплавления roztavení přehřátého jádra
nuclear fission деление атомного ядра štěpení atomů
nuclear power station (plant) атомная  электростанция (АЭС) jaderná elektrárna
nuclear reactor ядерный реактор, ядерный котел atomový reaktor
nukleus (nuclei) ядро jádro, nukleus
sustainability устойчивое развитие udržitelnost
thermonuclear термоядерный termonukleární
uranium уран uran
uranium rod урановый стержень uranová tyč



 Make sentences putting the given words into a correct order:

    1. nuclear – power – fission – using – stations  – Nowadays – energy – nuclear – generate – .
    2. split in – the reactor – rods in – of fission – are – the process -uranium-235 – Atoms of – .
    3. small –  meltdowns – The possibility – accidents is – of nuclear – reactor  – and other – .
    4. is in – nuclear – present, – At –  decline – energy – .
    5. on a – (in France) – A prototype – is being –  reactor – constructed – Cadarache – site in
    6. reactor is – The – by – be – supposed to – operation – 2018 –  put into – .
    7. of – emphasizes – The – use – sustainability – energy – environmental – movement – .
    8. electricity – nuclear – provide –  plants – Japan – Nowadays – third of – about a – .
    9. hopes – industry – Nuclear – supporters – renaissance – nuclear – of a – had – .
    10. need –  trustworthy – regulation – Nuclear – and – plants – transparent – .

And finally do the enlightening quiz  Word order (16 sentences)

 Good luck once more