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German-French Protests Over Nuclear Waste (7th November, 2010)


 

Large protests took place in Germany and France over the weekend over the transporting of nuclear waste between the two countries. Tens of thousands of protesters took part in one of the biggest anti-nuclear rallies in years. Police in France had to cut free people who had chained themselves to the railway track on which the spent nuclear fuel would pass. The protestors caused a lot of disruption to the shipment, the first in two years. Authorities had to secretly reroute the convoy of 11 train cars to prevent those protesting causing a serious accident. The 154 tons of waste eventually crossed the French-German border and arrived in the town of Dannenberg early Sunday morning. It will be used by Germany’s nuclear power agency to provide the country with electricity.

The shipments of nuclear waste have been a controversial issue over the past decade. There was extra tension in Germany this year because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to keep her country’s 17 nuclear power plants working for 12 years longer than was planned. Many fear this will increase the likelihood of accidents. There is considerable public opposition to her plans in Germany. Over 50,000 activists rallied in Dannenberg. A Green Party leader, Juergen Trittin, told the huge crowd: "Merkel provoked society by extending the lifespan of nuclear power and this is the people's answer." Protestor Elke Hinrichsmeyr, 71, said: "We're horrified that this government wants to extend the use of nuclear power. They've ignored the will of the people."


WARM-UPS

1. NUCLEAR WASTE: Walk around the class and talk to other students about nuclear waste. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

protests / nuclear waste / rallies / disruption / authorities / serious accidents / power / controversial issues / extra tension / accidents / public opposition / lifespan / will

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. PROTESTS: What would you protest against? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Why would you protest?

How would you protest?

Nuclear waste

 

 

High taxes

 

 

Racism

 

 

Religious intolerance

 

 

Lack of press freedom

 

 

Going to war

 

 

4. NUCLEAR POWER: Students A strongly believe nuclear power is the future; Students B strongly believe nuclear power will one day be a thing of the past.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. ENERGY: What’s your favourite? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put your favourite at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • nuclear
  • solar
  • fossil fuels
  • thermal
  • wind power
  • wave power
  • recycled waste
  • other ________________

6. NUCLEAR: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘nuclear’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

German and French leaders are arguing over nuclear waste.

T / F

b.

The biggest anti-nuclear rally in history took place over the weekend.

T / F

c.

Officials had to change the route of a train carrying nuclear waste.

T / F

d.

Germany needs the nuclear waste to produce electricity.

T / F

e.

Germany’s leader made an unpopular decision regarding power plants.

T / F

f.

Seventeen of Germany’s nuclear power plants are 12 years old.

T / F

g.

More than 50,000 people met at a rally to protest against Merkel.

T / F

h.

A protestor said she will ignore the people.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

protests

a.

large

2

transporting

b.

trouble

3.

took part

c.

hot

4.

disruption

d.

participated

5.

eventually

e.

shocked

6.

controversial

f.

demonstrations

7.

likelihood

g.

desire

8.

considerable

h.

finally

9.

horrified

i.

shipping

10.

will

j.

chance

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

Large protests took

a.

power plants working

2

Tens of thousands of

b.

of 11 train cars

3.

people who had chained themselves

c.

border

4.

reroute the convoy

d.

protesters took part

5.

crossed the French-German

e.

of the people

6.

a controversial

f.

place in Germany

7.

keep her country’s 17 nuclear

g.

of nuclear power

8.

increase the likelihood

h.

issue

9.

extending the lifespan

i.

to the railway

10.

They've ignored the will

j.

of accidents

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Large protests ____________ place in Germany and France over the weekend over the transporting of nuclear waste between the two countries. Tens of thousands of protesters took ____________ in one of the biggest anti-nuclear rallies in years. Police in France had to cut free people who had ____________ themselves to the railway track on which the spent nuclear fuel would pass. The protestors caused a lot of ____________ to the shipment, the first in two years. Authorities had to secretly ____________ the convoy of 11 train cars to prevent those protesting causing a ____________ accident. The 154 tons of waste eventually crossed the French-German border and arrived in the town of Dannenberg ____________ Sunday morning. It will be used by Germany’s nuclear power agency to ____________ the country with electricity.

 

 

 

early
disruption
part
reroute
took
provide
chained
serious

The shipments of nuclear waste have been a controversial ____________ over the past decade. There was extra ____________ in Germany this year because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to keep her country’s 17 nuclear power ____________ working for 12 years longer than was planned. Many fear this will increase the ____________ of accidents. There is considerable public opposition to her plans in Germany. Over 50,000 ____________ rallied in Dannenberg. A Green Party leader, Juergen Trittin, told the huge ____________: "Merkel provoked society by extending the lifespan of nuclear power and this is the people's answer." Protestor Elke Hinrichsmeyr, 71, said: "We're ____________ that this government wants to extend the use of nuclear power. They've ignored the ____________ of the people."

 

 

crowd
likelihood
tension
horrified
issue
will
plants
activists

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Large ____________________ Germany and France over the weekend over the transporting of nuclear waste between the two countries. Tens of thousands of protesters ____________________ biggest anti-nuclear rallies in years. Police in France had to cut free people who had chained themselves to the railway track ____________________ nuclear fuel would pass. The protestors caused a lot of disruption to the shipment, the first in two years. Authorities ____________________ the convoy of 11 train cars to prevent those protesting causing a serious accident. The 154 tons of waste ____________________ the French-German border and arrived in the town of Dannenberg early Sunday morning. It will be used by Germany’s nuclear power ____________________ country with electricity.

The shipments of nuclear waste have been a controversial issue over the past decade. There ____________________ Germany this year because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to keep her country’s 17 nuclear power plants working for 12 years ______________________. Many fear this will increase ____________________ accidents. There is considerable public opposition to her plans in Germany. Over ____________________ in Dannenberg. A Green Party leader, Juergen Trittin, told the huge crowd: "Merkel provoked society by ____________________ of nuclear power and this is the people's answer." Protestor Elke Hinrichsmeyr, 71, said: "We're horrified that this government wants to extend the use of nuclear power. They've _____________________ people."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘nuclear’ and ‘power’.

nuclear

power

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • place
  • tens
  • cut
  • secretly
  • 154
  • provide
  • issue
  • decision
  • longer
  • leader
  • answer
  • will

STUDENT NUCLEAR WASTE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about nuclear waste in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

NUCLEAR WASTE DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘nuclear’?

c)

What do you know about nuclear power?

d)

Why were the protestors angry?

e)

What would make you angry enough to protest about?

f)

Do you think nuclear energy is a good idea?

g)

Would you live in a town that has a nuclear power plant?

h)

What did people in your country protest about recently?

i)

What’s the alternative to nuclear power?

j)

How dangerous do you think nuclear waste is?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Why is the issue of nuclear waste so controversial?

c)

What’s the problem with keeping nuclear power plants active for longer?

d)

What nuclear accidents do you know of?

e)

How do authorities deal with nuclear accidents?

f)

Would you ever go to a nuclear rally?

g)

Will the nuclear power plant issue in Germany quietly disappear?

h)

Is nuclear energy better than energy from fossil fuels?

i)

Did Angela Merkel have a choice in ignoring the will of the people?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Chancellor Angela Merkel?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Large protests took place in Germany and France over the weekend (1) ____ the transporting of nuclear waste between the two countries. Tens of thousands of protesters (2) ____ part in one of the biggest anti-nuclear rallies in years. Police in France had to cut free people who had chained themselves to the railway track on which the (3) ____ nuclear fuel would pass. The protestors caused a lot of disruption to the shipment, the first in two years. Authorities had to (4) ____ reroute the convoy of 11 train cars to prevent those protesting causing a serious accident. The 154 tons of waste (5) ____ crossed the French-German border and arrived in the town of Dannenberg early Sunday morning. It will be used by Germany’s nuclear power agency to provide the country (6) ____ electricity.

The (7) ____ of nuclear waste have been a controversial issue over the past decade. There was extra tension in Germany this year because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to keep her country’s 17 nuclear power plants (8) ____ for 12 years longer than was planned. Many fear this will increase the (9) ____ of accidents. There is considerable public opposition (10) ____ her plans in Germany. Over 50,000 activists rallied in Dannenberg. A Green Party leader, Juergen Trittin, told the huge crowd: "Merkel (11) ____ society by extending the lifespan of nuclear power and this is the people's answer." Protestor Elke Hinrichsmeyr, 71, said: "We're horrified that this government wants to extend the use of nuclear power. They've ignored the (12) ____ of the people."

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

over

(b)

under

(c)

around

(d)

across

2.

(a)

take

(b)

took

(c)

taking

(d)

taken

3.

(a)

spend

(b)

spends

(c)

spent

(d)

spending

4.

(a)

secret

(b)

secrets

(c)

secreted

(d)

secretly

5.

(a)

event

(b)

events

(c)

eventual

(d)

eventually

6.

(a)

for

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

to

7.

(a)

shipments

(b)

ships

(c)

shipping

(d)

shipped

8.

(a)

works

(b)

working

(c)

worked

(d)

worker

9.

(a)

liking

(b)

liked

(c)

likelihood

(d)

likely

10.

(a)

to

(b)

at

(c)

of

(d)

by

11.

(a)

provocative

(b)

provoking

(c)

provokes

(d)

provoked

12.

(a)

can

(b)

will

(c)

should

(d)

would

WRITING

Write about nuclear waste for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about nuclear waste. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. NUCLEAR WASTE: Make a poster about nuclear waste. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. PROTESTS: Write a magazine article about the protests. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against nuclear energy.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Ask her three questions about the nuclear waste. Give her three ideas on how to make the German people happier. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

protests

a.

demonstrations

2

transporting

b.

shipping

3.

took part

c.

participated

4.

disruption

d.

trouble

5.

eventually

e.

finally

6.

controversial

f.

hot

7.

likelihood

g.

chance

8.

considerable

h.

large

9.

horrified

i.

shocked

10.

will

j.

desire

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Large protests took

a.

place in Germany

2

Tens of thousands of

b.

protesters took part

3.

people who had chained themselves

c.

to the railway

4.

reroute the convoy

d.

of 11 train cars

5.

crossed the French-German

e.

border

6.

a controversial

f.

issue

7.

keep her country’s 17 nuclear

g.

power plants working

8.

increase the likelihood

h.

of accidents

9.

extending the lifespan

i.

of nuclear power

10.

They've ignored the will

j.

of the people

GAP FILL:

German-French protests over nuclear waste

Large protests took place in Germany and France over the weekend over the transporting of nuclear waste between the two countries. Tens of thousands of protesters took part in one of the biggest anti-nuclear rallies in years. Police in France had to cut free people who had chained themselves to the railway track on which the spent nuclear fuel would pass. The protestors caused a lot of disruption to the shipment, the first in two years. Authorities had to secretly reroute the convoy of 11 train cars to prevent those protesting causing a serious accident. The 154 tons of waste eventually crossed the French-German border and arrived in the town of Dannenberg early Sunday morning. It will be used by Germany’s nuclear power agency to provide the country with electricity.

The shipments of nuclear waste have been a controversial issue over the past decade. There was extra tension in Germany this year because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to keep her country’s 17 nuclear power plants working for 12 years longer than was planned. Many fear this will increase the likelihood of accidents. There is considerable public opposition to her plans in Germany. Over 50,000 activists rallied in Dannenberg. A Green Party leader, Juergen Trittin, told the huge crowd: "Merkel provoked society by extending the lifespan of nuclear power and this is the people's answer." Protestor Elke Hinrichsmeyr, 71, said: "We're horrified that this government wants to extend the use of nuclear power. They've ignored the will of the people."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - b

3 - c

4 - d

5 - d

6 - c

7 - a

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

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