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Germany To Close All Nuclear Power Plants (31st May, 2011)


 

The German government has announced its plans to shut down all of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022. Seven of these were already suspended in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Another six plants will close by 2021, while three more will keep operating until 2022 as a standby in the case of energy shortages. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the decision to terminate the whole nuclear programme, because of what happened in Japan, after a 12-hour meeting with her ruling coalition. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen told reporters there was no going back, saying: “This decision is consistent, decisive and clear. There will be no clause for revision.” This is a U-turn of the previous government’s policy to continue with nuclear power until 2035.

Germany currently gets 23 per cent of its energy from its nuclear power plants. Chancellor Merkel put forward another plan for ending her country’s reliance on nuclear energy. She said Germany would move towards a “safe, reliable and economically viable” alternative by doubling renewable energy production over the next ten years. She also called for policies that would see energy consumption cut by ten per cent. She said: “This is a big challenge, but it brings with it a huge chance for future generations.” She believes abandoning nuclear power will make German companies world leaders in alternative energies, especially in the production of solar panels and wind turbines. “We will be a trailblazer as the first large industrial country to try this,” she said.


WARM-UPS

1. NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about nuclear power plants. 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.

 

plans / suspended / operating / energy shortages / terminate / decision / revision / energy / power plants / reliance / renewable energy / challenge / alternative / solar

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

3. ENERGY: What are the pros and cons of these? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Energy

Pros

Cons

Nuclear

 

 

Wind power

 

 

Solar

 

 

Coal / Oil

 

 

Wave power

 

 

Biofuels

 

 

4. NUCLEAR: Students A strongly believe no countries will use it in 100 years; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. WORRIES: What worries you most about nuclear power? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the most worrying at the top at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • meltdown
  • radiation in food / the air
  • the cost
  • terrorists & nuclear materials
  • 3,000-year radioactivity of nuclear waste
  • living near nuclear power plants
  • health risks
  • nuclear Armageddon

6. DISASTER: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘disaster’. 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.

Germany will completely end its nuclear power programme.

T / F

b.

Germany said the decision had little to do with Japan’s nuclear crisis.

T / F

c.

The Environment Minister said the decision could be reversed.

T / F

d.

The previous German government had plans to end nuclear power.

T / F

e.

Germany gets around a quarter of its energy from nuclear plants.

T / F

f.

Angela Merkel said Germany would reduce demand for electricity.

T / F

g.

Merkel said ending nuclear power would benefit German companies.

T / F

h.

Germany will be the second big industrial company to do this.

T / F

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

1.

announced

a.

backup

2

suspended

b.

dependence

3.

standby

c.

change

4.

terminate

d.

said

5.

revision

e.

pioneer

6.

currently

f.

end

7.

reliance

g.

opportunity

8.

viable

h.

halted

9.

chance

i.

presently

10.

trailblazer

j.

workable

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

1.

announced

a.

and clear

2

six plants

b.

viable

3.

a standby in the case

c.

government’s policy

4.

consistent, decisive

d.

forward another plan

5.

This is a U-turn of the previous

e.

trailblazer

6.

Merkel put

f.

its plans

7.

economically

g.

will close by 2021

8.

doubling

h.

in alternative energies

9.

world leaders

i.

of energy shortages

10.

We will be a

j.

renewable energy

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The German government has (1) ____________ its plans to shut down all of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022. Seven of these were already suspended in the (2) ____________ of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Another six plants will close by 2021, while three more will keep operating until 2022 as a (3) ____________ in the case of energy shortages. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the (4) ____________ to terminate the whole nuclear programme, because of what happened in Japan, after a 12-hour meeting with her (5) ____________ coalition. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen told reporters there was no               (6) ____________ back, saying: “This decision is consistent, decisive and clear. There will be no clause for (7) ____________.” This is a U-turn of the (8) ____________ government’s policy to continue with nuclear power until 2035.

 

 

 

revision
wake
ruling
decision
announced
previous
standby
going

Germany (9) ____________ gets 23 per cent of its energy from its nuclear power plants. Chancellor Merkel put                       (10) ____________ another plan for ending her country’s       (11) ____________ on nuclear energy. She said Germany would move towards a “safe, reliable and economically viable” alternative by (12) ____________ renewable energy production over the next ten years. She also called for policies that would see energy consumption cut by ten per cent. She said: “This is a big         (13) ____________, but it brings with it a huge chance for future generations.” She believes (14) ____________ nuclear power will make German companies world leaders in (15) ____________ energies, especially in the production of solar panels and wind turbines. “We will be a (16) ____________ as the first large industrial country to try this,” she said.

 

 

doubling
trailblazer
forward
alternative
currently
challenge
reliance
abandoning

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The German government has announced its plans ___________________ of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022. Seven of these ___________________ in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Another six plants will close by 2021, while three more will keep operating until 2022 ___________________ case of energy shortages. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the decision to terminate the whole nuclear programme, ___________________ happened in Japan, after a 12-hour meeting with her ruling coalition. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen told reporters there ___________________, saying: “This decision is consistent, decisive and clear. There will be no clause for revision.” This is a U-turn of the previous government’s _____________________ nuclear power until 2035.

Germany currently gets 23 per cent ___________________ its nuclear power plants. Chancellor Merkel put forward another plan for ending her ___________________ nuclear energy. She said Germany would move towards a “safe, reliable and economically ___________________ doubling renewable energy production over the next ten years. She also called for policies that would see energy ___________________ ten per cent. She said: “This is a big challenge, but it brings with it a huge chance for future generations.” She believes abandoning nuclear power will make German companies world ___________________ energies, especially in the production of solar panels and wind turbines. “We will ___________________ the first large industrial country to try this,” she said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

power

plant

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • plans
  • wake
  • case
  • ruling
  • clear
  • U-turn
  • 23
  • reliable
  • doubling
  • ten
  • leaders
  • try

STUDENT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about nuclear power plants 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 POWER PLANTS 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 term ‘nuclear power’?

c)

What do you think of Angela Merkel’s government’s decision?

d)

Do you think every country should abandon nuclear energy

e)

What are the advantages of nuclear energy?

f)

Would you live near a nuclear power plant?

g)

What did events at Fukushima in Japan teach the world?

h)

What three adjectives describe Merkel’s decision?

i)

How worried are you about the threat of nuclear accidents?

j)

Do you think the next German government could restart the country’s nuclear programme?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How big a decision is this?

c)

Is the decision a vote-winner in national elections?

d)

Would your government be able to make such a decision?

e)

Does this decision make Europe a safer place?

f)

Will it be possible to double renewable energy production in a decade?

g)

How difficult would it be to cut electricity demand by ten per cent?

h)

Do you think Germany will be a trailblazer?

i)

What will be the leading source of energy in 100 years from now?

j)

What questions would you like to ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The German government has announced its plans to shut down (1) ____ of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022. Seven of these were already suspended in the (2) ____ of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Another six plants will close by 2021, while three more will keep operating until 2022 as a (3) ____ in the case of energy shortages. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the decision to terminate the whole nuclear programme, because of what happened in Japan, after a 12-hour meeting with her (4) ____ coalition. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen told reporters there was no (5) ____ back, saying: “This decision is consistent, decisive and clear. There will be no clause (6) ____ revision.” This is a U-turn of the previous government’s policy to continue with nuclear power until 2035.

Germany (7) ____ gets 23 per cent of its energy from its nuclear power plants. Chancellor Merkel put forward another plan for ending her country’s (8) ____ on nuclear energy. She said Germany would move towards a “safe, reliable and economically viable” alternative (9) ____ doubling renewable energy production over the next ten years. She also called for policies that would see energy (10) ____ cut by ten per cent. She said: “This is a big challenge, but it brings with it a huge chance for future generations.” She believes abandoning nuclear power will make German companies world leaders (11) ____ alternative energies, especially in the production of solar panels and wind turbines. “We will be a (12) ____ as the first large industrial country to try this,” she said.

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

1.

(a)

all

(b)

every

(c)

whole

(d)

entire

2.

(a)

woke

(b)

awake

(c)

wake

(d)

waking

3.

(a)

standoff

(b)

standing

(c)

standout

(d)

standby

4.

(a)

ruled

(b)

ruling

(c)

ruler

(d)

rule

5.

(a)

giving

(b)

wanting

(c)

arriving

(d)

going

6.

(a)

from

(b)

by

(c)

for

(d)

at

7.

(a)

currency

(b)

currently

(c)

currants

(d)

currents

8.

(a)

reliance

(b)

hosting

(c)

storage

(d)

traction

9.

(a)

by

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

for

10.

(a)

resumption

(b)

redemption

(c)

consumption

(d)

contraption

11.

(a)

on

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

in

12.

(a)

go-getter

(b)

trailblazer

(c)

peacemaker

(d)

high flier


 
 

WRITING

Write about nuclear power plants 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 power plants. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: Make a poster about nuclear power and its alternatives. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. GREEN: Write a magazine article about Germany’s decision. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.

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 German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Ask her three questions about nuclear power plants. Give her three of your opinions about her decision. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

F

d.

F

e.

T

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

announced

a.

said

2

suspended

b.

halted

3.

standby

c.

backup

4.

terminate

d.

end

5.

revision

e.

change

6.

currently

f.

presently

7.

reliance

g.

dependence

8.

viable

h.

workable

9.

chance

i.

opportunity

10.

trailblazer

j.

pioneer

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

announced

a.

its plans

2

six plants

b.

will close by 2021

3.

a standby in the case

c.

of energy shortages

4.

consistent, decisive

d.

and clear

5.

This is a U-turn of the previous

e.

government’s policy

6.

Merkel put

f.

forward another plan

7.

economically

g.

viable

8.

doubling

h.

renewable energy

9.

world leaders

i.

in alternative energies

10.

We will be a

j.

trailblazer

GAP FILL:

Germany to close all nuclear power plants

The German government has (1) announced its plans to shut down all of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022. Seven of these were already suspended in the (2) wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Another six plants will close by 2021, while three more will keep operating until 2022 as a (3) standby in the case of energy shortages. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the (4) decision to terminate the whole nuclear programme, because of what happened in Japan, after a 12-hour meeting with her (5) ruling coalition. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen told reporters there was no (6) going back, saying: “This decision is consistent, decisive and clear. There will be no clause for (7) revision.” This is a U-turn of the (8) previous government’s policy to continue with nuclear power until 2035.

Germany (9) currently gets 23 per cent of its energy from its nuclear power plants. Chancellor Merkel put (10) forward another plan for ending her country’s (11) reliance on nuclear energy. She said Germany would move towards a “safe, reliable and economically viable” alternative by (12) doubling renewable energy production over the next ten years. She also called for policies that would see energy consumption cut by ten per cent. She said: “This is a big (13) challenge, but it brings with it a huge chance for future generations.” She believes (14) abandoning nuclear power will make German companies world leaders in (15) alternative energies, especially in the production of solar panels and wind turbines. “We will be a (16) trailblazer as the first large industrial country to try this,” she said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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