On January 3, 1961, nine days after Christmas, Richard Legg, John Byrnes, and Richard McKinley were killed in a remote desert in eastern Idaho. Their deaths occurred when a nuclear reactor exploded at a top-secret base in the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS). Official reports state that the explosion and subsequent reactor meltdown resulted from the improper retraction of the control rod. When questioned about the events that occurred there, officials were very reticent. The whole affair, in fact, was discussed much, and seemed to disappear with time.
In order to grasp the mysterious nature of the NRTS catastrophe, it help to know a bit about how nuclear reactors work. After all, the generation of nuclear energy may strike many as an esoteric process. However, given its relative simplicity, the way in which the NRTS reactor functions is widely comprehensible. In this particular kind of reactor, a cluster of nine-ton uranium fuel rods are positioned lengthwise around a central control rod. The reaction begins with the slow removal of the control ro, which starts a controlled nuclear reaction and begins to heat the water in the reactor. This heat generates steam, which builds pressure inside the tank. As pressure builds, the steam looks for a place to escape. The only place this steam is able to escape is through the turbine. As it passes through the turbine on its way out of the tank, it turns the giant fan blades and produces energy.
On the morning of January 3, after the machine had been shut down for the holidays, the three men arrived at the station to restart the reactor. The control rod needed to be pulled out only four inches to be reconnected to the automated driver. However, records indicate that Byrnes yanked it out 23 inches, over five times the distance necessary. In milliseconds the reactor exploded. Legg was impaled on the ceiling; he would be discovered last. It took one week and a lead-shielded crane to remove his body. Even in full protective gear, workers were only able to work a minute at a time. The three men are buried in lead-lined coffins under concrete in New York, Michigan, and Arlington Cemetery, Virginia.
The investigation took nearly two years to complete. Did Byrnes have a dark motive? Or was it simply an accident? Did he know how precarious the procedure was? Other operators were questioned as to whether they knew the consequences of pulling the control rod out so far. They responded “Of course! We often talked about what we would do if we were at a radar station and the Russians came.
“We’d yank it out.”
Official reports are oddly ambiguous, but what they do not explain, gossip does. Rumors had it that there was tension between the men because Byrnes suspected the other two of being involved with his young wife. There is little doubt than he, like the other operators, knew exactly what would happen when he yanked the control rod.
According to the paragraph 2, which of the following is directly responsible for energy production?
Although cynics may like to see he government’s policy for women in terms of the party’s internal power struggles, it will nevertheless be churlish to deny that it represents a pioneering effect aimed at bringing about sweeping social reforms. In its language, scope and strategies, the policy documents displays a degree of understanding of women’s needs that is uncommon in government pronouncements. This is due in large part to the participatory process that marked its formulation, seeking the active involvement right from the start of women’s groups, academic institutions and non-government organizations with grass roots experience. The result is not just a lofty declaration of principles but a blueprint for a practical program of action. The policy delineates a series of concrete measures to accord women a decision-making role in the political domain and greater control over their economic status. Of especially far-reaching impart are the devolution of control of economic infrastructure to women, notably at the gram panchayat level, and the amendment proposed in the Act of 1956 to give women comparcenary rights.
And enlightened aspect of the policy is its recognition that actual change in the status of women cannot be brought about by the mere enactment of socially progressive legislation. Accordingly, it focuses on reorienting development programs and sensitizing administrations to address specific situations as, for instance, the growing number of households headed by women, which is a consequence of rural-urban migration. The proposal to create an equal-opportunity police force and give women greater control of police stations is an acknowledgement of the biases and callousness displayed by the generally all-male law-enforcement authorities in case of dowery and domestic violence. While the mere enunciation of such a policy has the salutary effect of sensitizing the administration as a whole, it does not make the task of its implementation any easier. This is because the changes it envisages in the political and economic status of woman strike at the root of power structures in society and the basis of man-woman relationship. There is also the danger that reservation for women in public life, while necessary for their greater visibility, could lapse into tokenism or become a tool in the hands of vote seeking politicians. Much will depend on the dissemination of the policy and the ability of elected representatives and government agencies to reorder their priorities.
Which of the following is most nearly the same in meaning to ‘callousness’ as used in the passage?