Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet

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Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in “geologically quiet” regions, so called by geologists because such regions are distant from plate boundaries and contain only minor faults. Since no minor fault in a geologically quiet region produces an earthquake more often than once in any given 100,000-year period, it follows that of all potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory.
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
(A) Geologically quiet regions are the least dangerous regions in which to build nuclear reactors.
(B) For any potential nuclear reactor site, the likelihood of being struck by an earthquake is the primary determinant of site safety.
(C) In a geologically quiet region, every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.
(D) Nuclear reactors that are located in geologically quiet regions are built to withstand at least one but not necessarily more than one earthquake of minor to moderate force.
(E) Earthquake faults in geologically quiet regions produce earthquakes at least once in 100,000 years.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in “geologically quiet” [#permalink]

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Legendaddy wrote:
Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in “geologically quiet” regions, so called by geologists because such regions are distant from plate boundaries and contain only minor faults. Since no minor fault in a geologically quiet region produces an earthquake more often than once in any given 100,000-year period, it follows that of all potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory.
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
(A) Geologically quiet regions are the least dangerous regions in which to build nuclear reactors.
(B) For any potential nuclear reactor site, the likelihood of being struck by an earthquake is the primary determinant of site safety.
(C) In a geologically quiet region, every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.
(D) Nuclear reactors that are located in geologically quiet regions are built to withstand at least one but not necessarily more than one earthquake of minor to moderate force.
(E) Earthquake faults in geologically quiet regions produce earthquakes at least once in 100,000 years.


I understand when people crib about RC and SC. But the truth is that CR is not hard to rule. All you need is some patience and correct guidance.
You need to find the assumption here. An assumption is a missing premise that is necessary for the conclusion to hold - again, it is necessary for the conclusion. Look for the conclusion of the argument.

Conclusion: Of all potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory

Go on to the options now:

(A) Geologically quiet regions are the least dangerous regions in which to build nuclear reactors.
The conclusion categorically states: "Of all potential sites in such a region" i.e. it is only considering quiet regions. It is not comparing geologically quiet regions with other regions so this option is out of scope.

(B) For any potential nuclear reactor site, the likelihood of being struck by an earthquake is the primary determinant of site safety.
Again, the conclusion does not talk about 'site safety'. It only discusses the likelihood of an earthquake. So again out of scope.

(C) In a geologically quiet region, every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.
The conclusion says that of all potential sites in a quiet region, the safest (regarding earthquakes) is the one near a minor fault that has recently produced an earthquake. It does make sense in a way since a recent earthquake would have settled the plates and hence it is not very likely that another earthquake will happen anytime soon. But the question is - 'Is it necessary that there will be a minor fault near all the potential sites?' How about a site which has no faults and hence no chance of an earthquake? Hence, when we say, 'Build the plant near a minor fault which has seen an earthquake in the recent past,' we are assuming that there is no site which has no faults. We are assuming that every potential site has at least one minor fault. Answer (C)

(D) Nuclear reactors that are located in geologically quiet regions are built to withstand at least one but not necessarily more than one earthquake of minor to moderate force.
Again, it is out of scope since the conclusion does not talk about how many earthquakes the reactor can stand. It is only trying to find the site where chances of an earthquake are minimum.

(E) Earthquake faults in geologically quiet regions produce earthquakes at least once in 100,000 years.
We don't need to assume this to make the conclusion true. 1 in a 100,000 is just the average. There needn't be 1 in every 100,000 yrs. The conclusion is only trying to find the most stable area to make the reactor. A fault that has experienced an earthquake recently is expected to be more stable that a site with a minor fault which hasn't experienced an earthquake lately.
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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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aniketm.87@gmail.com wrote:
Can some one pls confirm on my logic?


Tried hard to make sense of it : negate the assumption ——> the premise must fall apart.
Opposite of C) ———> In a geo quiet site, every potential nuclear reactor site is near no minor fault…….
So does this contradict the premise? Since geo quiet sites have minor faults in them, at least one nuclear plant must be near a minor fault?


When you negate the assumption, the conclusion (not the premise) falls apart.

Conclusion: Of all potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory.

(C) In a geologically quiet region, every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.

Negated (C) - In a geologically quiet region, NOT every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.

If not every potential site is near a minor fault, there could be sites where there are no faults. Then can we say that the SAFEST are those located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory? No, if there are sites that have no faults, they could be the safest. Hence the conclusion breaks apart.

Answer (C)
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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in “geologically quiet” [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2013, 22:35
Legendaddy wrote:
Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in “geologically quiet” regions, so called by geologists because such regions are distant from plate boundaries and contain only minor faults. Since no minor fault in a geologically quiet region produces an earthquake more often than once in any given 100,000-year period, it follows that of all potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory.
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
(A) Geologically quiet regions are the least dangerous regions in which to build nuclear reactors.
(B) For any potential nuclear reactor site, the likelihood of being struck by an earthquake is the primary determinant of site safety.
(C) In a geologically quiet region, every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.
(D) Nuclear reactors that are located in geologically quiet regions are built to withstand at least one but not necessarily more than one earthquake of minor to moderate force.
(E) Earthquake faults in geologically quiet regions produce earthquakes at least once in 100,000 years.


This was good one.
The conclusion is ALL potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory..
Here negation or POE can be one's arsenal.
ABD are out of scope.
E is a restatement of the premise.
On negating C, C becomes: In a geologically quiet region, NOT ALL potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault. If this is true, then by no chance the conclusion can stand intact.
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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in “geologically quiet” [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2013, 23:32
Marcab wrote:
This was good one.
The conclusion is ALL potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory..
Here negation or POE can be one's arsenal.
ABD are out of scope.
E is a restatement of the premise.
On negating C, C becomes: In a geologically quiet region, NOT ALL potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault. If this is true, then by no chance the conclusion can stand intact.

Good job buddy. Unfortunately CR is mopping the floor with me :(
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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2014, 06:06
Does not assumption mean finding the unstated premise?
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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2014, 03:45
peterparker123 wrote:
Does not assumption mean finding the unstated premise?


Yes, an assumption is an unstated missing premise. Look at the explanation given above.
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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2016, 08:28
Can some one pls confirm on my logic?


Tried hard to make sense of it : negate the assumption ——> the premise must fall apart.
Opposite of C) ———> In a geo quiet site, every potential nuclear reactor site is near no minor fault…….
So does this contradict the premise? Since geo quiet sites have minor faults in them, at least one nuclear plant must be near a minor fault?
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Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2016, 00:30
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
Legendaddy wrote:
Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in “geologically quiet” regions, so called by geologists because such regions are distant from plate boundaries and contain only minor faults. Since no minor fault in a geologically quiet region produces an earthquake more often than once in any given 100,000-year period, it follows that of all potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory.
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
(A) Geologically quiet regions are the least dangerous regions in which to build nuclear reactors.
(B) For any potential nuclear reactor site, the likelihood of being struck by an earthquake is the primary determinant of site safety.
(C) In a geologically quiet region, every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.
(D) Nuclear reactors that are located in geologically quiet regions are built to withstand at least one but not necessarily more than one earthquake of minor to moderate force.
(E) Earthquake faults in geologically quiet regions produce earthquakes at least once in 100,000 years.


I understand when people crib about RC and SC. But the truth is that CR is not hard to rule. All you need is some patience and correct guidance.
You need to find the assumption here. An assumption is a missing premise that is necessary for the conclusion to hold - again, it is necessary for the conclusion. Look for the conclusion of the argument.

Conclusion: Of all potential nuclear reactor sites in such a region, those that are least likely to be struck by an earthquake are ones located near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory

Go on to the options now:


(C) In a geologically quiet region, every potential nuclear reactor site is near at least one minor fault.
The conclusion says that of all potential sites in a quiet region, the safest (regarding earthquakes) is the one near a minor fault that has recently produced an earthquake. It does make sense in a way since a recent earthquake would have settled the plates and hence it is not very likely that another earthquake will happen anytime soon. But the question is - 'Is it necessary that there will be a minor fault near all the potential sites?' How about a site which has no faults and hence no chance of an earthquake? Hence, when we say, 'Build the plant near a minor fault which has seen an earthquake in the recent past,' we are assuming that there is no site which has no faults. We are assuming that every potential site has at least one minor fault. Answer (C)



Hi Karishma, VeritasPrepKarishma

I understand your reasoning. But we are considering only -> “geologically quiet” regions, so called by geologists because such regions are distant from plate boundaries and contain only minor faults." We don't know if they have no minor fault or not.

We can't assume that "geologically quiet" region contains "no minor fault." We only know that regions are distant from plate boundaries + only minor faults => are qualified as "geologically quiet"

May be regions are distant from plate boundaries + only minor faults => are named as something else, we dont know that.

Thanks in advance,
Abrakadabra
Re: Nuclear reactors are sometimes built in geologically quiet   [#permalink] 28 Jun 2016, 00:30
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