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If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly,

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If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly, [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2016, 11:42
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Question Stats:

86% (01:08) correct 14% (01:32) wrong based on 180 sessions

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If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly, other parts of the plants’ piping systems can be critically damaged. Check valves cannot be tested in actual operation, but they are disassembled as part of routine annual maintenance and any flawed parts are replaced. Therefore, power plant accidents attributable to malfunctioning check valves are unlikely to occur.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument above?

(A) Approximately 80 percent of accidents in nuclear power plants are attributable to failures in piping systems.
(B) Check valves in nuclear power plants tend to wear out after a few years in operation.
(C) Disassembling check valves can expose workers to radiation if precautions are not taken.
(D) Flaws in any part of a check valve can be identified when the valve is disassembled.
(E) Errors made in the reassembly of check valves can go undetected.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly, [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2016, 12:24
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Premise :- If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly, other parts of the plants’ piping systems can be critically damaged. Check valves cannot be tested in actual operation, but they are disassembled as part of routine annual maintenance and any flawed parts are replaced.
Conclusion:- Therefore, power plant accidents attributable to malfunctioning check valves are unlikely to occur.
.
We are asked to weaken the conclusion using 1 of the 5 true statements.

(A) Approximately 80 percent of accidents in nuclear power plants are attributable to failures in piping systems. - The premise states that malfunctioning check valves can lead to piping system damage but that alone cannot be the sole reason. There can be an alternative reason as well and hence this will not weaken.
(B) Check valves in nuclear power plants tend to wear out after a few years in operation.- Contender. But malfunction is not necessarily wearing out and annual maintenance can fix this as said in the argument hence does not weaken though a good trap answer.
(C) Disassembling check valves can expose workers to radiation if precautions are not taken. - exposure to radiations is not accident. This is irrelevant.
(D) Flaws in any part of a check valve can be identified when the valve is disassembled. - This is a repeat of the premise hence a wrong answer.
(E) Errors made in the reassembly of check valves can go undetected. - this is something that the argument misses to mention and hence considering this statement is true, will undermine the conclusion.

Hence my choice is E.

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Re: If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly, [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2017, 04:59
Hey Senthil, Could you please elucidate more on option A? Am a bit confused between Option A and E.

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Re: If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly, [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2017, 05:34
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Kshitij92 wrote:
Hey Senthil, Could you please elucidate more on option A? Am a bit confused between Option A and E.


Hi Kshitij92,


The stimulus says....failure of X (check valves) can lead to failure of Y (piping mechanism). X are serviced every year and hence there will not be any problems because of X.

We have to weaken this.
Opn A says 80% of the failures are because of Ys. Well we are not so sure that failure of Y is caused only by that of X. Are we? Had this been mentioned in the stimulus, this would have been a correct answer.
Now, opn E says...Errors while reassembling might go unchecked. So this creates a doubt that...since every year X is serviced, there is a probability that these are not fixed well and can lead to accidents..

Hope this is clear.
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If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly, [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2017, 01:16
I am still NOT clear with the explanation of option A above. Can someone elaborate more on why option A is incorrect. Though I picked E as the answer but was doubtful between A and E.

Please evaluate my reasoning for option A.

(A) Approximately 80 percent of accidents in nuclear power plants are attributable to failures in piping systems. As per my understanding of the above argument, this option statement slightly strengthens the conclusion instead of weakening it. If 80% or majority of nuclear power plant accidents are attributable to piping system failures and those failures are, in turn, caused by the malfunctioning of the check valves, then the routine annual maintenance will detect and fix those malfunctioning valves, and thus power plant accidents attributable to malfunctioning check valves are unlikely to occur. Though, I agree that failures in piping system can occur due to other factors as well, but we are not concerned about the other factors and neither the other factors are in the scope of this argument. The argument's conclusion is restricted to the accidents attributable to the malfunctioning of the check valves.

As per the details given in the argument or basically as per the scope of the argument, I am considering only the failure of piping system as the major impact to power plants by the malfunctioning of the valves. Therefore, option A is incorrect.

Can someone review my point of reasoning? As I am unsure about the same.

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If the check valves in nuclear power plants do not function properly,   [#permalink] 10 Oct 2017, 01:16
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