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The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a

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The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation, has recently allowed the media access to its facilities. A spokesperson for the plant has claimed that the media has full access to the plant and is not prohibited from taking pictures on the premises. The spokesperson promises that, as a result, the citizens of Fieldpark can rest assured that, until next year’s governmental inspection, the facility will not exceed the federal regulations on the amount of sieverts, or radiation, to which a person can be exposed.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the spokesperson’s conclusion depends?

A) The media will publish all of the photos it deems incriminating.
B) The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection.
C) Communities are located close enough to the power plant to be harmed should the plant release more radiation than the regulations allow.
D) Photos can establish with the same reliability what a government safety commission can.
E) There were verifiable cases of radiation sickness in the year before the plant was cited by the safety commission.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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Harley1980 wrote:
The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation, has recently allowed the media access to its facilities. A spokesperson for the plant has claimed that the media has full access to the plant and is not prohibited from taking pictures on the premises. The spokesperson promises that, as a result, the citizens of Fieldpark can rest assured that, until next year’s governmental inspection, the facility will not exceed the federal regulations on the amount of sieverts, or radiation, to which a person can be exposed.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the spokesperson’s conclusion depends?

A) The media will publish all of the photos it deems incriminating.
B) The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection.
C) Communities are located close enough to the power plant to be harmed should the plant release more radiation than the regulations allow.
D) Photos can establish with the same reliability what a government safety commission can.
E) There were verifiable cases of radiation sickness in the year before the plant was cited by the safety commission.

Dear Harley1980,
I'm happy to respond. :-) This question was written by my friend Chris Lele.

What's very funny, very suspicious of this situation is the following. A few years ago, the plant had unsafe levels of radiation. Now, they are saying folks can come in and take pictures. But here's the thing: you can't take a picture of radiation. Radiation is invisible. A room with zero radiation and the same room with insanely high levels of radiation might look identical to the naked eye or in a photograph. How are ordinary photos, by non-specialists such as journalists: how are these non-specialists going to know if radiation shoots off all scales? This is the shady thing about what the spokesperson is suggesting.

The assumption has to be something connecting photos with radiation checking. This is exactly what (D) does.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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Harley1980 wrote:
The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation, has recently allowed the media access to its facilities. A spokesperson for the plant has claimed that the media has full access to the plant and is not prohibited from taking pictures on the premises. The spokesperson promises that, as a result, the citizens of Fieldpark can rest assured that, until next year’s governmental inspection, the facility will not exceed the federal regulations on the amount of sieverts, or radiation, to which a person can be exposed.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the spokesperson’s conclusion depends?

A) The media will publish all of the photos it deems incriminating.
B) The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection.
C) Communities are located close enough to the power plant to be harmed should the plant release more radiation than the regulations allow.
D) Photos can establish with the same reliability what a government safety commission can.
E) There were verifiable cases of radiation sickness in the year before the plant was cited by the safety commission.

Correct ans
D) Photos can establish with the same reliability what a government safety commission can.
If we negate option D the it will shatter the conclusion.
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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2016, 05:25
mikemcgarry wrote:
Harley1980 wrote:
The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation, has recently allowed the media access to its facilities. A spokesperson for the plant has claimed that the media has full access to the plant and is not prohibited from taking pictures on the premises. The spokesperson promises that, as a result, the citizens of Fieldpark can rest assured that, until next year’s governmental inspection, the facility will not exceed the federal regulations on the amount of sieverts, or radiation, to which a person can be exposed.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the spokesperson’s conclusion depends?

A) The media will publish all of the photos it deems incriminating.
B) The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection.
C) Communities are located close enough to the power plant to be harmed should the plant release more radiation than the regulations allow.
D) Photos can establish with the same reliability what a government safety commission can.
E) There were verifiable cases of radiation sickness in the year before the plant was cited by the safety commission.

Dear Harley1980,
I'm happy to respond. :-) This question was written by my friend Chris Lele.

What's very funny, very suspicious of this situation is the following. A few years ago, the plant had unsafe levels of radiation. Now, they are saying folks can come in and take pictures. But here's the thing: you can't take a picture of radiation. Radiation is invisible. A room with zero radiation and the same room with insanely high levels of radiation might look identical to the naked eye or in a photograph. How are ordinary photos, by non-specialists such as journalists: how are these non-specialists going to know if radiation shoots off all scales? This is the shady thing about what the spokesperson is suggesting.

The assumption has to be something connecting photos with radiation checking. This is exactly what (D) does.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)


Dear Mike,

While I was reviewing this question in Magoosh, there was something interesting about choice B. It is stated that B is weakner. I heard Chris in his video says the same. However, I do not understand how B can weaken the argument. I hope you can clarify this point.

Thanks for your help.

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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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Mo2men wrote:
Dear Mike,

While I was reviewing this question in Magoosh, there was something interesting about choice B. It is stated that B is weakener. I heard Chris in his video says the same. However, I do not understand how B can weaken the argument. I hope you can clarify this point.

Thanks for your help.

Dear Mo2men,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I think to be super-technical, I would say that (B) could be a weakener. It allows for the possibility of a weakener.

Think about it. At the last government inspection, the radiation levels were at N sieverts, for some value of N. We know that N is above the acceptable safety level S, N > S, because that was the finding in the last inspection. Let's say that the level now is T. How does T compare to N & S? Mathematically, there are four basic possibilities.
Case 1: T > N
Case 2: T = N
Case 3: S < T < N
Case 4: T < S
Now, choice (B) explicitly eliminates Case 1--it takes Case 1 off the table, so only Cases 2-4 could be true.

If Case 2 or Case 3 is true, then the level now is still above the safety levels, and the conclusion of the argument is untrue. In these cases, (B) would be a clear weakener.

If Case 4 is true, then (B) would still be consistent with the argument's conclusion. Here, (B) would not be a weakener.

If Case 1 is not true, we have no idea which of the other three cases is true. (B) is a weakener in some cases but not in others.

Now, a few things to keep in mind. We are looking for an assumption, and an assumption has an effect of always strengthening the argument. Something that is sometimes a weakener is never a strengthener, never an assumption. Finding out that that (B) allows for some cases that make it a weakener some of the time is enough to disqualify it as a possible assumption. In that sense, it's a weakener---it's a weakener at least some of the time, and that means it absolutely can't be an assumption. That's what is important in answering this question. A weakener some of the time would not be the correct answer if the question were asking for a weakener.

What we get to call a "weakener" to some extent depends on context. If we are answering a weakener question, the bar is high: something always has to be a weakener to qualify for the correct answer to a weakener question. If we are answering an assumption or strengthener question, then the fact that something is sometimes a weakener is enough to disqualify it. As in many things, the bar for disqualification is lower than the the bar for complete acceptance.

Finally, I will say: imagine this scenario--A reporter says, "The Fieldpark nuclear power plant was cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation. What can you say about the plant's current safety levels?" In response, a Fieldpark PR person say, "The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection."
That response is a classic PR-person donkey-feathers answer (PS: that expression was an attempt to avoid the use of profanity of GMAT Club!) All your red flag sensors should go off when you hear that response. It simply sounds like a response that is hiding something. Now, do we know, in a cold logical way, that it is hiding something? Technically, no, but it still should activate all your suspicions. That's the kind of statement that (B) is. In addition to the logical analysis, you also should have a gut-level discomfort about what scam it is trying to pull.

In the real world, once you have your MBA, in the business world, you will encounter all kinds of manipulative people who excel at telling you things that, from a purely logical point of view, could be fine, and if you don't have finely honed intuitions about when someone is trying to defraud you, you could suffer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2016, 13:03
mikemcgarry wrote:
Mo2men wrote:
Dear Mike,

While I was reviewing this question in Magoosh, there was something interesting about choice B. It is stated that B is weakener. I heard Chris in his video says the same. However, I do not understand how B can weaken the argument. I hope you can clarify this point.

Thanks for your help.

Dear Mo2men,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I think to be super-technical, I would say that (B) could be a weakener. It allows for the possibility of a weakener.

Think about it. At the last government inspection, the radiation levels were at N sieverts, for some value of N. We know that N is above the acceptable safety level S, N > S, because that was the finding in the last inspection. Let's say that the level now is T. How does T compare to N & S? Mathematically, there are four basic possibilities.
Case 1: T > N
Case 2: T = N
Case 3: S < T < N
Case 4: T < S
Now, choice (B) explicitly eliminates Case 1--it takes Case 1 off the table, so only Cases 2-4 could be true.

If Case 2 or Case 3 is true, then the level now is still above the safety levels, and the conclusion of the argument is untrue. In these cases, (B) would be a clear weakener.

If Case 4 is true, then (B) would still be consistent with the argument's conclusion. Here, (B) would not be a weakener.

If Case 1 is not true, we have no idea which of the other three cases is true. (B) is a weakener in some cases but not in others.

Now, a few things to keep in mind. We are looking for an assumption, and an assumption has an effect of always strengthening the argument. Something that is sometimes a weakener is never a strengthener, never an assumption. Finding out that that (B) allows for some cases that make it a weakener some of the time is enough to disqualify it as a possible assumption. In that sense, it's a weakener---it's a weakener at least some of the time, and that means it absolutely can't be an assumption. That's what is important in answering this question. A weakener some of the time would not be the correct answer if the question were asking for a weakener.

What we get to call a "weakener" to some extent depends on context. If we are answering a weakener question, the bar is high: something always has to be a weakener to qualify for the correct answer to a weakener question. If we are answering an assumption or strengthener question, then the fact that something is sometimes a weakener is enough to disqualify it. As in many things, the bar for disqualification is lower than the the bar for complete acceptance.

Finally, I will say: imagine this scenario--A reporter says, "The Fieldpark nuclear power plant was cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation. What can you say about the plant's current safety levels?" In response, a Fieldpark PR person say, "The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection."
That response is a classic PR-person donkey-feathers answer (PS: that expression was an attempt to avoid the use of profanity of GMAT Club!) All your red flag sensors should go off when you hear that response. It simply sounds like a response that is hiding something. Now, do we know, in a cold logical way, that it is hiding something? Technically, no, but it still should activate all your suspicions. That's the kind of statement that (B) is. In addition to the logical analysis, you also should have a gut-level discomfort about what scam it is trying to pull.

In the real world, once you have your MBA, in the business world, you will encounter all kinds of manipulative people who excel at telling you things that, from a purely logical point of view, could be fine, and if you don't have finely honed intuitions about when someone is trying to defraud you, you could suffer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Dear Mike,

I would like to thank you for taking time to write this response. I'm happy that my pre-thinking matches a lot of your response, especially case 2.

All clear now :)

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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2016, 15:44
D is the right answer

Conclusion: citizens of Fieldpark can rest assured that, until next year’s governmental inspection, the facility will not exceed the federal regulations on the amount of sieverts, or radiation, to which a person can be exposed.

Premise: the media has full access to the plant and is not prohibited from taking pictures on the premises.

To sum up, author is basing conclusion (safety of plant) based on permission given to photographers. The argument has to assume that photos present the same credible data or evidence as equivalent to that of a government agency.

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The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation, has recently allowed the media access to its facilities. A spokesperson for the plant has claimed that the media has full access to the plant and is not prohibited from taking pictures on the premises. The spokesperson promises that, as a result, the citizens of Fieldpark can rest assured that, until next year’s governmental inspection, the facility will not exceed the federal regulations on the amount of sieverts, or radiation, to which a person can be exposed.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the spokesperson’s conclusion depends?

A) The media will publish all of the photos it deems incriminating..........does not have to be assumed. they can eliminate one or two.
B) The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection............the no of sieverts may not increase but what if it has been more tahn limit from before. it has been cited as one that exceeded limits in previous inspection.
C) Communities are located close enough to the power plant to be harmed should the plant release more radiation than the regulations allow........OFS
D) Photos can establish with the same reliability what a government safety commission can.........if photographs are not reliable then why call media for taking public confidence in. So D is straightforward answer.
E) There were verifiable cases of radiation sickness in the year before the plant was cited by the safety commission..........does not matter OFS
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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2017, 06:51
Why am I not getting the picture here? I interpreted the spokesperson's claim as:

Because people (the media) are allowed to enter the facilities => Conclusion: The radiation level is safe for now

Therefore, the assumption must be something like: Those who entered show no signs of radiation sickness long after leaving the facilities.

Why photographs have anything to do here? The question never mentions that the media INTENDED to check the radiation level by entering the facilities and taking photographs

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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2017, 11:38
:thumbup: D

A & D are contenders.

Negating A wont breaks the conclusion. But Neg D breaks the conclusion

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Re: The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a   [#permalink] 18 Sep 2017, 11:38
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