Day three of our Fall production season begins in Russia. Last Thursday there was an accident —an apparent explosion that killed at least five nuclear scientists at a military test site. But the nation's government didn't speak out about it until yesterday, when a Russian government spokesman said that accidents happen, and that Russia was still, quote, "far ahead in developing advanced weapons."
There's an international mystery surrounding this incident. For one thing, it happened in a city of northern Russia that's only accessible by permit and it's closed off to international visitors. For another, officials in the area said there was a temporary rise in radiation levels after the explosion took place, though the Russian government says radiation levels were normal. Overall, that government has been pretty secretive about this incident in general. It says a blast did take place last week but that it involved liquid fuel. And all this has analysts around the world speculating that they don't know for sure that the explosion involved a nuclear powered cruise missile. Here's why that's significant.
Last year Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country had developed new weapons, ones that would make U.S. missile defenses ineffective. He said a new Russian missile would have an unlimited range, and suggested it could avoid defense missiles for as long as needed. An accident at a secret military test range could come as an embarrassment to the Russian government, and it has a lot of control over the nation's media, so it's possible that information about this explosion is intentionally being kept quiet, which has some analysts suggesting this is a cover up. Back in 1986, what was then the government of the Soviet Union initially tried to cover up an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. To be clear, whatever happened last Thursday did not appear to have given off a large plume of nuclear radiation like the Chernobyl disaster did. But more than 30 years later, Chernobyl's effects are still rippling across Russia.
国际社会对这起事故存在很多疑问 。其一，该事故发生在俄罗斯北部一座城市，该城市只有得到许可才能进入，而且目前已对国际游客关闭 。其二，该地区官员表示，爆炸发生后辐射水平出现短暂上升，但俄罗斯政府说辐射水平正常 。总的来说，俄罗斯政府一直对这起事故守口如瓶 。政府表示，上周的确发生了爆炸，但与液体燃料有关 。这一切令全球分析人士猜测不断，他们不能确定这起爆炸牵涉了核动力巡航导弹 。下面我们来解释一下为何这如此重要 。
去年，俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔·普京表示，俄罗斯新型武器研发成功，这些武器能令美国的导弹防御系统失效 。他表示，俄罗斯新型导弹射程无限，只要需要就能避开导弹防御系统 。而秘密军事试验场发生爆炸可能令俄罗斯政府感到难堪，由于政府对该国媒体拥有大量控制权，因此有关这起事故的信息很可能被蓄意保密，这使一些分析人士认为俄罗斯在隐瞒事实 。1986年，当时的苏联政府一开始曾试图隐瞒切尔诺贝利核电站的爆炸事故 。需要明确的是，上周四发生的事故似乎并未像切尔诺贝利灾难那样释放出大量核辐射 。但在30多年后的今天，切尔诺贝利事故的影响仍在俄罗斯各地蔓延 。
1. close off 隔绝；封锁；
The entrance to the train station was closed off following the explosion.
2. for sure 无疑；肯定；
No one knows fo r sure why adolescence is unique to humans.
3. cover up 隐藏，遮掩(事实)；
He suspects there's a conspiracy to cover up the crime.
4. give off 释放，放出，发出（气体、热量、气味等）；
If plastic and rubber are burnt, they'll give off poisonous gases.