News Report

Intermediate level

US nuclear force still uses floppy disks

Episode 160621 / 21 Jun 2016

Step 1: Listen

You're going to hear a genuine BBC news report from 26 May, 2016. Before you listen, read these three summaries:

1. America's nuclear defences are using very modern technology.
2. America's nuclear defences are using outdated technology.
3. America's nuclear defences have recently improved their technology.

Step 2: Learn the key words and listen again

How was that? Try listening again. Here are three definitions of key vocabulary items which may help you.

arsenal
collection of weapons

upgrade
improve the quality of something

deterrent 
something that prevents people doing something 

Step 3: Transcript and answer

The US government Accountability Office says it's concerned that many federal activities, including the country's nuclear arsenal, urgently need to upgrade outdated technologies.

It said Pentagon systems helping to coordinate the strategic deterrent, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombers rely on 40-year-old computers and floppy disks.

Answer

2. America's nuclear defences are using outdated technology.

This bulletin comes from BBC World Service Radio.