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Chapter 1148: The Death Journey of a Nuclear Physicist
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Wolobiyov also noticed that among the strange group of workers, only Besnova kept talking to her. The others had been silent or whispered from a distance.
If it were any other time, Vorobiyov would have been suspicious of the ident.i.ties of the four of them, but now his mind was not on it. He did not have the time to care about the origins of the four on the team. All he could think about was how to solve this matter quickly. After that, he went to the DW office to warn the others that Pripyat might have already been exposed to radiation, and the people in the town might not even know anything about it.
When Vorobiyov thought of this, he too became angry. Bouluhanov was simply lying through his teeth, turning a blind eye to the numbers on the radiation meter. For the factory director to do this, it was better not to have any at all.
The five of them were preoccupied, so they did not talk much on the way.
The director of the Civil Defense Department brought the four of them to the front of administrative building No..1 and said, “Burhanov is in the underground bunker of the administrative building. Go down the stairs directly, and you will find him soon.”
Vorobiyov’s words meant that he intended to break up with the four of them here. It seemed that he did not want to see Burhanov’s face again.
At that time, a figure staggered out of the administrative building.
The person’s skin was red, and he was accompanied by a violent cough. It was obvious that he had just been exposed to high doses of radiation. However, compared to his physical condition, the worse thing was the state his mind was in. He looked very absent-minded, and when he walked to the front of the steps, his legs went soft, and he sat directly on them. At the same time, he muttered, “It’s over, it’s all over.”
“Anatoly!” Warlow Biyov recognized the person and said in surprise, “Why are you here?”
Hearing this, Anatoly raised his head. His eyes seemed to be a little hesitant. Then, after a moment, he recognized the person in front of him and squeezed out a smile that was uglier than a cry. “Warlow Biyov, are you still here?”
“Yes, I just measured the radiation values in various places again and recorded it down to prepare to go to the DW office to warn the people in town. You look very uncomfortable. Did Something Happen?”
Anatoly sighed, “Sigh, you reported the radiation meter explosion to Breuhanov and warned him that there was a serious nuclear accident and that the reactor was leaking radiation, but Breuhanov didn’t believe it, so he found me after that. He told me that he wanted me to be one of the most experienced physicists in the nuclear power plant. Moreover, I’m the Deputy Chief Engineer of the first phase of the construction project. I’m considered a neutral outsider in this accident. He asked me to climb to the roof of area V to see what was going on in the central hall.”
“You promised him?” Vorobiyov was shocked. “The radiation near the reactor is too high. I can’t get close to it. Just a little closer, and the meter won’t stop buzzing.”
“I can’t refuse. After all, he is the plant manager, and most importantly, I want to know what happened and whether there are any problems with our current response plan,” Anatoly said. “I pa.s.sed through the unit and went to the central hall. I knew that the reactor was doomed. But to further prove this point, I climbed up to the roof of area V according to Breuhanov’s request. I saw that the reactor’s lid had been blown open by the explosion. It probably flew over the roof and smashed down the concrete wall.
“Only half of the reactor is still covered. The reactor is still burning down there, and the nuclear fission reaction is still happening. Vorobiyov, my bones can feel it,” Anatoly smiled bitterly, “It’s the scariest thing I’ve seen. I saw graphite everywhere on the roof. The graphite came from the reactor core. It’s not a water tank, but the core of the reactor exploded!”
“Did you tell Breuhanov what you saw?”
“Of course, I told him everything I saw, but he was very angry. He just… refused to believe that the core had been destroyed. He and Fomin were still getting people to fill the reactor with water, but from what I saw, all the low-level water communication lines had been blown off. In order to restore the water supply, Akimov, Toptonov, and the others worked down there for a few hours. Their courage was commendable, but unfortunately, the water flowed into the underground compartment, flooding the cable room and the high-voltage switchgear. Instead of fixing things, it might have just caused the other three reactors to lose power as well.”
“Brekhanov and Fomin are no longer reliable. We should inform the others immediately,” Vorobiyov said seriously.
“Baldasarov has already shut down reactor No.3. Although Fomin did not allow him to do so, he shut it down anyway when he noticed that the water level in the dega.s.sing tank getting lower. Fomin is probably furious about this, but he will thank Baldasarov one day. If Baldasarov had not shut down reactor No.3, its core would’ve melted down by now.”
As Anatoly spoke, he coughed violently again. “It’s so uncomfortable. I feel like my lungs are on fire. Vorobiyov, I don’t think I can survive this.”
“Hang in there, buddy. I’ll take you to the medical center now.” Vorobiyov no longer cared about Zhang Heng and the others. He stepped forward and helped Anatoly up, letting the latter lean on his shoulder. They then walked quickly toward the parking lot.
The players looked at each other. Even though they had more or less realized that Breuhanov and Fomin were suspected of negligence, this was still beyond everyone’s expectations, in particular, the fact that Breuhanov had sent his top nuclear physicist to investigate the reactor with his life. However, once the results were different from what he had imagined, he refused to believe the facts before him.
On the other hand, Vorobiyov and Anatoly’s words shocked Besnova even more. Even though Zhang Heng had told her that the reactor had exploded when they first met, she did not know nuclear physics at that time, so she had no idea how serious the situation was.
As she came into contact with more and more nuclear power plant workers, from Katarov to Anatoly, her understanding of the reactor grew deeper and deeper. However, it was still far from being comparable to those nuclear physicists. Nevertheless, it was also because of this that she understood what she was facing now.
This was a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions!
And now she was following the players, trying to piece together the cause of this disaster like a jigsaw puzzle.