48 Hours a Day is a web novel created by Little Bleary Zhao.
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Chapter 1145: The Voice of Reason
“In order to counteract the leak, we have taken out some control rods one after another. The power of the reactor increased to 200 megawatts.”
“How many control rods have you taken out?” Besnova asked.
“I don’t remember very clearly. The specific operation was completed by Toptunov.” Akimov gulped hard. He looked very nervous, and his breathing was rapid as if he was about to drown.
Besnova had to find a pack of cigarettes and lit one for him. Akimov took a puff and began to cough non-stop. The hand holding the cigarette was trembling. However, half a minute later, he took two deep puffs, and his emotions calmed slightly.
“28. In the end, there are still 28 control rods left in the reactor. This is the bottom line stipulated in the safety manual. The core needs at least 28 to 30 control rods to remain inserted during the fuel combustion process. We follow the safety manual to operate, so there should be 28 control rods left in the core at that time.”
“Okay, then let’s talk about the explosion.”
“Uh, okay.” Akimov nodded. His eyes looked a little dull, but he still forced himself to recall the situation at that time, “At 1:23, Toptunov first noticed the increase in reactor power. He told me that there was an energy surge, which meant that the nuclear fission reaction in the reactor had become very intense. Therefore, according to safety regulations, I pressed the Level-5 emergency power reduction b.u.t.ton, and all the control rods extracted previously were reinserted into the core of the reactor.
“Can you briefly explain the operation of the control rods to Dr. Yevreem?”
“Of course, the control rods are used to stop the fission reaction. They are made of boron, which can completely absorb fixed neutrons. We can adjust the power of the reactor by adjusting the number of control rods in the reactor. “When I press the level five emergency power reduction b.u.t.ton, all 211 control rods will be inserted back into the core of the reactor, which will rapidly reduce the power of the reactor.”
Akimov looked a little perturbed. He paused at this point and raised his head to look at Bensonova, “Why are you asking this? The reactor is not damaged. What exploded was only the water tank. We did everything we could to continue supplying water to the reactor. Because of this, my companions and I were also exposed to quite a bit of radiation. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not taking credit for myself. This is what we should do. I just thought, I just… I, I…”
“Calm down, Comrade Akimov.”
Seeing that the s.h.i.+ft leader’s entire face had turned red and he was beginning to speak incoherently, Besnova quickly comforted him. “It’ll be fine. The fire has been controlled. We’re just doing a routine check, reporting to the higher-ups, and discussing the repair plan. It won’t be long before you and your colleagues can go back to work, so you don’t have to be nervous. Take two puffs of smoke and slowly exhale. Yes, that’s right… that’s it. Alright, you can leave now. Our conversation has ended. Thank you for your cooperation, Comrade Akimov.”
“Thank you, thank you.” Akimov looked relieved. He stood up from the stool and left the locker room with a hole-riddled body.
After that, the player spent another 15 minutes chatting with the operator that night, Toptunov. He was very young, only 26. He looked terrified and finished the conversation almost in tears.
The contents of his story were basically the same as what Akimov had said. Toptunov had repeatedly sworn that all the operations were done according to the safety manual. When it came to the part related to Katarov, it was obvious that Toptuunov was a little afraid of the deputy chief engineer, so he had been vague about it.
When Zhang Heng and the others left the hospital, it was already 10:30 am. They drove the Volga “borrowed” from DW’s office to meet up with the other four and shared the results of their trip to the hospital with them.
Mouse’s eyes widened. “Are they blind? Why are they still talking about the explosion of the water tank at this time? They are all experts in nuclear power plants! How could they be so Shameless?”
“People will lie to themselves when faced with unsolvable difficulties and responsibilities. Just like many people who run away from a hit-and-run, they know the consequences of doing so are very serious, but they still take the chance to gamble on that one-in-a-million chance. The same goes for the people at Chern.o.byl,” Zhang Heng said lightly. As they talked, he could clearly sense the different degrees of entanglement in their hearts.
It was especially true for Toptonov, the youngest among them. This young man was suffering all the time, even though they kept saying that the water tank had exploded and the reactor was safe. Apparently, only such an answer would make them feel better and relinquish their minds of the fear of the future, but somewhere in their hearts… a weak voice from science and reason was constantly reminding them of the real truth, the cruel reality that they refused to believe in.
The doctor also added. “Also, don’t forget that almost all of our current understanding of the dangers of a nuclear accident came from this Chern.o.byl incident. Before this, people couldn’t have imagined that such a serious accident would happen at a nuclear power plant. Most of these people didn’t even believe that the core would explode, even with all that graphite blocks everywhere.”
“This is an all-out disaster. We just pa.s.sed by the school gate and saw a group of children carrying school bags. They were even buying food by the roadside.”
The maintenance worker handed Zhang Heng and the others a bag of biscuits and a bottle of mineral water for breakfast. They no longer dared to eat outside, nor did they dare to eat any fresh ingredients. Only the puffed food that was isolated from the packaging gave them a slight sense of security. Although it did not taste good, they would not be picky anymore at a time like this.
Zhang Heng and the Doctor endured the discomfort in their stomachs and finished the biscuits. However, Coconut only took a few bites before she put it down. She had finished the bottle of water. Because she had vomited too much earlier, she was short of water and urgently needed to replenish some.
Meanwhile, Master Kui didn’t care about the lives of the 50,000 residents in the town or whether they would be exposed to radiation. She frowned, “So, you’ve asked the three people at the hospital, but they didn’t give us the mission completion notice. Then, we’ll have to look for the person behind the list. Who Is it again?”
“Chief engineer Fomin and factory manager Bulihanov,” the doctor said. “According to deputy chief engineer Katarov, when he left, Fomin and Bulihanov had already arrived at the administrative building No.1 of the nuclear power plant.”
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