Chapter 1150: Life-Saving Straw
“Did you tell him the real situation here? Did you tell him what the explosion of reactor No.4 reactor means?” Besnova asked.
“The explosion of the reactor? That’s impossible. Nothing like this has ever happened before. The reactor is not an atomic bomb. How could it explode?” Boulihanov shook his head.
“Then how do you explain the graphite fragments on the ground?”
“I don’t know. There is still some graphite in storage at the incomplete Reactor No.5. Maybe it came from there,” Boulihanov quibbled.
“Then why did you suggest to Shelbina that he should evacuate the residents of Pripyat?” Besnova continued coldly, “Is it because of a voice in your heart telling you that it wasn’t the water tank that exploded but the reactor itself? You don’t believe your own nonsense, do you?”
“I asked Dyatlov and the shift leader Akimov that night. They told me that it was the water tank that exploded, and the radiation was 3.6 roentgen. I’ve confirmed with them again and again that they are all experienced engineers in the power plant. When it came to such times, I needed to trust my subordinates. After that, I called Moscow. The higher-ups told us to continue pouring water into the reactor, and we have been doing that ever since.”
Bryukhanov looked very aggrieved. “I called Moscow every hour to report the reactor’s situation. Fomin was also trying to find water to pour into the reactor. Then, suddenly, Vorobyov came to me and told me that the radiation was over 250 roentgen. Now, who do you want me to believe? My men? Or the cold instrument in Vorobiyov’s hands?
“If you’ve been working in my line long enough, you’ll know that machines break down from time to time. That’s why we hired experienced engineers.”
“F*ck your experienced engineers!” Besnova didn’t resist her urge to swear. “Didn’t you send Anatoly to his death? He’s also an experienced engineer, so why didn’t you listen to him?”
Bulihanov was speechless.
While Besnova was asking questions, Zhang Heng was also observing Bryukhanov coldly. Like Katarov and Akimov, Bryukhanov’s heart was obviously suffering. His rationality had already detected what had happened at the nuclear power plant, but he refused to admit it.
In particular, it was too difficult for that man to reverse what he had just said a few hours ago, in front of his boss. He simply lacked the courage to do so.
It wasn’t as if there hadn’t been some minor accident at the previous nuclear power plant. Because it was not too serious, Bulihanov’s suppressed the issue using some little tricks of his own. This had made his resume very beautiful, and he had been working hard recently. He wanted to go further. Thus his heart was more inclined to trust what Katarov and Akimov said.
He kept comforting himself in his heart. It was just that the water tank had exploded. Although he drove around the reactor once and saw the terrible situation there, Katarov and Akimov’s explanation was like a life-saving straw to him. Once he grabbed it, he could not let go anymore.
He could only repeat the original lie over and over again until he was completely overwhelmed by it.
When he realized that the radiation was more serious than he had imagined, he finally summoned up his courage and proposed to Moscow that they should evacuate Pripyat. This was also probably the only useful thing he did amid the lengthy time after the explosion.
Shelbina, however, rejected him. With the reactor intact and the radiation under control, the state wasn’t willing to evacuate Pripyat. In his view, this was fabricating nuclear panic, not to mention that this stab in the Soviets’ push for nuclear energy was likely to trigger public resistance to it. The energy plan that had been previously drawn up would probably have to be put on hold for a while.
This was also the reason why Shelbina had rejected the evacuation proposal from Bryukhanov. However, even after receiving the “whitewashed” report from Bryukhanov, Moscow still immediately set up an accident investigation committee.
“Ask him about the group of experts,” Zhang Heng said to Coconut.
“The first group of experts boarded the plane at 9 am. I just received news that they have already arrived at the Kiev Airport and are rushing to Chernobyl. The leader is the chief engineer of the Atomic Energy Alliance, B.Yaprussens. Other than that, there is also the vice-chairman of the foundation, Ignajenko, the vice-president of the Hydroelectric Engineering Research Institute, V.S.Kowitz. The reactor design and the Atomic Energy Research Institute have also sent people. There are also some other people.” Bryukhanov was very honest on this matter.
After a pause, he continued, “The second group is of a higher rank. Among them are senior assistant prosecutors, civil defense ministers, chemical warfare force commanders, and several other ministers and academicians. Their plane will take off in half an hour. But I have received news that it is not easy to contact them during the weekend, and the takeoff time may be delayed. “It’s said that Shelbina will fly over after he’s done with work.”
“Then, how are you going to explain all this to them?” Besnova sneered.
“Enough.” Zhang Heng Interrupted Besnova. After realizing that the team of experts would arrive at any moment, he didn’t want to waste any more time.
Zhang Heng didn’t forget that their goal was to investigate the cause of the nuclear power plant explosion. He could understand Besnova’s anger at the fact that Bryukhanov had concealed the truth. She was a true-blue Pripyat resident and lived in that beautiful town. Her friends and loved ones all resided there, and now, just because of Bryukhanov’s refusal to believe the truth, these people were exposed to deadly radiation.
However, this was not a problem that the players were concerned about. Compared to the disaster Bryukhanov had condemned Pripyat and the nuclear power plant workers to, Zhang Heng was more concerned about his role in the explosion.
“Ask him how much he knows about the safety experiment,” Zhang Heng said to Coconut.
The latter nodded, and after a moment, Basonova spoke again.
Bulihanov hesitated for a moment, “The safety test was designed by chief engineer Fomin. I’m actually not too sure about the specific steps, and I just briefly understood what the experiment was about. We wanted to simulate an emergency power cut and use the inertia of the steam turbine to power the pump. We’ve done this test before, but it didn’t succeed. It didn’t cause any danger, though, and since Chief Engineer Fomin felt that the conditions were right, he wanted to try again. I swear I didn’t know it would turn out like this, or I would have stopped the test before it even started.”