re: #226 Dr Lizardo
It’s indeed well done, and Scherbina goes from being a bad guy to realizing just how fucked everything is, and that they have to act quickly.
I think the female physicist is an amalgam of several people, but she was correct in identifying the problem with the water collecting under the reactor and that if the core melted through, it would have caused a massive steam explosion sufficient to not only irradiate the entire region, but cause the other two reactors to blow up as well.
Particularly harrowing - getting someone with a dosimeter to scout out the plant, and they came back with not 3 rads, but 15000 rads. They burned out all the dosimeters, and the officials thought the dosimeters were wrong/broken because they either maxed out, failed due being overwhelmed, or that they assumed things that weren’t true.
It’s horrifying to know how close we came to a worst case scenario disaster beyond what we know actually happened there. Heck, the local heads of the power plant tried to bullshit their way through about the extent of the damage - and got called on it about how and why parts of the reactor core were all over the roof of the building if the reactor didn’t blow up (why it did is a mystery to those in the actual timeline - we now have a better understanding of what happened - but they needed to stop the radiation dumping into the atmosphere, and to stop another steam explosion from happening).
It’s also horrifying to know that we’re likely to see similar disaster responses in other areas because those in charge refuse to accept facts as they come in, ignore warnings, etc. That’s what Max Brooks takes on in World War Z and now in Germ Warfare (his new graphic novel).