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Dragon Meets Girl

Chongqing Municipality, People's Republic of China, Spring 2026The night air was wet with mist, the ground cold beneath their bellies."What the hell are we doing out here, man?" grumbled Cope. He spoke Mandarin out of custom, even though they were alone. "I thought the plan was to hit the fuel convoy and get out fast like last time."Janssen shook his head and returned the night-vision binos to his eyes. "Won't work."He scanned the complex of buildings constituting the Chongqing Secondary Nuclear Facility that nestled at the foot of the ridge where they lay. What he had first taken to be the housings for the four reactors lay towards the centre, much smaller than others he had seen. Around it were larger buildings holding the turbine generators together with storage silos, offices and a long accommodation block. This link for educational purpose only. Please remove file from your computer after familiarization.

Chongqing Municipality, People's Republic of China, Spring 2026The night air was wet with mist, the ground cold beneath their bellies."What the hell are we doing out here, man?" grumbled Cope. He spoke Mandarin out of custom, even though they were alone. "I thought the plan was to hit the fuel convoy and get out fast like last time."Janssen shook his head and returned the night-vision binos to his eyes. "Won't work."He scanned the complex of buildings constituting the Chongqing Secondary Nuclear Facility that nestled at the foot of the ridge where they lay. What he had first taken to be the housings for the four reactors lay towards the centre, much smaller than others he had seen. Around it were larger buildings holding the turbine generators together with storage silos, offices and a long accommodation block. The huge bulk of the steam cracker and four attendant water towers that used the reactors' excess heat to manufacture hydrogen were lost in the mist to the rear, illuminated by the occasional sweeps of searchlights. Military police smoked cigarettes outside a glass-enclosed guardhouse that blocked the only road leading inside the facility's barbed wire battlements."Why not?" Cope demanded. He turned to look at his companion, broad nose dripping with dew. "It worked well enough in Guangdong.""This plant isn't like Daya Bay," Janssen replied. "These are pebble bed nuclear reactors. They're fuelled by thousands of little balls of graphite the size of your fist, flecked with uranium, and refuelling is continuous - no shutting down for weeks while they replace the fuel rods. The Chinese manufacture the pebbles off production lines, so even if we hit the convoy, they'd be able to get replacements here in days. No disruption and no point." Janssen handed the binos to Cope and wiped black hair back from his forehead. "We need to come up with something else.""Well you're the fucking techno-geek. Ideas are your department. I just blow stuff up."Janssen pointed towards the whitewashed walls of the nuclear reactor buildings. "You notice anything about the reactors?"Cope squinted into the lenses "Should I?""Yeah. They're smaller than the others we've, uh, worked with. That'sanother benefit of the pebble bed design - they're meant to be meltdown proof. The core temperature is capped below the melting point of the pebbles. There's no possibility of any runaway chain reactions because of low fuel density, so even if the cooling system fails you don't get any meltdown. It just sits there until you switch it off.""So you're saying it's tough to break?""No, it's easier because it's safer," said Janssen.Cope sighed impatiently. He thinned his lips and waited."Look at the reactor housings again," Janssen said. "That's why I wanted to come up here and see for myself. Because the Chinese are so sure of the safety record of their systems, there's no containment building, just like I thought. No pressure dome, no metres of poured concrete. So what does that say to you?"Cope stared down at the facility. "No containment building," he said. His mouth kinked in a half-smile. "Well, well, well. I'm impressed. We can be real naughty here.""This isn't a game, Cope.""No?""No.""The stakes are high, but it's still all a game. It's better if you see it like that."Janssen snorted. "I'm done now. Let's go." "Delighted to."They picked their way back down the other side of the ridge, bent low in the pitiful moonlight that leaked through the clouds. Their mopeds were as they had left them, hidden beneath a tarpaulin by the dirt road that led between the rice paddies. The night swallowed the low hum of the fuel cells as their exhausts coughed out water vapour to join the mist. Janssen and Cope began the long drive back towards the city, just two ordinary comrades on a night errand. 

Book year:

Book pages: 46

ISBN: 1692092316

Book language: en

File size: 41.39 KB

File type: epub

Published: 29 January 2021 - 13:00