W. Michael Hewitt has degrees in chemical engineering and nuclear engineering and a long, successful career managing nuclear and hazardous wastes for the federal government and private industry, both domestically and internationally.
Hewitt’s inspiration for Nuclear Time Bomb, his first novel, came from an inability to find out exactly what was placed in the PUREX Tunnels at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in eastern Washington on the Columbia River. What a perfect setting for a techno-thriller.
The PUREX Plant is where the plutonium for three-quarters of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal came from. The PUREX Tunnels still contain wastes produced in the PUREX Plant that were too radioactive to transport across the Hanford Site to the normal disposal grounds.
A premise of the the Nuclear Time Bomb is that in 1965, an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) executive (Ty Rettig) covered up the disposal of an unstable explosive mixture of highly radioactive materials in PUREX Tunnel One. This is described in a prequel novella to Nuclear Time Bomb titled, NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE, which was published on Amazon October 25, 2020 (https://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Nightmare-Psychopathic-Devastate-Northwest-ebook/dp/B08LXFKMTM/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=w+michael+hewitt&qid=1625156429&sr=8-2 ). It describes the circumstances that led to the explosive materials being placed in the tunnel and is a yarn of corruption, deceit, and murder by Tyrone Rettig, the antagonist in NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE, NUCLEAR TIME BOMB, and STRATAGEM.
I strongly recommend reading NUCLEAR TIME BOMB before reading NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE despite the order of publication and time frames for the books.
Decades after the PUREX leak at occurs in NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE, Dr. Essie Openwaters discovers the secret of the time bomb in a memo that had been hidden for fifty years. Essie becomes an assassination target as she works to unravel the mystery while striving to protect a quarter of a million people from the pending explosion and resultant widespread radioactive contamination.
Essie is the perfect protagonist. She is gifted with beauty, high intelligence, an athletic body, a strong moral compass, and a commitment to protect the Pacific Northwest cities that are at risk.
Her nemesis in NUCLEAR TIME BOMB, Dr. Tyrone Rettig, has the same gifts except for the moral compass. Rettig is an evil sociopath intent on destroying Essie because she discovered his old secret and may uncover others. If Essie publicly unveils Rettig’s cover-up, a covert nuclear cabal (The Stewards) will terminate his life.
I am currently working on STRATAGEM. It is in its fifth draft, being reviewed by beta readers, and will enter developmental editing on August 2, 2021. I am also working on the third novel in the Essie Openwaters series which I have yet to name.
Enjoy and let me know what you think. As always, stay tuned and stay safe.
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