Al Rutgers, Manager of the Hanford PUREX Plant, has set new plutonium production records ever since he took command. But when the best engineer he had ever worked with left an “eyes only” memo on his desk in the dead of night, its message frightened him to the core. The nuclear timebomb it claimed was forming in PUREX Tunnel 1 would make Hanford, the Tri-Cities, and thousands of acres of surrounding agricultural land uninhabitable for 100 years or more. It would also lead to his dismissal and end any chance for his son and daughter to enter college. He revealed the memo to Ty Rettig, the AEC Manager, knowing that Rettig would cover it up to protect his own career aspirations.
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