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[Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer
What is the Price of Truth?
by - Maico Tange
technical research by Shizuka Hayama
---A report on the Accident on Frigga 77. The trutht about what brough a settlement to the brink of disaster, and the coverup that followed.
---Part VII. One Final Question remains.

Our story, which began with a meeting with an engineer in a cafe, now comes to the final question.

Who is responsible for the accident on Frigga? Who is to blame?

Jet Jaguar is first under the glare of the inquiry - a cyber with a habit of going off half-cocked, of leaping before she looks and only figuring out how to land halfway down. As Baron Frigga, she first set the tone for the settlement - its character and its intrinsic nature. She fostered a culture of getting things done, almost in spite of the risks of doing them. It was her idea to use Uranium inside the reactor core, to improve its energy output.

The presence of which would have been near harmless, if not for a design flaw built in to the reactor itself. When subject to a thermal shock - such as that caused by an interruption and sudden resumption of coolant flow - the inner reactor liner is at risk of collapsing. A collapse of the liner would expose lithium breeder blankets inside the core to the full force of the reaction, triggering a miniature nuclear explosion which would wreck the core.

The presence of Uranium only increased the magnitude of this explosion and the resulting fallout. Three tons of TNT, became Thirty. An explosion that would have merely wrecked the reactor, instead threatened the entire containment structure and required rapid actions to prevent a far greater disaster and a release of radiation which would have led to hundreds of fatalities.

This collapse, might never have happened if the reactor operators had followed the procedure rather than improvising on the fly. Nobody in the room had any formal training in operating the reactor, but they did it anyway, thinking they understood what they were doing. What they did, was the exact same thing they had always done without fully understand why they were doing it.  Continuing the test after it should have been shut down primed the accident to happen. Their well-meaning actions in the last moments - instead of saving the reactor - acted as the final detonator switch.

Lensherr heavy industries knew of at least one occasion, prior to the accident on Frigga, where liner damage had occurred inside an operating reactor core. The possibility of this occurring was never mentioned in the company literature. The reactor documentation detailed thermal limits and heat up and cool-down rates based on the possibility of a coolant channel fracture. In truth, the company was aware that this was not the case. At stake were millions of euro, and two unfinished reactors at Bielefeld.

Privately, computer modelling had shown that a rapid change in temperature inside the liner, could cause damage. The circumstances that would cause this were thought to be unlikely.

A reactor after a decade of operation, with cracks and weaknesses accumulating in the carbon-carbon liner, having its coolant supply interrupted while operating at high power, and then having it restored again without any cooldown time, creating a shock cooling event. These circumstances were replicated exactly on Frigga.

The safety test was prompted by an internal review inside Lensherr, which suggested that there was a possibility these circumstances could occur, due to a delayed shut-down. Ultimately, the safety test could fail in a manner which caused these exact circumstances to occur.

Once they did, the reactor simply did exactly what physics required of it

The test is only being run, because Frigga had begun to experience energy shortages, and requests for funding to upgrade the system had been denied by Her Majesty’s Government. Feeling they had no alternative, the Station Council began a project to modify the reactors to produce more power by hybridising them, using the Fusion reaction to drive small scale fission reactions, extracting even more energy and pushing the reactors hotter again. The test program was begun to prove the integrity of the reactor, before the program advanced.

Data logs reported by Frigga to the Convention Active Reactor Safety Committee showed Reactor 2 and Reactor 4 regularly operating for long periods at an output at times at least twenty-five percent above their maximum rated operating level. This gave them an extra ten percent electrical output. This was not flagged as a deviation by the ARSC, and no investigation was begun. It was allowed to continue.

The accident requires all of the above to be in place to happen as it did. Each participant can rightfully claim that others forced their hand, or without the actions of others, the accident would not have happened.

No crime like this has ever been committed in Fenspace. In truth, nobody is even sure that what happened was a crime.  The accident on Frigga is almost unprecedented in human history.

Whether the actions of the station council, and the reactor operators could be considered as grave an offense as endangering the collective security and safety of one of her Majesty’s settlements remains to be decided.

It seems likely the Court will find those involved guilty of deceiving Her Majesty’s Government by first covering up the accident, and doing so again after the reality of the accident was revealed - trying to downplay its consequences.

Even still, to the Courts of the Crystal Millenium, a person’s actions are only part of the picture.

Of equal importance and specific interest to the Court is the content of their hearts at the moment of action.

In the agony of the moment, What were they feeling? Why did they make the decision they did? What did they expect was the outcome? What is the nature of the darkness that overcame them in that instant? What is the light that guides them? What in their nature drives them to act the way they do?

Not just a rational what and how, but a soulful why?

I put the question to Jet herself. After a few moments thought, the answer she gave me was a single sentence.

“Where once I feared the cost of lies, now I only ask, what is the price of the truth.”

Exactly what she meant, by paraphrasing the closing line of HBO’s  Chernobyl miniseries, is known only to Jet herself.

As for the price of the truth, that remains to be decided. Within the Courts of the Crystal Millenium, and the Office of the Convention Authority, the wheels of inquiry have begun to turn. The collective Juries in the Courts of public opinion have already begun their vociferous debate.

One is left only with the impression that the price of truth that Jet Jaguar fears, is far higher than anything within the powers of the Convention.


I love the smell of rotaries in the morning. You know one time, I got to work early, before the rush hour. I walked through the empty carpark, I didn't see one bloody Prius or Golf. And that smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole carpark, smelled like.... ....speed.

One day they're going to ban them.

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RE: [Situation Vacant] Reactor Chief Engineer - by Dartz - 04-15-2021, 05:15 PM

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