Typing Test


of departments and sections, asking for help. You could see the realization of what he'd helped do hitting him. According to the panels, the control rods were stuck halfway down. Two trainees, kids just out of school, were standing around frightened, and he sent them off to lower the control rods by hand. "The investigator is weeping!" my brother said triumphantly, again. "This is a great tragedy," I told him, as though chiding him. The other engineers gazed over from their beds. "Oh, yes," he said, as though someone had offered him tea. "Tragedy tragedy tragedy." When it became clear that he wasn't going to go on, I asked him to tell me more. ""He remembered Perevozchenko saying. Their lungs felt scalded. Their bronchioles and alveoli were being flooded with radionuclides. Akimov had sent him to ascertain the amount of damage to the central hall. He'd made his way to the ventilation center, where he could see that the top of the building had been blown off. From somewhere behind him he could hear radioactive water pouring down the debris. Steel reinforcing beams corkscrewed in various directions. His eyes stung. It felt as though something was being boiled in his chest. There was an acid taste to the steam and a buzz of static on his skin. He learned later that the radiation field was so powerful it was ionizing the air. "Take that down, investigator," Mikhail said. He tried to drink a little water. The Maximum Permissible Dose At 1:23:58, the concentration of hydrogen in the explosive mixture reached the stage of detonation and the two explosions Mikhail had felt in the information processing complex destroyed the reactor and the reactor building of unit No. 4. A radioactive plume extended to an altitude of 36,000 feet. Fifty tons of nuclear fuel evaporated into it. Another 70 tons spewed out onto the reactor grounds, mixing with the structural debris. The radioactivity of the ejected fuel reached 20,000 roentgens per hour. The maximum permissible dose, according to our regulations for a nuclear power plant operator, is five roentgens per year. Some Rich Asshole's Just Lost His Job Petya said the explosions made the ground shake and the water surface ripple in all directions. Pieces of concrete and steel started landing in the pond around them. They could hear the hissing as the pieces cooled. For a while they watched the cloud billow out and grow above the reactor. By then the fire was above the edge of the building. Through a crack in one of the containment walls they could see a dark blue light. "Some rich asshole's just lost his job," he remembered remarking to his friend. I assume he meant someone other than his eldest brother. And by then they'd both begun to feel dreadful. Their eyes streamed tears as they reeled about, so sluggish and disoriented it took them an hour to traverse the half kilometer to the medical station. By the time they arrived, it resembled a war zone. The Individual Citizen in the Vanguard How much difference could an individual bureaucrat really make in our system? That was a popular topic for our drinking bouts. For the epic bouts, we seemed to require a Topic. The accepted wisdom, which tempered our cynicism enough to smooth the way for our complacency, was that with clever and persistent and assiduous work and some luck, the great creeping hulk that was our society could be nudged in this or that direction. But one had to be patient, and work within the system, and respect the system's sheer size. Because, you see, our schools directed all their efforts to inculcating industriousness (somewhat successfully), obedience (fairly successfully), and toadyism (very successfully). Each graduation produced a new crop of little yes people. Our children learned criticism from their