The Connor Wars Writer’s Room 45 – Nuclear Reality Imitating Art

On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit with an earthquake, followed by a tsunami. As a result, several nuclear reactors have become “cranky”. I’d be lying if I said this excerpt from The Connor Wars F0401 – “Chronicle” (pp 23-24) wasn’t often on my mind as images and videos of the deteriorating situation have been released (note: not in proper format):

EXT. SERRANO NUCLEAR POWER PLANT – DAY

With its cooling tower and deserted, battle-scarred,
grounds, Serrano seems both peaceful and ominous.

CLIO (V.O.)
Twenty-three minutes later, the core
of reactor one burned through its
containment.

Nothing much has changed except some steam emerging from the
reactor building. Other than that, it still seems peaceful
and ominous.

EXT. SOUTH POINT – AFTERNOON

John, Cameron, and Dwayne stand next to the Humvee staring
at Serrano about six kilometers away. Surrounding them are
the skeletons of burned out and crumbling buildings. Fires
and earthquakes have devastated the area.

Several Platoons of SOLDIERS stand around, watching Serrano
in the distance.

CAMERON
I see steam venting from the reactor
building.

JOHN
The core melted.

A SOUNDLESS (for twenty seconds) explosion sends some small
amount of debris from the containment building. A dark cloud
rises.

CAMERON
Skynet’s explosive. The reactor
pressure vessel has been breached.

DWAYNE
What does that mean?

CAMERON
Containment has been lost.

JOHN
Skynet sabotaged the reactor, making
sure as much radiation as possible
would be released.

Now a DOUBLE BOOM rolls over them as the sound of the
explosion reaches them.

JOHN (cont’d)
Now we wait.

The western sky starts exploding with color as the sun sets.

Before I wrote this, I did a fair amount of research about what happens in various meltdown scenarios with a variety of plant designs (Serrano being a mythical amalgam of common US types). Of course I made the fictional situation worse than is reported to be the case in Japan as of this writing–what with sabotage and a full meltdown and all. Still, this video is eerily similar to what I was imagining:

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