[Pripyat, April 25, 1986 - twelve hours prior to the explosion]

Fomin: I hear they might promote Bryukhanov. This little problem we have with the safety test, if it's completed successfully... yes, I think promotion's very likely. Who knows? Maybe Moscow. Naturally, they'll put me in charge once he's gone, and then I'll need someone to take my old job. I could pick Sitnikov.

Dyatlov: I would like to be considered.

Fomin: We'll keep that in mind. [Bryukhanov enters] Viktor Petrovich, preparations for the test have gone smoothly. Comrade Dyatlov's been working per my instructions, and reactor 4's output has been reduced to 1600 megawatts. With your approval, we're ready to continue lowering power to—

Bryukhanov: We have to wait.

Fomin: Is, uh...

Bryukhanov: Are you going to ask me if there's a problem, Nikolai? You can't read a fucking face? Three years, I've tried to finish this test. Three years. [lights a cigarette] I've just had a call from the grid controller in Kiev. He says we can't lower power any further. Not for another ten hours.

Dyatlov: A grid controller? Where does he get off telling us—

Bryukhanov: It's not the grid controller's decision, Dyatlov. It's the end of the month. All the productivity quotas. Everyone's working overtime, the factories need power, someone's pushing down from above, not that we'll ever know who. [sighs] So do we have to scrap it, or what?

Fomin: No, I don't think so. If we need to wait ten hours, we wait.

Bryukhanov: [to Dyatlov] Running half power, not going to have stability issues?

Fomin: No, I should think—

Bryukhanov: I'm not asking you.

Dyatlov: It's safe. We'll maintain at 1600. I'll go home, get some sleep, come back tonight. We'll proceed then. I'll personally supervise the test, and it will be completed.

Bryukhanov: Well, I'm not waiting around. Call me when it's done.”
Tagged: Moscow, Kiev

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