Preventing Chernobyl Ii

It's a hot spring afternoon in the Bulgarian town of Kozloduy, an odd mix of peasant huts and concrete high rises scattered alongside the Donau River. On a flat hilltop just outside of town, a tall, barbed-wire fence rings a Soviet-designed nuclear power plant. Inside a grubby reactor control room, chief reactor engineer Vasil Manolov, 40, is angrily kicking a yellowed box full of half-exposed electronic parts. "Look at this garbage," he says as he pokes at a twisted web of wires that process data from a reactor just 100 feet away. "It's a miracle this stuff still works."

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