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by Lester del Rey

Cover artist: Richard Powers

Publisher: Ballantine

Pub year: 1956

Cover price: 35¢


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Book detail for Nerves

Cover tagline

An explosive story of danger in a peacetime atomics plant

Back cover text

This is no story of space ships and Martians. This is a novel about the atomic world — our world. It tells of a peacetime atomic plant — supplying electric power and radioactive isotopes for industry, agriculture, medicine.

But even in peacetime, even under the controlled conditions of a manufacturing process, radioactives are dangerous. NERVES is the story of one day in such a plant — a day that begins in fear and tension ... and reaches its climax as men race against disaster in what may be the last day of their lives.

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Interior text

The day began badly....

At National's great atomic plant in Kimberly, the congressional committee was making a surprise inspection and the men were nervous, tense.

By noon there had already been minor accidents, but in the giant converters the work went on at breakneck speed.

Then disaster struck. At converter Number Four Jorgenson and his crew were running through a new and highly unstable radioactive isotope when the walls gave way. Now the process was out of control — within hours half a continent might be wiped out in the worst peace-time disaster in the atomic age.

Jorgenson had watched the isotope in process. Now only Jorgenson would know how to control its deadly potential.

But converter Number Four was a swirling chaos of radioactive materials ... And Jorgenson was still trapped inside.

In a novel of almost unbearable tension, Lester del Rey tells of men racing against annihilation in tomorrow's atomic world.