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The Four Reactor Foam Flood was one of the major incidents of the Toothpaste Disaster. While the Foam Flood on it's own did not qualify as a Disaster per the Incident_Terminology_Categorical_Hierarchy, it did fall into the next lower category of incidents, "Minor Equipment Misfunction (resulting in less that 50,000 deaths)". Combined with the other related incidents described in this encyclopedia and glossary, however, the "Disaster" designation is well deserved.

The Four Reactor Foam Flood is the term commonly used to describe the release of a highly dangerous chemical foam from four high-yield BrightHappyComplex class nuclear fission reactors. The following excerpts from the Four Reactor Foam Flood Frequently Asked Questions file (Classified Violet clearance) help explain the events which led up to the flood, why the flood was so devastating, and what the repercussions of the flood and the events surrounding it were for Alpha Complex:

Frequent Asked Questions about the Four Reactor Foam Flood:

Which reactors were effected?

The Effected Reactors were: Nuclear Facility ROC-361; Nuclear Facility RON-372/A; Nuclear Facility ROD-182/C; Nuclear Facility ROM-38.

Why did this happen?

Triboromethyloxine foam is a harmless1 anti-radiation agent released by all BrightHappyComplex class reactors when they go into emergency shutdown mode. The foam both decontaminates irradiated equipment and personnel, and provides additional radiation shielding around the reactors, should the emergency situation cause the accidental release of dangerous levels of radiation. Normally, a sufficient quantity of foam is released to fill the corridors, workspaces, and utility crawl-ways with-in 100m of the effected reactor. The simultaneous misfunction of the Triboromethyloxine pumps at each reactor caused approximately 630x more foam than normal to be released, resulting in the flooding of ROC, RON, ROD, and ROM sectors.

Why did the reactors go into emergency shutdown mode?

A Transbot being used to deliver Toothpasty_Supplement_#5 to undersupplied sectors via the ATTIC system crashed through the containment vessel of Nuclear Facility RON-372/A, causing the release of fissionable materials and coolant into RON sector. The reactors in adjacent sectors (ROC, ROD and ROM) share a common coolant loop subsystem, and detecting both the sudden increase in background radiation and the drop in coolant pressure, also initiated an Emergency Shutdown.

Why did "harmless" anti-radiation foam dissolve my {body part}?

The Triboromethyloxine foam combined with Beta-Toxsystene. The resulting substances, Triboromethylene and Beta Toxiborosystene, both somewhat dangerous2, are able to dissolve over 12 cubic meters of organic matter per second. Be happy, citizen, as over 70% of the inhabitants of the effected sectors were completely dissolved. You're one of the lucky ones!

Where did all of this Beta Toxsystene come from?

The Beta Toxsystene was present due to the large-scale leakage of Toothpasty_Supplement_#5 from the damaged pipelines used for the standard transportation of this substance. [Note: This 'leakage' was in fact a near-total spill of TS #5, and it had been going on for some time. This and similar leaks were responsible for the shortage of this supplement in many sectors. -- Mesh-U]

Was this combining of substances accidental, or the result of a traitorous plot to harm Alpha Complex?

The Computers data analysis teams estimate that there is only a 6.8% chance that the various failures necessary to create this incident were coincidental accidents. Current investigation indicates that the sabotage was most likely caused by a combination of traitorous human citizens and rogue Denta-Bots. [Note: To bring this up to date, it is now known that at least some of the 'traitorous human citizens' were actually being controlled by rogue Robobraces units, using their particularly unpleasant mode of orthodontal torture to coerce their human hosts. -- Mesh-U]

What other effects did this incident have on the sectors housing the reactors?

Several other effects resulted from this incident, impacting their respective sectors:

If this was a traitorous plot, who stood to benefit from the results?

It is unknown at this time what may have motivated this massive sabotage. However, since the foam only effected organic materials, it is likely that it was at least in part engineered to allow unobserved action by rogue bots. [Note: Hopefully, the further investigation of this committee will determine who else may have benefited by this incident. Clearly, secret societies must have been involved in the coordination of something on this scale. -- Mesh-U]

When will we have electricity and heat in my sector again?

Service has been restored to all critical substations in the effected sectors. Citizens of Yellow and lower clearance may continue to experience outages in their barracks, commissary and duty station environments for the next 2-5 monthcycles. Thank you for your patience and cooperation, citizen. Power Services apologizes for any inconvenience. Your continued happiness is important to us. And Mandatory.

What is being done / has been done to return the effected sectors to normal operation?

The hardened foam has largely been removed from the effected sectors, by teams of troubleshooters equiped with high-pressure sprayers filled with ChemiLuminoOxygrin (CLOg). This substance has proven highly effective in dissolving the hardened foam while simultaneously reducing it's ability to dissolve organic matter dramatically, saving the lives of over half (52.3%) of the troubleshooters assigned to this duty. Tech and Power Services work dilligently to restore power and services to the effected sectors, and HPD&MC has erected a number of "comfort camps" for low-clearance citizens who are temporarily displaced from their housing units.

Why am I being terminated?

The Computer has determined that it is cost and resource effective to terminate rather than treat citizens of Red clearance and below who were exposed to this incident. It is also believed that this step will help ensure the continued happiness of citizens in other sectors, who will not be exposed to incorrect versions of events by surviving low-clearance citizens. Please step quickly into the termination booth. Your cooperation is appreciated. Have a nice day.


1 Triboromethyloxine foam's harmless rating is based on a less than 5% casualty rate in testing, mostly due to drowning and allergic reaction.

2 Since these substances only effect organic matter, and have far less effect on non-organic computer property than most similar solvents, the "somewhat dangerous" designation has been assigned. If further analysis indicates long-term damage to computer property, these substances may be upgraded to "dangerous".

-- Compiled and editted by Mesh-U-GNA-1

Refs: Incident_Terminology_Categorical_Hierarchy, Robobraces



I've looked into the transbot cargo routing manifest - a transbot carrying that much Toothpasty_Supplement_#5 shouldn't have been allowed anywhere near those reactors, given the reaction between Triboromethyloxine foam and Beta-Toxsystene.

The route was automatically selected - had more up-to-date code been in use, automated checking might have noted the danger, but ATTIC uses a certain amount of Legacy_software. This route was then authorized by My-O-PIC-2, the local ATTIC logistics supervisor, who did not have sufficient clearance to know about the interactions between the two substances in question.

For normal PLC logistics groups, there are Safety Specialists checking for interactions like this, and all supervisors are at least GREEN clearance. Parties involved in ATTIC have testified that "the system was only designed to transport Troubleshooters, and they die all the time no matter what you do." Not particularly helpful.


Err, you're quite right about the route, and as for the loading of the transbot in the first place there are various safety devices in effect for loading improper materials and/or weights into the ATTIC system. For more on that, you should examine my own report on the Early_Warning_System

-- Watt

2013-06-13 13:57