I see the dials in my sleep. Old analog "steam-gauges". Everything is under computer control, yet they chose those for user interface reasons. A digital number just shows you what its at now - not rate of change or the limits at the extremes. You see the red line, watch the needle waver far more intuitive. Not that they ever got near the red zone. They've been lying on the bottom for months now. Nothing needs my megawatts. No one has asked yet.
Any day now, someone is going to knock on the door and ask. Chance are, there hasn't been a gram of coal mined or or a milliliter of sugarcane-gas reacted. If there is another man alive besides me, who wants to switch on a light-bulb, they will come to me.
My plant sits near the confluence of rivers, just Southwest of Regensburg. I use the water for cooling purposes. Turbines, the magnets, emergency systems. Not a drop in the vessel itself. No, for that, its carbon dioxide driven by great fans no oxygen for the graphite to burn, no water to mess with the moderation. Just hundreds of football sized pencil lead colored spheres. It is pencil lead more or less really. Graphite. Holds eraser sized chunks of mixed oxide.
Like coffee beans on a cooling table, they swirl about pushed by a giant arm. Add more. They heat up. Warm the CO-2 wind, which then goes to a heat exchanger. Turns water in the secondary loop to steam... and that drives turbines, and One-thousand-five-hundred megawatts later, the process repeats.
Someday my summons will come. All across Bayern, the people will know my name, perhaps as far as Wurzburg and Stuttgart. Society needs electricity. It runs our cars, our computers, the trains. I keep watch on the electrons.
All the others left. Put the core into to shutdown, and ran off. Wanted to find their families during the national emergency. Or were worried about the government using poison gas on the abominations nearby. Cowards. The control building is hermetically sealed, over-pressurized, and under-ground. I couldn't be safer if there was an angel with a flaming sword standing at the east gate of the compound.
Course I can fill in for them now. All there is to do around here is read the technical manuals. Or go to the training center in the northwest quadrant of the complex and run simulations. I've already rigged the solar system that keeps the emergency batteries tapped to also power a few amenities for me. A warmed greenhouse to grow food all year round, lights, hot water. All to myself.
Its already been One-thousand-Eight-hundred-Sixty-two days. Day fifteen-hundred was a fun one - threw a big party to celebrate watching the plant for as many days as its electric output. Will be a while till I have another for the thermal output of course, but someone will come by then. Begging.
I'll be a hero. Perhaps even a saint. I mean, watching an entire ten square kilometer complex by yourself has to be some sort of miracle. All the documentation recommends at least four people present in each of the control rooms - one per each f the three reactors, no less than eighteen times. On page six, seven, nine, fifteen, and thirty-four of the brown book on operations, One, two, fifty, sixty three, in the blue manual, and page two, four, ninety-six, One-hundred five, and one-hundred six of the safety manual.
Wait that is only fourteen. Where are the last four? I should know this! Its vital information for running the plant! The turbines need me to know this! How else will Germany gets its electricity! Where is that orange book...?