In the summer of 1986, just weeks after the Chernobyl disaster, a major accident occurs at the nuclear power plant in Winden. Then-director Bernd Doppler manages to cover up the incident by bribing his employees. He stores the radioactive nuclear waste in yellow barrels in one of the caves on site.
In November 1986,the new director of the nuclear power plant Claudia Tiedemann finds out about the accident. Under pressure from Bernd Doppler, Claudia doesn't go public with the information. Instead, she closes off the entrance to the cave holding the barrels. Aleksander, who is new in town and looking for work, is hired to weld the iron door.
Upon closer examination of data from the accident, Claudia discovers important evidence that proves the existence of the God particle.
Atomic waste at a truck stop
Thirty-three years later, police are searching the plant site for signs of the missing children. To ensure they don't find the barrels, Aleksander Tiedemann – now director of the plant – has them loaded onto a truck and driven off site.
The Stranger finds the truck at a truck stop and breaks in. He fills a small metal cylinder with a substance from one of the barrels. It's 137-Cs, a radioactive isotope of Caesium. He needs it to activate his time machine and close the passage in the cave.