Kymberly Wells is a reporter from a local US TV station in search of a big scoop. Together with her cameraman Richard Adams she is given the task to shoot a report on a nuclear power plant located in the neighbourhood. In the middle of all the filming and interviewing, an accident at the power plant causes widespread panic among the powers-that-be. When the crisis is over, Kymberly and Richard (who managed to secretly film the whole event) decide to go public with a sensational report. They are temporarily silenced by Kymberly's editor-in-chief, who refuses to air such disturbing and politically dangerous news. With the help of scientist Jack Godell, who works at the plant, they become involved in a plot that might have devastating implications. But eventually truth prevails and the public is told at last.
During the cold war people were well aware of how dangerous the use of any kind of nuclear power might turn out to be. The political commitment of the time is fully embodied in Kymberly and Richard, determined to put their own life in jeopardy in order to report about the nuclear danger. Scientist Jack Godell has left his belief in the neutrality of science behind, and is tormented by doubt up to his tragic end. Disturbingly mixing truth and fiction together, this film premiered short before the near-accident of Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. An interesting aside: the title comes from the striking (though scientifically groundless) idea that the molten core of a nuclear reactor might sink deep into the Earth and re-surface on the opposite side, which would mean China in the case of the United States.