Reed is an engineer at a uranium-enrichment plant near a riverside city in heartland America. As for the radioactive incidents he has endured, Reed prefers to think about other things: Hubble photographs, Albert Einstein, his dog. Reed's casual attitude toward danger infuriates his girlfriend, Julia, a biologist. Both are witty, curious, and fascinated by science. When news reports reveal evidence of radioactive pollution in the land surrounding the plant, Reed and Julia's relationship is challenged.