Upper Palatinate, 1980s: The number of unemployed rises and District Administrator Hans Schuierer is pressured into finding new prospects for the people living in the area. So to him, the plans of the Bavarian government sound like a gift from heaven: An atomic reprocessing plant is supposed to be built in the tranquil community of Wackersdorf, which promises an economic boom in the whole region. But when the Free State of Bavaria takes action against local protesters who want to preserve the region's natural beauty, Schuierer starts to doubt the intentions of the government. Maybe the plant is not as harmless as they say it is. He starts to make inquiries, and challenges the mighty Strauß administration.