Hi Greg, I’ve had a few ideas for how you could implement nuclear reactors in GT6 in a fun, complex and somewhat realistic way, here’s what I came up with, I hope you’ll like it
First, to clear up any confusion, “thermal” and “fast” refer to the speed of the neutrons in the core, not the temperature of the core. Thermal means slow, fast means… fast. After fission, the neutrons are stupid fast, so in thermal reactors they have to be slowed down using moderators (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_moderator).
Due to quantum mechanic reasons, slow neutrons can only hit stuff like U235, U233, Pu239 and Pu241 (aka atoms with an odd number of protons+neutrons), and leave behind radioactive waste (U238, Pu240); fast neutrons can hit any fissile atom and don’t produce waste.
Now for the actual designs, finally:
-Low tech thermal reactor, based on the Light-Water Reactor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-water_reactor), which is basically the easiest possible reactor ever.
Made mostly with cheap materials (steel or galvanised steel, invar, lead etc), uses U235 oxide (UO2) as fuel and water as both coolant and moderator. Should only produce low HU/t, maybe just enough to run the invar large boiler.
Outputs HU from the top, and contaminated water from the side/bottom, which has to be processed (probably in the dryer or centrifuge). Radioactive waste and fission products (I’ll let you decide which ones should be produced) accumulate in the core as the fuel is used. Explodes if: internal water tank (input) is empty or calcified, internal contaminated water tank (output) is full, core is full of radioactive waste/fission.
It has a cooldown phase once it’s shut down, meaning that it keeps producing HU/t for a few minutes after it’s turned off. Fuel shouldn’t be able to be added or taken while it’s on or in cooldown.
-High tech thermal reactor, based on the Very High Temperature Reactor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-high-temperature_reactor).
Made with expensive materials with high melting point (tungsten, tungsten carbide, iridium etc), uses U235 carbide (UC) as fuel, graphite as moderator and liquid helium as coolant. It should produce an insane amount of HU/t.
Outputs HU from the top, and gaseous helium from the sides, which can be cooled down again (closed system). Excess gaseous helium that backs up in the reactor is vented out (voided). Radioactive waste and fission products accumulate in the core as the fuel is used. HU/t could be controlled by adding or removing graphite, but the reactor explodes if there is too much and doesn’t work if there is too little. Explodes if: internal liquid helium tank (input) is empty, core is full of radioactive waste/fission products, there is too much graphite.
Should have a high cooldown after it’s turned off, fuel and graphite can’t be added or taken once it’s on. The fuel is used very quickly, so it should have a high fuel capacity (and UC is denser than UO2, so it makes sense).
Low tech fast reactor, based on the Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium-cooled_fast_reactor).
Made with corrosion-proof materials (stainless steel, tungsten), uses U235, U238, plutonium, thorium or even the radioactive waste from the thermal reactors as fuel (either oxides, carbides or nitrides), molten sodium as coolant and no moderators.
Instead of outputting HU directly, since fast reactors are generally more advanced, it should output super-heated sodium that goes into the heat exchanger you recently introduced (low overall HU/t). The heat exchanger should then output either molten sodium or solid sodium (close loop). Only produces fission products in the core, no radioactive waste.
Explodes if: internal molten sodium tank (input) is empty, internal super-heated sodium tank (output) is full.
Automatically shuts down if the core is filled with fission products. Should have a low cool-down period.
High tech fast reactos, based on the Molten Salts Reactor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor).
Very similar to the low tech variant, but uses molten lead as coolant and molten Uranium/Thorium fluoride (UF6, ThF4) as fuel. Super-heated lead is outputted and fed to a multiblock heat exchanger to produce HU. Should have the second highest HU/t production of the four reactors.
Can’t explode, if anything goes wrong it shuts down automatically as the fuel is dumped (voided, or turned into solid and ejected, or something similar). Fuel can be added continuously through an input pipe.
I didn’t expect this to get this long, sorry ^^ I’m just really fascinated with nuclear power technology