Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

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Re: Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

Postby BlakeMW » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:25 pm

Zavian wrote:
Koub wrote:I think Kovarex enrichment was thought mainly for nukes. You totally can live without it if the only thing you want to do with your enriched uranium is power a nuclear power plant.


Personally, I won't use nuclear power without it. It just take too much uranium to find U-235. I would end up with a huge pile of U-238 sitting around that I would otherwise have no use for. There is a significant risk that I would fill the U-238 storage, uranium processing would stop, and I would run out of U-235, and the base would lose power.


There's basically no risk of U-238 storage running before you research enrichment if you run the U-238 belt past like 10 chests: the cost of chests is absolutely trivial compared with the cost of nuclear power you can get like 60 steel chests for the steel cost of just one reactor. I think on Deathworld I normally only have 3-4 chests for interim U-238 storage and don't have problems.
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Re: Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

Postby Xeorm » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:47 pm

BlakeMW wrote:
Zavian wrote:
Koub wrote:I think Kovarex enrichment was thought mainly for nukes. You totally can live without it if the only thing you want to do with your enriched uranium is power a nuclear power plant.


Personally, I won't use nuclear power without it. It just take too much uranium to find U-235. I would end up with a huge pile of U-238 sitting around that I would otherwise have no use for. There is a significant risk that I would fill the U-238 storage, uranium processing would stop, and I would run out of U-235, and the base would lose power.


There's basically no risk of U-238 storage running before you research enrichment if you run the U-238 belt past like 10 chests: the cost of chests is absolutely trivial compared with the cost of nuclear power you can get like 60 steel chests for the steel cost of just one reactor. I think on Deathworld I normally only have 3-4 chests for interim U-238 storage and don't have problems.

That or the active provider chests make for a good solution. It's trivial to have a stash of chests somewhere for holding odds and ends in a logistics network.
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Re: Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

Postby Zavian » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:23 am

Xeorm wrote:
BlakeMW wrote:
Zavian wrote:
Koub wrote:I think Kovarex enrichment was thought mainly for nukes. You totally can live without it if the only thing you want to do with your enriched uranium is power a nuclear power plant.


Personally, I won't use nuclear power without it. It just take too much uranium to find U-235. I would end up with a huge pile of U-238 sitting around that I would otherwise have no use for. There is a significant risk that I would fill the U-238 storage, uranium processing would stop, and I would run out of U-235, and the base would lose power.


There's basically no risk of U-238 storage running before you research enrichment if you run the U-238 belt past like 10 chests: the cost of chests is absolutely trivial compared with the cost of nuclear power you can get like 60 steel chests for the steel cost of just one reactor. I think on Deathworld I normally only have 3-4 chests for interim U-238 storage and don't have problems.

That or the active provider chests make for a good solution. It's trivial to have a stash of chests somewhere for holding odds and ends in a logistics network.


Ok. I see I need to expand on this. If the Enrichment research was removed (or just behind a bunch of prerequisites that I couldn't research atm), I wouldn't switch to Nuclear power. Adding more storage doesn't actually solve the problem, it just defers the point where they fill up further into the future.

If I am planing to switch to nuclear, then I'm happy to start mining and processing uranium, and building the reactor setup before I have researched Kovarex enrichment. But all the U-235 will be saved to help bootstrap the enrichment process. Hence I don't want to start the reactor until I have enrichment running and producing more U-235. Theoretically I could put 40 or 80 or 160 U-235 aside, and then use any extra U-235 to start the reactor, but I have never reached the point where I have the reactor built, and enough U-235 stockpiled before I get enrichment researched.
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Re: Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

Postby Xeorm » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:53 am

Zavian wrote:Ok. I see I need to expand on this. If the Enrichment research was removed (or just behind a bunch of prerequisites that I couldn't research atm), I wouldn't switch to Nuclear power. Adding more storage doesn't actually solve the problem, it just defers the point where they fill up further into the future.

If I am planing to switch to nuclear, then I'm happy to start mining and processing uranium, and building the reactor setup before I have researched Kovarex enrichment. But all the U-235 will be saved to help bootstrap the enrichment process. Hence I don't want to start the reactor until I have enrichment running and producing more U-235. Theoretically I could put 40 or 80 or 160 U-235 aside, and then use any extra U-235 to start the reactor, but I have never reached the point where I have the reactor built, and enough U-235 stockpiled before I get enrichment researched.


For me at least that sentiment seems strange. Research wise nuclear is mid tier. It takes blue science and a decent amount of it, but there's little science complexity by then so a good science output shouldn't be hard. Once you've got it it's a significant upgrade over coal power and something of a side grade compared to solar. Kovarex by comparison is pretty near the end of the tech tree. It requires both production and hi-tech science along with a healthy amount of U-235 to even get started. Viewing Kovarex as the start of nuclear power relegates it to the endgame and bypasses one of the best strengths of nuclear: that it's a midgame upgrade.

Mostly though it's the frustration of people viewing Kovarex as the beginning of nuclear power and then being frustrated that nuclear power is so hard to get to. Got it backwards.
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Re: Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

Postby Zavian » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:30 am

I have to admit that 9 games out of 10, I'll go solar not nuclear. Solar is in many ways the simpler solution. It is also easier to scale and more ups efficient. Given a choice between a simple and scalable build, and something more complex, with perhaps more ways it can fail (eg run out of U-235 and power shuts down), I'll almost always choose the simpler and more reliable solution.

Whilst theoretically I could research and build it before I get to end-game, it's expensive to research, and expensive to build. For the cost of 1000 red+green+blue flasks I can build about 32MW of solar panels and accumulators. I stopped doing the actual math after that, but by the time you build the reactor + heat exchanger + heatpipes + steam turbines, I'm probably over 40 MW of solar. So a nuclear power plant probably isn't cheaper to build compared to solar until you have 2 reactors, and 160MW of available power. In mid-game, for comparable resource cost and player time as building a nuclear reactor you can go 100% solar.

At this point if you are relying on nuclear power you need to have a decent set of chests to store all your U-238. And if you ever want to get rid of those chests you probably want to start stockpiling U-235 for Kovarex enrichment.

For me mid-game I'm probably busy building purple and yellow science. At this stage of a playthrough I don't need nuclear, and there are almost certainly other things I'm more interested in researching. If power needs expanding I'll probably build solar.
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Re: Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

Postby Xeorm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:48 pm

Zavian wrote:I have to admit that 9 games out of 10, I'll go solar not nuclear. Solar is in many ways the simpler solution. It is also easier to scale and more ups efficient. Given a choice between a simple and scalable build, and something more complex, with perhaps more ways it can fail (eg run out of U-235 and power shuts down), I'll almost always choose the simpler and more reliable solution.

Whilst theoretically I could research and build it before I get to end-game, it's expensive to research, and expensive to build. For the cost of 1000 red+green+blue flasks I can build about 32MW of solar panels and accumulators. I stopped doing the actual math after that, but by the time you build the reactor + heat exchanger + heatpipes + steam turbines, I'm probably over 40 MW of solar. So a nuclear power plant probably isn't cheaper to build compared to solar until you have 2 reactors, and 160MW of available power. In mid-game, for comparable resource cost and player time as building a nuclear reactor you can go 100% solar.

At this point if you are relying on nuclear power you need to have a decent set of chests to store all your U-238. And if you ever want to get rid of those chests you probably want to start stockpiling U-235 for Kovarex enrichment.

For me mid-game I'm probably busy building purple and yellow science. At this stage of a playthrough I don't need nuclear, and there are almost certainly other things I'm more interested in researching. If power needs expanding I'll probably build solar.

I think the only times I'd want to go nuclear in the first place is either for space concerns or for something different/showing off. Especially with a deathworld setup, grabbing that territory can be a pain.
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Re: Kovarex Enrichment is not fun

Postby BlakeMW » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:39 am

Zavian wrote:Whilst theoretically I could research and build it before I get to end-game, it's expensive to research, and expensive to build. For the cost of 1000 red+green+blue flasks I can build about 32MW of solar panels and accumulators. I stopped doing the actual math after that, but by the time you build the reactor + heat exchanger + heatpipes + steam turbines, I'm probably over 40 MW of solar. So a nuclear power plant probably isn't cheaper to build compared to solar until you have 2 reactors, and 160MW of available power. In mid-game, for comparable resource cost and player time as building a nuclear reactor you can go 100% solar.


I have done the math in significant detail and 40MW is about right - in Marathon it's more like 160MW. (it's impossible to give exact numbers because for example more of the cost of nuclear power can be mitigated by productivity modules). The thing is the cost of going from 40MW to 160MW is very marginal, at least 3/4s of the cost is upfront in the research.

What nuclear does excel at is dependable, high megawattage, it's particularly well-suited for laser turret offenses (i.e. as you might do on a Deathworld), in that case making a 160MW or 480MW powerplant (probably a fuel-saver) can be a good idea and is so much cheaper than solar/accu and at a time when it still kind of matters. In the absence of extensive laser turret usage I find solar/accu easily keeps up with factory power usage.
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