Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

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Mehve
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Mehve » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:11 pm

Based on the example pic, slightly more real estate is needed, including considerably more of the expensive underground pipes, but not a deal-breaker for larger chained setups, and you can still run steam engine rows with no gap between them.

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That said, this whole notion of recycling steam/hot water just about guarantees that the current method of simply ratio-ing the offshore pumps against the steam engines will become obsolete. Definitely looking forward to playing with that.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by White_lapin » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:18 pm

So if the reactor leaks would it produce radiation, like a slower spreading polution?

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Vinnie_NL » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:29 pm

Great FFF! I like the idea of being able to make your own nuclear setup. Play safe and have a low efficiency power plant. And when your factory gets bigger and your energy usage increases you may want to try out riskier designs. For anyone who is afraid this will be too complex for the average player, I think it won't be required, I think you can build multiple safe power plants too, or just stick to coal or solar.

And I think that when your factory grows you will be triggered to use circuits anyway, to keep your factory production balanced automatically because you can't watch everything yourself. I don't find myself a Factorio expert but after messing around for a bit I finally got my circuits working as intended. Remember the final release will have a better tutorial system, and I expect it will guide you through building your first train network, oil processing and circuits. Or don't wait and start trying now already :)

I've read some posts about that the proposed energy generation doesn't make that much sense realistically and it should be a closed loop, and while it seems nice to have it all super realistic it shouldn't become too cumbersome. Or maybe that will turn out fine to play, but that is for the devs to decide. And I expect mods to make it more realistic anyway.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by 3trip » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:04 pm

Nuclear power needs a tech tree branch that reduces the likelihood of explosion and or gives you more time to avert disaster

say at the beginning the reactor melts down/explodes after 1 minute of no water.

each level reduces the reactor's has a chance of explosion and pollution released by say 10% it also adds 15 more seconds to the melt down counter each level.

If the reactor doesn't explode it simply just melts down making it non functional and slowly leak the same amount of pollution over time unless cleaned up (picked up and replaced).

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by PacifyerGrey » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:08 pm

Please whatever you think is appropriate but

IMO Nuclear reactor explosion is the worst idea possible for Factorio as a whole. Until this time factorio was a game which could open up your creativity and did forgive you any kinds of mistakes letting you find your own way of playing it. You can also change the way you play at any moment by redoing your whole base if you wish.

Exploding nuclear reactors will punish people for the lack of knowledge or any other mistakes they can to which I find being really bad for the game.
The worst possible thing happening with your nuclear plant in Factorio should be something like emergency shutdown which would require manual restart of the reactor or any other such thing. Also you should be able to be warned before it happens so you can react accordingly preventing any loss.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by theamazingrando » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:25 pm

Isn't this Factorio? Why can't I just dump the radioactive water back into the lake to cool it down?

On the other hand, maybe that just turns the entire lake into a pollution source and pisses off the biters living around it, and then we end up with super mutant biters attacking... Sounds awesome!

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Jarin » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:27 pm

PacifyerGrey wrote:Until this time factorio was a game which could open up your creativity and did forgive you any kinds of mistakes letting you find your own way of playing it. You can also change the way you play at any moment by redoing your whole base if you wish.
This is only true if you play on peaceful. Mistakes in survival can and will result in everything being destroyed by bugs. They could easily have a "no catastrophic meltdown" option toggle on in peaceful as well.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by aubergine18 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:41 pm

PacifyerGrey wrote:IMO Nuclear reactor explosion is the worst idea possible for Factorio as a whole. Until this time factorio was a game which could open up your creativity and did forgive you any kinds of mistakes letting you find your own way of playing it. You can also change the way you play at any moment by redoing your whole base if you wish.
Nuclear is just one of the options for power generation - if it feels too risky, use the other methods instead (boilers + steam engines, solar panels, or the KS_Power or Reactors mods.
Better forum search for modders: Enclose your search term in quotes, eg. "font_color" or "custom-input" - it prevents the forum search from splitting on hypens and underscores, resulting in much more accurate results.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by anarcobra » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:42 pm

theamazingrando wrote:Isn't this Factorio? Why can't I just dump the radioactive water back into the lake to cool it down?

On the other hand, maybe that just turns the entire lake into a pollution source and pisses off the biters living around it, and then we end up with super mutant biters attacking... Sounds awesome!
That does sound awesome!

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by selkathguy » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:55 pm

I strongly agree with almost everything in this fff. I'm not sure about the heat-containing item at the end.

Perhaps nuclear reactors should be able to take water and heavy water. Heavy water would not give you any performance gain, but could allow better control of the reactor (faster switching between activity levels). The primary mechanic of heavy water would be: When a reactor would go critical, it starts burning/consuming the heavy water if any is available. The pressure of heavy water defines how quickly a reactor overheats when the fuel/water supply fails. And when it enters the critical state, it starts consuming the heavy water (which will typically take much longer to produce than a reactor will consume it) until the reaction is brought under control by fuel/water or it suffers a meltdown if the heavy water supply depletes.

This isn't quite how they work in real life, but it would serve the purpose quite well for having a late-game, powerful power source that requires an appropriate amount of complexity for that stage of the game. I think the critical point to any late-game or powerful power system is that they will require active management be it by the players' semi-regular attention, or by a circuit network designed by a player for this function.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Andrzejef » Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:47 pm

theamazingrando wrote:Isn't this Factorio? Why can't I just dump the radioactive water back into the lake to cool it down?
You, I like how you think :mrgreen:
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by ps666 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:39 am

the most efficient reactor will require circuit wiring
PLEASE not! I hate this overcomplicated shit. :evil:

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by poma » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:04 am

IndustrialCraft mod for Minecraft has a very, very good nuclear reactor implementation: http://wiki.industrial-craft.net/index. ... ar_Reactor . I recommend you to take a look and maybe borrow some useful ideas from it.

In it you can greatly improve reactor efficiency by making a more complicated setup and heating it up but it can blow up if overheated. More complex (and efficient) setups require a dynamic management with electronics and can even require replacing some melted down components in the process but can generate ~5x more energy per uranium than simple ones. There are also breeder configurations that allow enrichment of depleted cells yielding even more efficiency per uranium ore. I hope we will see something similar in complexity in Factorio. After all we already have something simple (solar).

Also I like the fact that building a simple reactor is relatively cheap, safe, and straightforward and making it to generate more power focuses more on increasing its complexity rather than size. Higher tier components require rare materials and advanced intermediates and heat management becomes harder.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by poma » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:13 am

I have an idea how to make a reactor explosion more realistic. Instead of big boom make it release A LOT of pollution on meltdown (also depends on reactor size) which will in turn attract a huge wave of biters.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by The Phoenixian » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:14 am

I've had a thought, so here's a proposed alternative to the reactor explosion, that still remains dangerous and has it's own "cool factor".

Instead of outright exploding if it gets too hot, since "no steam" = "no steam or hydrogen explosion" what if the problem is just plain ambient heat.

With everything running normally, the building behaves normally like any other building. As the heat grows however, the building starts to gain adverse effects.

At the first stage of meltdown, it starts burning nearby foliage and flammables. Trees, basic power poles, grass tiles, etc. If it can be expected to burn it will. Which also gives a excellent reason to build away from forests and use paved flooring where possible. The radius of this effect grows as the meltdown progresses.

At the second stage of meltdown, the reactor gains a damaging aura: Nearby mobs including biters, the player and even logistics and construction robots are damaged if they come too near. As with the first effect, the amount and radius of the damage increases as the reactor grows hotter. A noteworthy possibility here is that anything that tries to deconstruct the building at this point, robot or human, will take a certain amount of damage.

Only at the third and final stage do non-wooden buildings start taking damage, including the reactor itself. The fun part here is that the second stage effect of the meltdown at this point prevents construction robots from just fixing things, as the repair robots themselves will die in droves. Likewise it may well be so hot that it cannot be deconstructed without the robots dying, requiring the (well shielded) player to run in and dismantle it themselves in order to avert destruction.

As a visual indicator, these auras can be shown through as an ambient heat haze that progresses to an eerie red glow as it starts to burn flammable objects, to an unhealthy orange glow that burns biters players and robots, and finally build up to a white hot blinding glare as it the reactor finally melts itself- and everything around it, into a puddle of glass and steel.

Now, here's the really fun part: With the exception of the third and final stage, none of this impedes reactor efficiency. It should be fully possible to hold the reactor at a ridiculously high temperature, creating a field of death and destruction, and have it just as efficient, or even more efficient, than it is normally.

In the latter case it's not just a dangerous technology, it's a potentially quite safe technology that actively rewards you for playing dangerously with it. And I think that fits pretty well into Factorio's themes. Not only do you have the sense of "Am I the bad guy?" but it adds another layer to the "easy to learn, hard to master" side of things as the highest efficiencies also have the least margin for error.
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Grimakar » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:19 am

poma wrote:I have an idea how to make a reactor explosion more realistic. Instead of big boom make it release A LOT of pollution on meltdown (also depends on reactor size) which will in turn attract a huge wave of biters.
I like this idea of a LOT pollution. So you will not lose your buildings by a big bang, but you can be sure the revenge from biters will be exuberant. :twisted:

That way you can see how good your defense really is.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by zvezdaburya » Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:03 am

Steam and cooling towers sound really cool. Can't wait to set up some steam engines, send the steam through them to a cooling tower, send the hot water back to a reservoir and pump it to the boilers again. Very interesting! But is there going to be a loss of water somewhere? So you can't just have a closed loop? Surely some steam evaporates from the cooling tower?

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by DaemosDaen » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:27 am

I would like to add my voice to the "Nuclear reactor explosion trope needs to die" group. It is an old trope that was never accurate, reasoning is explained previously.

I would also like to add to that there needs to be a reason to actually use Nuclear power. Already people spam Solar/Accumulators because there is a complete lack of maintenance. No fuel is required No piping needed to be messed with. Just plop it down and your done. You COULD add realistic electricity, but honestly that would be a PITA and would take fun away from the game. You COULD make a by product of the reactor needed for the satellite (like an RTG pellet or something) but, I don't know, I personally would just make up my own goals and shoot for those instead of using a Nuclear reactor setup.

It's your game and I'm interested in seeing where the changes after this.

Just an FYI, there's smoke above boilers that are running. If you need to look Just mouse over it to see if it's running. Temp less than 100 means it's running.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Cellidor » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:51 am

Again part of the "no explosions" party here in regards to nuclear power. As for "consequences to improper setup", Having a gradually worsening penalty for bad setups would be great, as it would give players time to react. What I figure would be an interesting idea would be if the plant had its own "heat dispersion rod" or heat vents, or some other kind of "dirty" way to dispose of too much excess heat. Here's what I'm picturing:

Green: Plant is having heat taken away from it at roughly the same rate it's making it, causing no major issues (the plant's own heat dispersion abilities would account for slight discrepancies).
Level of warning: None.

Yellow: Plant is producing more heat than is being processed. At this stage, the heat vents/rod are having to run at high speeds, which would cause a gradually increasing amount of pollution added per tick to the surrounding.
Level of warning: Visible, gradually increasing levels of pollution originating from plant visible from map.

Red: Plant is producing considerably excess levels of heat, beyond what its own heat-dispersion can handle. At this point, the plant will begin to slowly damage itself over time. Even at this level, it's theoretically manageable if the player has bots set up nearby able to move in and repair it (though repairs would be costly).
Level of warning: player would be getting pop-ups warning that the plant is being damaged.

Black: The plant is producing lethally high amounts of heat, to the point that it is no longer damaging just itself anymore. This phase would be short lived, but would cause high damage to itself, and any buildings close by, including logistic robots. Robots themselves, namely, those coming in to try and repair the plant, would be destroyed by the damage before actually reaching it, meaning that at this stage, it's only a matter of time before the plant shuts down. Once the plant reaches a threshold of health (say, 5%), it initiates a shut-down, needing to be both repaired and turned back on. This would mean that even at the worst, the player has only lost several logistic robots, and perhaps certain buildings around the plant.
Level of warning: multiple warnings about damaged buildings, along with any buildings/robots being destroyed.

By doing it this way you no longer punish players who are trying and testing different set-ups to learn about how the machine works, and more-so punishing those who don't properly experiment and instead assume it's working fine and walk away. It's something that provides far more power than just plopping down another bunch of solar panels, but only if you treat it right.

As for bringing the heat from one location to another, Nothing wrong with using some kind of "heat canister". The idea would be that it's some kind of something that can hold a lot of heat as mentioned, being suspended in a vacuum-sealed surrounding chamber so the heat doesn't have any surrounding air to radiate away with (or if it does, slow enough that you don't have to worry about making them become less efficient over time). The player though, would only see it as the canister it is. It'd function much like barrels do for oil. You put them into the plant, they take in heat "fuel", are brought to where they need to go for the heat to be used.

As for the steam engines themselves, why not make the one meant for these new plants different from the normal plants altogether? I've always felt that each type of power is "separate" and it's a good feeling. Steam/boilers are their own, solar is its own...so why not something unique and separate for these new plants?

You would have a separate plant that has an input for water to come in and accepts filled heat canisters. These heat canisters would be used to boil the water and turn the turbines, and the steam would then be vented out of the machine. This would be the "inefficient" set-up. The more efficient way to do it would be to hook up the steam out-put to those "cooling towers" mentioned, allowing it to take longer before a heat canister is used up. By making it so that these next-level steam generators only accept heat canisters as "fuel", you keep them as their own entity separate from the basic steam engines. As I understand it the chain would go:

-> Some kind of mineral (thorium perhaps?) being mined for the plant.*
-> Mineral is processed into a form the power plant can use.
-> Refined mineral is put into plant. More connected plants increases both mineral use efficiency and overall heat output (so a player might want to set up their plants separated instead of connected, depending. Maybe a circuit connection could alter whether they're working in tandem or not).
-> Plant takes Cold heat canister, and turns it into Hot heat canister.
-> Heat canister is taken from plant and inserted into higher-tech steam machine connected directly to water input.
-> Player obtains power, and can balance their steam machine set-up by adding/removing cooling towers to make the heat canisters last longer/shorter (maybe multiple machines can be hooked up to one cooling tower to split the effect)

*If I recall correctly, Thorium is actually very easy to obtain from almost any part of the ground. The limiting factor might not be the mined locations, but instead the machines needed to process it.

In the end, it would open the opportunity for all different kinds of set-ups and ratios all across the production line, with the end reward being a -lot- of power for the work put into it.

That's just my two cents anyways!
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Karamel » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:35 am

MeduSalem wrote: At this point I would also like to suggest that the Boilers should have a second pipe-input as well (on the opposite site of the Steam Output)... which can be used to insert Crude Oil/Heavy/Light Oil or Petroleum gas to burn the stuff directly instead of having to use solid fuel:
Or you could just add a gasoline aggregator. They'd burn petroleum gas and generate as much energy as a single boiler fed by ambient-temperature water, and be the same size. That would make them ineffective energy-wise but compact, making for a good emergency power supply. Or even main power supply if you have plenty of oil and don't mind pollution.

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