Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

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MeduSalem
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by MeduSalem » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:15 am

Mooncat wrote:I just think the devs already have so many things to do. So if there is a mod that can solve the problem, better try it first. :P
True, but the mod already exists in a finished state and works reliable so it doesn't really require additional work (maybe localization though) other than copy&paste what exists to the base game since it's made by an official Dev of the game anyways. It's something Klonan could do in a boring lunch break or so. I'm not implying that Klonan's lunch breaks are boring but there is surely a couple of minutes of free time where the contents of the mod could be copied into the base game. It's not that hard, at least even I can do it and I have not that much modding experience. :P
Mooncat wrote:Actually I haven't used Bergius Process and I don't think I will use it anyway, mainly because I use coal on trains and there are other mods to turn coal into other products.
I don't really think they will implement it into vanilla because that will make oil field obsolete.
I actually use Rocket Fuel in my trains hahaha... they basically never run out of energy. :D

But that said I don't think that it would render oil fields obsolete because Oil Fields basically provide infinite Crude Oil even if the yield is getting worse. That means that Oil Fields would remain the primary source of Oil Products because it's arguably more efficient to draw from an infinite source rather than to rely completely on coal as a source, which requires mining coal patches which can be completely depleted and require setting up new outposts eventually. Also relying purely on coal for producing oil products would interfere heavily with other coal consumers like Plastic. So basically the Bergius process requires the player to consider resource balancing. It's more an optional way to boost the output of Oil products in high demand scenarios if you have excess coal.

Also Klonan's mod isn't completely self-sustaining in the first place... so you can't rely on the Bergius Process alone... you have to insert some Heavy Oil that comes from regular Crude Oil or otherwise the process gets stuck, so that's a way to force the player to still rely on Oil Fields or otherwise the process doesn't work.

But I think that's something people can argue about if they want. Nevertheless it would be a nice addition to have it.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Mooncat » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:12 am

MeduSalem wrote:True, but the mod already exists in a finished state and works reliable so it doesn't really require additional work (maybe localization though) other than copy&paste what exists to the base game since it's made by an official Dev of the game anyways. It's something Klonan could do in a boring lunch break or so. I'm not implying that Klonan's lunch breaks are boring but there is surely a couple of minutes of free time where the contents of the mod could be copied into the base game. It's not that hard, at least even I can do it and I have not that much modding experience. :P
Considering Factorio is almost completed, the devs should be, and I think they are, careful before adding new features, especially new recipes. They will need to think about its impact to the existing mechanisms.

As a mod, it can be whatever the author wants it to be. Players can choose whether install the mod or not. But if it is implemented into vanilla, players have no choice. If it is not good, players will complain, leaving bad reviews. As the result, sales are affected.

Possible questions before implementing a mod into vanilla:
- Is it really needed? Any alternative?
- Are the recipes balanced? Maybe new entities specific to the recipes?

So it is not just about Klonan and his lunch. It is about the whole Factorio team (more about kovarex). :P
MeduSalem wrote:you have to insert some Heavy Oil that comes from regular Crude Oil or otherwise the process gets stuck
hm... but the image shows it takes 2 Heavy Oil and produces 3, so you should be able to reuse it?

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Axios » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:18 am

So, potentially, with nuclear power we can have:

- New resource: Uranium (to enrich for using in the reactor)
- New resource: Graphite (for control rods)
- New resource: Lead (for containement walls, barrels, radiation suit)
- A building for enrich Uranium
- Concrete / Steel / Lead barrels for stocking enriched Uranuim rods
- Reactor which create power but also depleted Uranium
- Concrete / Steel / Lead barrels for stocking depleted Uranuim
- Nuclear waste storage facility where place depleted Uranium
- Assembly plant for ammunitions with depleted Uranium

Enriched Uranium should be always moved inside Concrete / Steel / Lead barrels or we can have a covered tranport belt made with steel and lead...

Also all related technologies...

Infinite potential...

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by MeduSalem » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:35 am

Mooncat wrote:Considering Factorio is almost completed, the devs should be, and I think they are, careful before adding new features, especially new recipes. They will need to think about its impact to the existing mechanisms.
Well I can't deny that... because you have a point there.

Though I think that the influence of the Bergius Process will probably not result in a completely unbalanced game or something... I've been using it for a while now and I don't think that it makes things too easy, but maybe I haven't taken it to the extremes like other people might do (though when being honest if people take Factorio to the extremes then everything in the game becomes unbalanced no matter what).

We don't know about the effect that Nuclear Power will have on the game either, but I wouldn't argue against adding it because of that. I would say we should give the Bergius Process a chance too.
Mooncat wrote:As a mod, it can be whatever the author wants it to be. Players can choose whether install the mod or not. But if it is implemented into vanilla, players have no choice. If it is not good, players will complain, leaving bad reviews. As the result, sales are affected.
Really, you are taking a small quality of life improvement like the Bergius process (which would still be optional to use or not to use even if it was included into the vanilla game) for the reusability of Coal to the extend of it affecting potential game reviews and sales? Butterfly effect taken to its extremes. :roll: :D
Mooncat wrote:hm... but the image shows it takes 2 Heavy Oil and produces 3, so you should be able to reuse it?
It can't start processing Liquifed Coal into Oil Products without supplying it with Heavy Oil from your Crude Oil because you won't have Heavy Oil before at least processing some Crude Oil. Also if you drain all Heavy Oil (like Flamethrower, Lubricant, Solid Fuel, Cracking to Light Oil, etc) then you will also require additional input from Heavy Oil won through Crude oil to keep going (except if you do some circuit network stuff to never fully drain the pipes). That said if it's still a problem the recipe could still be balanced for example to take 3 Heavy Oil and produce only 2 Heavy Oil (among Light Oil and Petroleum Gas) instead, which then absolutely requires external Heavy Oil to sustain the production.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Enkal » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:10 am

Axios wrote:So, potentially, with nuclear power we can have:

- New resource: Uranium (to enrich for using in the reactor)
- New resource: Graphite (for control rods)
- New resource: Lead (for containement walls, barrels, radiation suit)
- A building for enrich Uranium
- Concrete / Steel / Lead barrels for stocking enriched Uranuim rods
- Reactor which create power but also depleted Uranium
- Concrete / Steel / Lead barrels for stocking depleted Uranuim
- Nuclear waste storage facility where place depleted Uranium
- Assembly plant for ammunitions with depleted Uranium

Enriched Uranium should be always moved inside Concrete / Steel / Lead barrels or we can have a covered tranport belt made with steel and lead...

Also all related technologies...

Infinite potential...
- Graphite = coal, so no new resource there, not sure if graphite is the best moderator to use though
- Lead is not really needed but could be fun, water is better radiation barrier
- Assemblers/chemical plants already exist for making stuff, should be the same if the nuclear path will include enriching uranium. Or you could always say that the planet you are on is much younger than the Earth and then there ratio of U235:U238 will be different and any uranium you mine will be enriched enough for once through fuel cycle.
- Depleted uranium could use the existing barrel mechanic, might want a storage pool for it though, could be a new building and no pollution at all.
- No need for covered transport belts really. Radiation is not that dangerous and easily contained.
- If a closed fuel loop were to be used (I much prefer this) then you would connect a chem plant to the reactor for cleaning out the by-products that would go to the spent fuel pool. With a liquid core this could be done by regular piping and an output of barrels, I guess a barrel every other week per reactor would be sufficient although a bit high.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Mooncat » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:38 am

MeduSalem wrote:Really, you are taking a small quality of life improvement like the Bergius process (which would still be optional to use or not to use even if it was included into the vanilla game) for the reusability of Coal to the extend of it affecting potential game reviews and sales? Butterfly effect taken to its extremes. :roll: :D
Maybe you're right.
I think we better wait for the new nuclear power first. Maybe it requires coal to operate (craft items, initial setup, etc.) :lol:

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by hoho » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:36 pm

As many people before already noted, nuclear plants can't really go off in a nuclear explosion. Their fuel is nowhere near enriched enough to make it go boom.

I'm all for steam explosions, though.

E.g have several "'levels" of failure states:
1) cooling isn't enough, trigger safety procedures (flood the core with neutron "poison" to cut off chain reaction. Will require time to clean the fuel and possibly will produce some sort of toxic waste that has to be dealt with before reactor can be restarted
2) chain reaction wasn't stopped, cooling fluids boil off -> steam explosion. Destroys part of the reactor, release a massive cloud of pollution. Extra cooling *must* be dumped on the core (pump in a *lot* of water or perhaps cooled-down heat-transfer-item, whatever it will be, to keep it from meltdown.
3) when core wasn't cooled down fast enough after steam explosion, fuel inside will turn into nuclear lava. Reactor is destroyed, loads of pollution is spewed. Leave behind a pool of radioactive waste (a new type of ore, perhaps) that constantly spews out a *lot* of pollution until player mines it away.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by cpy » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:07 pm

Proxy wrote:1. Mb = Megabit, MB = MegaByte

2. Why Reactor Explosions?
Reactors in RL are build in a Way that prevents any kind of Explosion in a Critical Situation.
the worse that can happen is that the Rods will Melt together into a Blob and will Destory all Normal Biological Life around it for a Long time.
The Only way a Reactor can Actually Blow up, is when it is Heavly Damaged, so that the Normal Safety Mechanisms can't work... or a Human f**cks it up.

Using the Reactors basically as a Advanced Boiler to make Steam is a Great idea. better than BigReactors with it's Reactors that simply use Fuel to make Waste and power... no Steam or anything Required.

and this Brings me back to RTGs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisot ... _generator)... which are basically Generators that will make Constant Low Power for a quite some time.
Because you started with flimsy pix stick punching trees?

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by AcolyteOfRocket » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:43 pm

Proxy wrote:1. Mb = Megabit, MB = MegaByte

2. Why Reactor Explosions?
Reactors in RL are build in a Way that prevents any kind of Explosion in a Critical Situation.
the worse that can happen is that the Rods will Melt together into a Blob and will Destory all Normal Biological Life around it for a Long time.
The Only way a Reactor can Actually Blow up, is when it is Heavly Damaged, so that the Normal Safety Mechanisms can't work... or a Human f**cks it up.

Using the Reactors basically as a Advanced Boiler to make Steam is a Great idea. better than BigReactors with it's Reactors that simply use Fuel to make Waste and power... no Steam or anything Required.

and this Brings me back to RTGs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisot ... _generator)... which are basically Generators that will make Constant Low Power for a quite some time.
Just because a reactor blows up does not mean it is a nuclear explosion. In a maloperated reactor water can be separated back to its basic hydrogen and oxygen which can then re-combine explosively. Chernobyl is an example of such an explosion.

Sure, modern reactors would shut down before this happens, but they are not built by lone agents on alien planets dodging angry biters.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Grimakar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:41 pm

Oh, c'mon. It is nuclear, it is a game, too much discussion, make it go boom, do pollution, let the bugs get angry, fun to crafties... Let reality and THE GAME Factorio come together. The addicted will not get mad because of a lack of realism. I mean the belts work without power.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Hertzila » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:10 am

Grimakar wrote:Oh, c'mon. It is nuclear, it is a game, too much discussion, make it go boom, do pollution, let the bugs get angry, fun to crafties... Let reality and THE GAME Factorio come together. The addicted will not get mad because of a lack of realism. I mean the belts work without power.
Or maybe not make it go boom. It's a game, we've already discussed it, going boom should not be the standard response of a nuclear reactor, it'll make crafting them nicer. This way, the actual reality and Factorio gameplay would neatly converge. Something something like belts.

Realism and joking aside, I can't help but wonder what all the people see in making nuclear reactors unbelievably sensitive and prone to going nuke at the slightest touch. Discourage the use of nuclear power, since nobody would use it thanks to the dangers? Makeshift nukes to make clearing biters even less involved?

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Almalexia » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:26 am

I can haz steam-powered airships? ;)

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by malfunctionm1ke » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:03 am

Rather than Uranium Reactors, I would like to see Thorium reactors or maybe Nuclear Fusion reactors for later on.

Reactors that run on Uranium Fission only developed because of the Manhatten Project to buil a Fission Bomb first.
So my reason is, if we dont get Nuclear Warheads and ballistic Missiles alongside with the nuclear power, you should go for a reactor that uses a better Powersource:

Thorium
Pro's:
Vastly more abundant
(at least on Earth)

Saver to use.
(Thorium will ultimately be bred into Uranium 233 and 232, U232 absorbes Neutrons which prohibits an excessive chainreaction, also this Reactor-type doesnt breed Plutonium)

Education
(Educate the player about new technologies being theorized right now instead of nostalgic and "dangerous" technology that is 70 years old)

Con's:
Needs a N-Source
(So you definetly need a Radioactive source that creates Neutrons to "kick-off" the Thorium-Breeding/Decay-Chain if you want to make it realistic but that can be left out of the game as we are on an alien planet)

No big explosions or major disasters
(as stated above, fabricating shells from Throrium should still be possible as it is still a very dense Material like Uranium)

OR

implement both system in the Game.

Uranium
More power output, longer enrichment process, more Waste, difficult to handle

Thorium
less power output than uranium, no enrichment needed, less Waste, save to handle, needs additional research (i.e. Advanced Nuclear Power)

Uranium and Thorium will be extracted from "Radioactive Ore" in an uneven Rate (25/75) or so, to keep it simple

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Grimakar » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:05 am

Hertzila wrote:
Grimakar wrote:Oh, c'mon. It is nuclear, it is a game, too much discussion, make it go boom, do pollution, let the bugs get angry, fun to crafties... Let reality and THE GAME Factorio come together. The addicted will not get mad because of a lack of realism. I mean the belts work without power.
Or maybe not make it go boom. It's a game, we've already discussed it, going boom should not be the standard response of a nuclear reactor, it'll make crafting them nicer. This way, the actual reality and Factorio gameplay would neatly converge. Something something like belts.

Realism and joking aside, I can't help but wonder what all the people see in making nuclear reactors unbelievably sensitive and prone to going nuke at the slightest touch. Discourage the use of nuclear power, since nobody would use it thanks to the dangers? Makeshift nukes to make clearing biters even less involved?
You are saying something there. There must definitely be an alarm for the reactors. Just like if there are eg 6 levels of heat or overheating and 6 means 10, 9, 8... Than there has to be a warning at level 5 or maybe also when the level switches from 3 to 4, just like as there are attacks from biters, so that no matter how far you are, you have time to fix your reactor.

And to speak basically, I really think nuclear energy must have a penalty, if you want it to compete against solar and coal power, esp when it is that powerful. It could be a little complicated to get the rest out of it, but for the guys who are crafties it is fun and the rest just copies their blueprints.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Hertzila » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:31 am

Grimakar wrote:You are saying something there. There must definitely be an alarm for the reactors. Just like if there are eg 6 levels of heat or overheating and 6 means 10, 9, 8... Than there has to be a warning at level 5 or maybe also when the level switches from 3 to 4, just like as there are attacks from biters, so that no matter how far you are, you have time to fix your reactor.
If nothing else, extensive circuit network information seems absolutely necessary for proper management of a more daring type of nuclear reactor. I wouldn't mind some sort of remote SCRAM button to go with the alerts.
Grimakar wrote:And to speak basically, I really think nuclear energy must have a penalty, if you want it to compete against solar and coal power, esp when it is that powerful. It could be a little complicated to get the rest out of it, but for the guys who are crafties it is fun and the rest just copies their blueprints.
Fair enough. I'm more worried about them being so explosion-prone that they are a permanently very high-maintenance option in a game basically all about making things low-maintenance for yourself. In which case, why bother when coal and solid fuel is always a great low-maintenance option for massive power generation and solar is even less maintenance-requiring?
It doesn't help that all the media has portrayed them so wrong that people seem to believe that they are basically primed nukes in disguise rather than extremely safe which, for my personal tastes, really drives me up the wall.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Grimakar » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:59 am

Hertzila wrote: Fair enough. I'm more worried about them being so explosion-prone that they are a permanently very high-maintenance option in a game basically all about making things low-maintenance for yourself. In which case, why bother when coal and solid fuel is always a great low-maintenance option for massive power generation and solar is even less maintenance-requiring?
That maintenance thing is a good point and in a game about automation, I would personally love to automate even the last particle of dust. So, just automating the reactors to produce energy would be a first, but to compete against all that maintenance stuff, clearly speaking to automate this as well, would be level 2. And therefore the wiring fits in perfectly. So, the more you put effort in that, the less time you need for maintenance afterwards. So, if you are saying "high-maintenance", there still has to be the possibility to get it to "no maintenance", if you install a security system properly.

I guess that is clear to everybody. I just wanted to recall it.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by malfunctionm1ke » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:05 am

Hertzila wrote: It doesn't help that all the media has portrayed them so wrong that people seem to believe that they are basically primed nukes in disguise rather than extremely safe which, for my personal tastes, really drives me up the wall.
[/quote]


Well... the history shows that mankind isnt fit enough to handle Nuclear power.
NOT because they lack inteligence BUT because we put them in the hands of companies that always try to minimize costs.
"Sure, lets build the control rods out of graphite. As long as nobody will do a shakedown-test on the reactor it will be fine."
"Sure, lets build the reactor on a coastline to have better access to water, as long as there wont be a tsunami, we will be fine."

I guess you see where I am going with this :)

Also, the whole waste-disposal topic is a mess. Instead of duping barrels of Nuclear waste into the North Sea to discover that they degrade and contaminate Fish, we tried to store it in Salt-domes only to discover again, that the "uncorrosive" barrels actually did corrode.

If Factorio goes down the Nuclear-Alley, i hope it takes into account all side-effects of it like waste disposal, meltdowns, higher mutation-rate and with the waste ALOT more pollution around the site where you dump/burry it.

My two cents :D
Last edited by malfunctionm1ke on Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Grimakar » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:09 am

malfunctionm1ke wrote:
Hertzila wrote:
Grimakar wrote: It doesn't help that all the media has portrayed them so wrong that people seem to believe that they are basically primed nukes in disguise rather than extremely safe which, for my personal tastes, really drives me up the wall.
I never wrote that, pls correct your quoting.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by malfunctionm1ke » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:17 am

Grimakar wrote:I never wrote that, pls correct your quoting.
How did that happen? Sorry :D

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by MeduSalem » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:05 pm

malfunctionm1ke wrote:"Sure, lets build the control rods out of graphite. As long as nobody will do a shakedown-test on the reactor it will be fine."
Actually that there are graphite sections on the lower end of the control rods was an interesting idea. Graphite is a much better moderator than the water that would be there otherwise if there wasn't a graphite section... so in theory it's a good concept for boosting the reactor power output/efficiency when the control rods are retracted.

But the design flaw in RMBK reactors (like in Chernobyl) was that the control rods could be retracted way too far so that the graphite section also left the reactor core from above (which just shouldn't be possible in such designs). That flaw is terrible... because then re-inserting the control rod causes an increase of reactivity in the reactor core before the reactivity finally starts decreasing. If you lower all control rods at once you provoke a meltdown, especially if the reactor is already in an unstable phase. If the control rods get stuck in that high reactivity position like happened in Chernobyl then it's basically game over because then you can't do anything to prevent a meltdown anymore.

Also the workers at Chernobyl didn't know about that fatal flaw because the Sowjet establishment forbade to even talk about design secrets and what the design can do and what it can't. Which is just a stupid contradiction and grossly negligent because they valued human intervention higher than automated intervention, which is the reason why there were more rods under manual control than under automated control. The automated system would never have done such an error as inserting all rods at once.


That said It should have been designed in a way that the Graphite section can't leave the reactor core from the same side as the absorber section in the first place. Instead the design should have been somewhat like this:
Reactor
In above shown design the graphite section of the Control rods get retracted from below the reactor while at the same time inserting the absorber section from above. That way you can't accidently insert all Graphite sections into the Reactor during emergency. In a SCRAM situation you can lower all control rods at once without any problems as they force the graphite section out of the reactor. Also the control rods should have been held in place with electro-magnetic locks (which they didn't use in the Chernobyl design)... so that if the energy supply stops abruptly the control rods fall down into the reactor by gravity and/or mounting the lower end of the graphite rods to springs that pull the control rod down and with that the graphite section out of the reactor if the electro-magnetic lock fails, giving it some passive safety. Would need more space below the reactor though for retracting the graphite section.

So the RMBK design could have been "improved" a lot on that part but ever since Chernobyl everyone is afraid of that kind of Reactor Concept because it is too powerful for its own good, making it hard to control.


That said the problem with the huge positive Void Coefficient would still remain, even if the control rods would have been designed like above. If for some other reason the Coolant completely vaporates then you might still face a meltdown because more bubbles mean more reactivity in RMBK designs.
On the other hand negative Void Coefficent reactors have their own problems, like if it's a boiling water reactor then a sudden increase in coolant pressure might cause condensate in the reactor and that increases the reactivity as well. So if someone accidently closes a vent or the coolant circulation gets blocked in some other unforseen way they also face meltdown.


Pressurized Water reactors and Gas-cooled reactors are definitely safer designs because they both don't fiddle around with boiling points where the coolant density influences the reactivity of the reactor all the time. Though I'd say that Gas-Cooled reactors are the safest because they are also less prone to meltdown caused by residual heat after shutdown. Pressurized Water reactors still have to be cooled even after shutdown or they might still melt from residual heat.

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