Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

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Speadge
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Speadge » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:34 pm

i love the "danger" of using the nuclear option
The problem is, that changing between the production levels won't be instant, so trying it shut down too late might not be enough to prevent overheating and explosion ... a big one.
that sounds almost like i always wanted the nuclear mods to be before.. the more time u spent in desining a reactor,, the better is its use.... and u can even scale it up.

admit it, u were checking the nuclear mods and its forums before :D

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Xterminator » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:46 pm

Glad to have a general release date for 0.15 albeit it longer than I thought. :P Gonna be totally worth it though!

I like most the proposed changes and additions in regards to steam power, boilers, and the nuclear reactor. I like the potential for it to explode if you aren't careful, but I am a bit hesitant about the idea of it requiring circuitry to work at 100% sense I think the majority of Factorio players (myself included) don't know much about circuit network stuff. I mean Factorio is already fairly complicated and complex, and I think making something require circuit network stuff to actually work completely properly could end up bad. I mean, even veterans with 100s or 1000s of hours don't understand circuit stuff.

Really it's not a huge deal sense you guys did say it would be possible to build it to "almost" work at 100% without the circuit stuff. Will be interesting to see how it goes.
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Marconos » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:48 pm

Looking really good, Febuary is when the current large project that I'm on comes to an end. Would be perfect timing for me!!

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by archanison » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:51 pm

On the topic of the reactor it mentioned a heat storage, what if instead it just had a heat displacer using copper plates and 1 or 2 electric engines (to run fan blades) effectively being a large heat sink block. Can be placed next to reactors to connect

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by MeduSalem » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:51 pm

Thinking about it again... I ask myself if it wouldn't be possible to make boilers turn water into Steam if the temperature becomes greater than 100°C... so after your 12/13 boilers the Water turns into Steam... and if there are additional boilers then the steam temperature continues to go up.

Internally it could be calculated as one and the same fluid (water)... but for the display in menus or on hover the label would be Water if the temperature is below 100°C and Steam if its above 100°C.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by roy7 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:54 pm

In terms of storing heat in an item, it reminds me of a chemical heating pad my mother had years ago. You'd boil it to "melt" the inside back into a liquid and store it. When you need the heat, you click a little catalyst/metal thing inside the pad and it starts a chemical reaction that converts the liquid back to a solid and releases all the stored heat over time.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Andrzejef » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:57 pm

Hmm, seems I'm late for the praise party (doubt seems to start creeping in). But aww hell, here I go :)

First, I'm very excited about water/steam handling changes, even tho it would mean complete factory rework (at least things will get a lot more logical in where the first "stone" was laid ;) )
Second - a question, seeing a lot of steam-love recently - do you plan on making steam engine locos? If so - and I get a good feeling that you do - cheers! :)
Third - nuclear power means progress. Hooray for progress! :mrgreen: (green because you know, nuclear power, it seems fitting)
Fourthly - Have you thought about nuclear waste? Any way to utilize it (designating dump-zones, logistic or "analog"), or weaponize it (e.g. crashing trains hauling nuclear waste over biter nests )?
And last but not least - I don't like the idea of heat transfering through hot metals. Think of the material that would need to be used to isolate. No, I like the notion, but it seems a bit off.

But, overall, 4/5 smiles, so the changes are cherry :)

And a little suggestion - as you said you get inspirations from TTD - don't know how hard, or resource-eating it would be, but I think it would be cool to have non-flat world :)
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Jackalope_Gaming » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:11 pm

If you're going to have the boilers output steam that way, could you please have their graphics showing them on and working regardless of orientation or how many pipes are connected to them? Currently it's best to place boilers horizontally to see if they're working since they don't give that visual while vertical.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by torham » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:16 pm

Diablo wrote:
We are just trying to force easy to learn hard to master again.
Usually when developers start to try and force a certain type of gameplay/gametype. It doesn't end well.

Please don't force circuit play, most people have trouble understanding the "normal" function of these items anyway ...
I don't think I have ever connected, or even made the circuit cables or the magicadoohikies from circuit networks.

But I suspect that there will be an option to just use the reactors in some crude way without too much effort, and just overengineer the power supply.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Machine Medic » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:22 pm

In regards to the prospective storage of thermal energy addressed in this FFF: Do some research into thermal storage solar farms. If my memory serves me correctly, they utilize some form of molten salt such as NaK to do the job.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Hiddencamper » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:46 pm

I'm a Senior Reactor Operator in the US.

I love that we are getting reactors. I see you want reactors to explode due to excessive power generation / demand mismatch!

This is just some thoughts:

In an actual power reactor, if the power grid did not have enough demand operators will start manually lowering reactor power. If the mismatch is bad enough, the power/load unbalance circuits will cause the main turbine to shut down, which in turn causes a reactor SCRAM. At that point, you have no electricity output (very little heat output), and it takes a LONG time to get through the procedures and requirements to restart the reactor.

I've seen pressurized water reactors restart the core no sooner than 4 hours (for a very cut and dry scram). But for something like a power grid issue, or a few years ago when my plant had one of our main generator fuses blow, it took us 24 hours to go through all the shutdown procedures, do required shutdown testing, then restart the reactor.

So maybe one way to implement this, is a tech upgrade for reactors for an improved Reactor Protection System (Actual system in a nuclear plant), which instead of having an explosion, it causes the reactor to shut down for some extended period of time. This would mimic xenon poisoning that some reactors get after a SCRAM, where they cannot restart until the xenon has decayed away. Another possible upgrade would be for higher fuel enrichment, allowing the reactor to restart sooner after a SCRAM, but very slowly, again mimicing plants which have "Xenon Override Capability" where we use higher energy fuel and are able to restart anytime, but we have more problematic core limits because of the xenon poisoning.

Just some thoughts. If anyone has any questions on BWR or PWR nuclear power plants or their operation/design feel free to send me a PM on reddit (/u/hiddencamper)

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Fatmice » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:35 pm

Hiddencamper wrote:I'm a Senior Reactor Operator in the US.

I love that we are getting reactors. I see you want reactors to explode due to excessive power generation / demand mismatch!

This is just some thoughts:

In an actual power reactor, if the power grid did not have enough demand operators will start manually lowering reactor power. If the mismatch is bad enough, the power/load unbalance circuits will cause the main turbine to shut down, which in turn causes a reactor SCRAM. At that point, you have no electricity output (very little heat output), and it takes a LONG time to get through the procedures and requirements to restart the reactor.

I've seen pressurized water reactors restart the core no sooner than 4 hours (for a very cut and dry scram). But for something like a power grid issue, or a few years ago when my plant had one of our main generator fuses blow, it took us 24 hours to go through all the shutdown procedures, do required shutdown testing, then restart the reactor.

So maybe one way to implement this, is a tech upgrade for reactors for an improved Reactor Protection System (Actual system in a nuclear plant), which instead of having an explosion, it causes the reactor to shut down for some extended period of time. This would mimic xenon poisoning that some reactors get after a SCRAM, where they cannot restart until the xenon has decayed away. Another possible upgrade would be for higher fuel enrichment, allowing the reactor to restart sooner after a SCRAM, but very slowly, again mimicing plants which have "Xenon Override Capability" where we use higher energy fuel and are able to restart anytime, but we have more problematic core limits because of the xenon poisoning.

Just some thoughts. If anyone has any questions on BWR or PWR nuclear power plants or their operation/design feel free to send me a PM on reddit (/u/hiddencamper)
Indeed, explosion from steam is due to secondary and tertiary failure. The SCRAM should take care of the immediate danger. The latent decay heat and delayed neutron is the source of heat that must still be removed in a SCRAM reactor. This is where failure of secondary and tertiary heat circuits can lead to boiling of water, generation of hydrogen from hydrolysis. An ignition source / overpressure from this will result in the explosion.

I am very happy that they've taken concepts from my mod and added to the base game. I am hoping that these extension will allow me to extend my mod even more.
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Billbock » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:43 pm

With the number of post i have not taken time to read them all and see if it was already posted

You said in the FF that : I was even considering adding option that is not realistic (at least with the current technology), [...] that you could store the heat in some kind of item

Current technology allow this, often called thermal energy Storage, it is more commonly used in Solar Oven kind of power plant. It heat Molten Salt to a temperature of around 1050F and store the salt in Insulated reservoir. As the solar oven just work during sunny day, when the sun is not there or if there a high demand, the accumulated heat is used to boil water and make steam turbine work.

http://www.solarreserve.com/en/technolo ... gy-storage

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Andrzejef » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:53 pm

yes, but is the heated core mobile? I think that FFF's point for having such cores is to be able to transport heat with them via logistics system or as cargo.
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Solyx » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:22 pm

A few thoughts.

One, Molten salt, refined from stone ore, could be used from nuclear plants, and hauled with tanker trains.

More important thought: Meltdown.

I don't mind the idea of a meltdown. I like that you can't make your nuclear plant too efficient without some serious fine-tuning. It allows end-game strategizing. And coal or oil work just fine for people that want to avoid it.

With that said, some people are worried about the idea of it blowing up, and while I don't mind it, I do have an alternative. You can maybe work this into the mechanics of however you have it use and process nuclear fuel, but basically if a nuclear plant overloads it does two things.

1. It stops working. It takes a long time to start up again. Say, 2-3 days. Should be under 10% power for more than one day-night cycle.

2.It release an UNBELIEVABLE amount of pollution. Or alternatively just make it do some under-the-hood trigger where a very large radius of aliens simultaneously attack. Either way, it should potentially risk an Armies of Mordor level onslaught.

The point is that you should have a massive power outage and simultaneously massive hordes of biters coming after you. Lasting more than a day without power should mean batteries are at significant risk of being drained. I think that should substitute pretty well for an explosive meltdown, as it still is a dangerous situation that risks destruction of your base, but is also something you can plan and strategize for vs a bomb that just 'goes off'.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Andrzejef » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:30 pm

I like the idea - not a huge explosion, but something more "long term". Also I think about "meltdown" - it should damage things in nearest vinicity, like fires or stuff like this, if you really "over-exploit" (forgot the proper word :( ) your plant(complex).
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by ssilk » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:06 am

rbrucemtl wrote:Also with this new layout we can't see the activity in the boilers... the fire... I liked to see it as an indication of the current demand at a glance as I'm passing by.
Yes. The same problem appeared also when placing north-south (the burner was nearly not visible). So I think this little, but important detail needs to be refurbished completely. :)

To the rest:
That proposal follows pretty much most of the interesting suggestions about this subject. :) I think I remember also the discussion about the conversion from water to steam, where this was one of the (in my option) best solutions. Seems, like the devs looked pretty deep into the suggestions. Just want to say: The developers either read the suggestions carefully or they are geniuses. Perhaps both. :)

And I like the idea of transporting heat. That sounds like transporting "heated salt-lake" around...
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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by anarcobra » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:51 am

I think nuclear reactors are a cool idea, but the "exploding reactor" idea makes me kind of nervous that you are intending nuclear bomb type explosions.
I would rather have failure modes of reactor shutdown, and in extreme case meltdown combined with fire and a "small scale" explosion which damages nearby buildings, and possibly long term contamination of larger surrounding area with radioactive material that damages an unprotected player.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by Zeno » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:03 am

Hopefully the research tree requires combinators to be completed before the nuclear plant ... "My plant keeps melting down, how do i control it?" The thing that the plant requires to be researched to be built!
Concrete and steel should also be omnipresent for all the nuclear buildings.

The naming convention of resources forces "Stone" to be the only choice, unless a new resource is going to be put in entirely for nuclear. Honestly, it's fine by me if stone becomes the generic ore from which any fancy intermediate "ores" like uranium are found in. The real problem i see is how deep you want to go with the resource processing steps to nuclear power. It might be interesting and fun if the ore had to journey through the power plant itself in the process at least once in order to be finished, before returning to the same or another power plant to actually work for generating power. The end result might be:
Stone -> (1) Factory for uranium ore -> Smelter for uranium metal -> Power plant for enriching uranium -> Factory for enriched uranium rods -> (2) Factory for nuclear fuel assembly -> Insert to a nuclear power plant -> Spent fuel assembly removed for disposal in a factory using several landfill items, or for a recovery process that uses a fraction of normal or enriched uranium to repower the spent rods.
(1) Using Sulphuric Acid, representing a chemical extraction process?
(2) Steel, E. Uranium rods, Solid Fuel (Pure carbon)

As for the explosion, how large are we talking? People might get the wrong idea about what the nuclear power plant is for, if you make too large an explosion from it's "failure" state. :twisted:
It might also be nice to see the poison capsule effect be employed to represent radiation clouds... As well as potentially starting fires.

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Re: Friday Facts #164 - Nuclear power

Post by KatherineOfSky » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:25 am

On the Steam forums, we at least 2-3 posts per week, (EVERY WEEK), on the topic of "Why don't my steam engines work?"... ranging from simple problems of non-demand, piping problems, too many steam engines connected to insufficient boilers, insufficient water pumps, etc.

While I personally LOVE the extra complication, I am very afraid that new players will not have an accessible introduction to electricity -- a critical service that is needed at the very beginning of the game.

I would recommend:
1. An easier one-item plop type of electrical generator; maybe only useful for generating very small amounts of power. (Feed it coal or wood? I'm thinking about the simple wood-fed generators in RimWorld.)

2. A VERY good Tutorial on how to introduce players to the steam generation concept. Also, it should DEFINITELY be labeled "Tutorial". (A lot of the new folks skip the campaign because they think it is the end-game, not the introduction).

3. It should be OBVIOUS what machine needs what -- boiler tooltips need to say "requires water, produces steam", and Steam engines, "require steam to run", etc. A different icon for steam for the piping would also be useful.


Aside of my concerns for new players, I really like the new steam generation process, the cooling tower, etc. I also am very much in favor of using more (functional) circuit designs in the game, and the nuclear concept fits the bill well. Very excited about these changes!
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