[0.11.x] Uranium Power

Power generation with atoms.

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Liquius
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[0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:17 pm

This mod adds nuclear fission reactors along with a fairly realistic industrial process for gathering and processing uranium.
The Industrial Process
Here's a download link to the latest version
0.5.1(2015.01.23)

Currently this isn't completely compatible with multiplayer, in certain circumstances (when your reactor is under a lot of stain) it can cause rolling desyncs. It won't break the game, but can be annoying.

People can update from 0.4.0+ if you haven't started on reactors, however you will need to type /c game.player.force.resettechnologies() when continueing with an old save.

Here's a link to github
https://github.com/Liquius/UraniumPower/
Last edited by Liquius on Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:02 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by kaldskryke » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:02 am

I'm very glad you're making this. Although I want to see more types of power generation in general, such as wind, geothermal, tidal, etc, fission stands out.

Fission, in particular, seems like a very good fit for Factorio and it's good to see that you're implementing a production chain that will appeal to factorio players. I'm excited to install this and give it a try and give you more useful feedback.

Edit: First issue - I had to rename the .zip file to "UraniumPower_0.1.0.zip" before it would load.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by MaxAstro » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:00 am

This seems really cool, I'll have to check it out.

Quick suggestion for depleted uranium - there are graphics and unimplemented code for a railgun weapon. Depleted uranium rounds would be a natural choice for such a weapon. :)
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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:41 am

kaldskryke wrote:Edit: First issue - I had to rename the .zip file to "UraniumPower_0.1.0.zip" before it would load.
Thanks for the information, I didn't actually realise factorio could read from .zip. It's fixed now.
I'm very glad you're making this. Although I want to see more types of power generation in general, such as wind, geothermal, tidal, etc, fission stands out.
That means a lot, thanks. I think we share the same thoughts on this.

I had a few other tiny mod ideas along with this. They consisted of diesel backup generators and natural gas power stations. The biggest roadblock is the fact that you can't use fluids as fuels, and that the energy system seems to be the least easy to mod.
MaxAstro wrote:Quick suggestion for depleted uranium - there are graphics and unimplemented code for a railgun weapon. Depleted uranium rounds would be a natural choice for such a weapon. :)
I have been thinking about this. The downside is that this mod would conflict with a lot of other mods out there as I think that quite a few mods enable the railgun.

What I was thinking is using the depleted Uranium to make machinegun bullets and/or tank cannon shells. It's a little uninventive, but I think it would make the mod blend with vanilla factorio (and other mods) a lot better. I could also use it for other things such as body/tank armor.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by MaxAstro » Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:36 pm

A high-tech turret might be another good idea. One thing I currently find unsatisfying about laser turrets is that setting up an ammo supply line for gun turrets is fun, and it's a shame you don't have to for laser turrets.

So a turret that is stronger than a laser turret, but requires a complex ammo supply line, would be a very welcome addition IMO. And I don't think I've seen any mods yet that add a railgun turret. Plus the "line attack" code that the railgun uses would seem like a natural fit for a turret.
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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Xterminator » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:59 pm

I haven't actually used the mod yet, but it looks awesome. :D I do plan to download and try it today.
I also have been wanting to see other types of power generation, especially something like wind power. You seem to know what your doing, do you think that would be possible? :)

Also as for what to do with depleted Uranium, maybe add like a grenade thing, it would be like a poisen capsule, but maybe do a bit of damage on impact, but more importantly it could also do damage to the spawners? Since it is extremely radioactive.
Special laser turrets that use it for ammo would be cool, or like you said just for tanks and machine gun.
Ohhh or maybe a type of ammo you fire from the rocket launcher, and when it hits it's target, it explodes doing a little bit of damage, and then acts like a poison capsule and damages everything around it. :p
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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:04 pm

Xterminator wrote:I also have been wanting to see other types of power generation, especially something like wind power. You seem to know what your doing, do you think that would be possible? :)
IIRC someone else has already hacked wind power in. I don't know how well it works. From a factorio perspective it seems a little boring/simple. It's almost identical to solar power other than the day/night cycle.
Xterminator wrote:Also as for what to do with depleted Uranium, maybe add like a grenade thing, it would be like a poisen capsule, but maybe do a bit of damage on impact, but more importantly it could also do damage to the spawners? Since it is extremely radioactive.
Special laser turrets that use it for ammo would be cool, or like you said just for tanks and machine gun.
Ohhh or maybe a type of ammo you fire from the rocket launcher, and when it hits it's target, it explodes doing a little bit of damage, and then acts like a poison capsule and damages everything around it. :p
You would probably be surprised to learn that uranium has a long half life and it's safe to hold in your hands. I would be more concerned of getting heavy metal poisoning.

However once you put your uranium into a reactor and it undergoes fission, thats when you don't want to touch it. The byproducts from uranium-235 are very nasty and have a very short half life.


I am currently contemplating adding a cannon turret along with depleted uranium shells.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Neotix » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:56 am

Remember that if you code nuclear fuel like normal fuel, it will be possible to use it in any burner :P
Liquius wrote: - Give the fission reactor cherenkov radiation while active
Nuclear reactor are clean in use, they're emitting almost nothing. Only depleted fuel is dangerous because it's very hot, toxic and highly radioactive. After removing from reactor they have to be cooled for a long time in special pools (if not, they can melt and free even more radiation). I was in Nuclear Institute, stood on the reactor and even looked inside. Entire reactor is is flooded with deuterium, which absorbs cherenkov radiation and emitting only pretty blue light.
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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by AartBluestoke » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:48 am

water is a ridiculously good radiation absorber, i recently saw a plot of radiation density inside a cooling pond, and 2m below the surface, there is actually less than ambient levels of radiation, due to so little radiation from the rods getting to you -- https://what-if.xkcd.com/29/

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Neotix » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:02 am

Yes and that's why depleted fuel rodes are stared and cooled in pools. I saw a pool with rods in Institute. It was placed only few meters from reactor.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:18 am

Neotix wrote:Remember that if you code nuclear fuel like normal fuel, it will be possible to use it in any burner :P
Yeah, I chose the lesser of two evils and made the fuel assemblies as speed modules. That means
- Fuel assemblies can be used in other buildings
- It never runs out (although at some point I do want to see if you can make modules degrade via lua magic)
- You can run the fission reactor without fuel assemblies, but it's balance so that you make a net loss on power
Neotix wrote:Liquius wrote:
- Give the fission reactor cherenkov radiation while active


Nuclear reactor are clean in use, they're emitting almost nothing. Only depleted fuel is dangerous because it's very hot, toxic and highly radioactive. After removing from reactor they have to be cooled for a long time in special pools (if not, they can melt and free even more radiation). I was in Nuclear Institute, stood on the reactor and even looked inside. Entire reactor is is flooded with deuterium, which absorbs cherenkov radiation and emitting only pretty blue light.
Neutrons emitted from fission are fast. When they hit water they slow down. The energy given off as they are forced to slow down is Cherenkov radiation, also know as that pretty blue light.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by SuperSandro2000 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:52 am

Your Modname is not shown in the ingame modlist.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:40 am

SuperSandro2000 wrote:Your Modname is not shown in the ingame modlist.
Thanks, next update should fix that.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by glutamate » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:25 pm

MaxAstro wrote:A high-tech turret might be another good idea. One thing I currently find unsatisfying about laser turrets is that setting up an ammo supply line for gun turrets is fun, and it's a shame you don't have to for laser turrets.

So a turret that is stronger than a laser turret, but requires a complex ammo supply line, would be a very welcome addition IMO. And I don't think I've seen any mods yet that add a railgun turret. Plus the "line attack" code that the railgun uses would seem like a natural fit for a turret.
This!

I was a sad frog when I dismantled my perimeter turret ammo-feeding circuit because I'd moved the perimeter further out, and lasers are just able to pack way more of a punch into a small area.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Trangar » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:30 pm

You might want to either update the download link, or change it to a link to the github page

I'm definitely trying this mod out though!

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:44 pm

Trangar wrote:You might want to either update the download link, or change it to a link to the github page

I'm definitely trying this mod out though!
I have added a link to the github in the first post.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by kaldskryke » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:47 am

I've been playing with this mod for a while (in a legit game, to get an appreciation of the balance). I was about to come in and make a few suggestions, but I've just read the commits on the github repo, so I'm going to list those changes to put my comments in appropriate context.

From what I can tell from looking at the code (I'm not really a programmer)
-> base reactor speed has been slightly nerfed to 0.02 (from 0.025)
-> pellets themselves are now much cheaper to 5 units of UF6 gas each (from 25)
-> fuel assemblies now require 50 pellets (from 35)
-> uraninite and fluorite deposits are richer
-> researching nuclear tech nolonger requires Science Pack 3s

Overall, assemblies cost ~29% as much uranium as they used to. The downside, however, is that the time and electricity cost has gone up. So if you were short on uraninite/fluorite before, this should help a lot. Personally, I've always had a large excess of ores and a lack of enrichment throughput, which has now been worsened. That's compounded by the need for more reactors, too.

My problems with the balance so far is that my reactor produced very modest amounts of power. According to some tests I did ingame with accumulators, I'm getting about ~9MJ per reactor cycle, depending on tanks and generator layout. With 3.5% fuel assemblies, each cycle takes 28.6 seconds yielding an output of 315kW. With the new reactor speed nerf it will now take 35.7 seconds, for 252kW. For comparison, a solar panel is far cheaper and produces 60kW during the day. I'd wager it's capacity factor is around 0.7 given that days in factorio are longer than nights. It's about as effective as 6-8 solars.

I understand that since fuel assemblies last forever, reactors have to be expensive to prevent being overpowered and that the payoff will take a while. But given how much power I poured into chemical reactors for enrichment (>3MW for quite a while), it would take ages to get a return on that investment. Even with the reduced uranium costs, they're just not worth it compared to solars.

EDIT: I forgot to even include the running cost of the reactor, 210kW. Accounting for that it's even more dismal. I have a feeling that I'm missing something in my setup and that 9MJ is far less than I should be getting, but I'm not just how.

Other feedback:
Chemical plants feeding back into themselves can be a little bit tricky. A single chain of plants going from 0.7% to 3.5% will eventually clog itself. This happens when plants lower in the chain become full in their input slots (and associated piping), then the plants higher up the chain can't output their lower-enriched product back down, and clog up their output slot. Essentially both upper and lower plants are waiting for each other to operate, which will not happen unless additional fluid capacity is added to the clogged lines. The way to avoid this is, of course, to use multiple plants until you have so much more throughput than could possibly be saturated by the fluorinator. More plants are needed for the lower concentrations than the higher concentrations, so my enrichment facility is somewhat pyramid shaped.

For example, for each plant combining yellowcake and fluorine, I have 4 plants making 1.1%, 3 plants making 1.5%, 3 plants making 1.9%, and 2 plants making 2.1%, and 2 plants making Depleted. The rest are all singles. My throughput bottleneck appears to be the 1.5% plants, but at least three is sufficient to prevent blocking.

The uranite slurry recipe is a little irritating, given that the operation takes far less time than an Inserter can feed 5 uranite ore. That little inserter was the bottleneck for my whole enrichment facility until I noticed it and replaced it with a Fast Inserter, which is still a bit too slow. A longer recipe time would help make it more obvious that multiple assemblers are needed to create slurry in order to keep pace with the fluorine.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:40 pm

kaldskryke wrote:I've been playing with this mod for a while (in a legit game, to get an appreciation of the balance). I was about to come in and make a few suggestions, but I've just read the commits on the github repo, so I'm going to list those changes to put my comments in appropriate context.

From what I can tell from looking at the code (I'm not really a programmer)
-> base reactor speed has been slightly nerfed to 0.02 (from 0.025)
-> pellets themselves are now much cheaper to 5 units of UF6 gas each (from 25)
-> fuel assemblies now require 50 pellets (from 35)
-> uraninite and fluorite deposits are richer
-> researching nuclear tech nolonger requires Science Pack 3s

Overall, assemblies cost ~29% as much uranium as they used to. The downside, however, is that the time and electricity cost has gone up. So if you were short on uraninite/fluorite before, this should help a lot. Personally, I've always had a large excess of ores and a lack of enrichment throughput, which has now been worsened. That's compounded by the need for more reactors, too.

My problems with the balance so far is that my reactor produced very modest amounts of power. According to some tests I did ingame with accumulators, I'm getting about ~9MJ per reactor cycle, depending on tanks and generator layout. With 3.5% fuel assemblies, each cycle takes 28.6 seconds yielding an output of 315kW. With the new reactor speed nerf it will now take 35.7 seconds, for 252kW. For comparison, a solar panel is far cheaper and produces 60kW during the day. I'd wager it's capacity factor is around 0.7 given that days in factorio are longer than nights. It's about as effective as 6-8 solars.

I understand that since fuel assemblies last forever, reactors have to be expensive to prevent being overpowered and that the payoff will take a while. But given how much power I poured into chemical reactors for enrichment (>3MW for quite a while), it would take ages to get a return on that investment. Even with the reduced uranium costs, they're just not worth it compared to solars.

EDIT: I forgot to even include the running cost of the reactor, 210kW. Accounting for that it's even more dismal. I have a feeling that I'm missing something in my setup and that 9MJ is far less than I should be getting, but I'm not just how.

Other feedback:
Chemical plants feeding back into themselves can be a little bit tricky. A single chain of plants going from 0.7% to 3.5% will eventually clog itself. This happens when plants lower in the chain become full in their input slots (and associated piping), then the plants higher up the chain can't output their lower-enriched product back down, and clog up their output slot. Essentially both upper and lower plants are waiting for each other to operate, which will not happen unless additional fluid capacity is added to the clogged lines. The way to avoid this is, of course, to use multiple plants until you have so much more throughput than could possibly be saturated by the fluorinator. More plants are needed for the lower concentrations than the higher concentrations, so my enrichment facility is somewhat pyramid shaped.

For example, for each plant combining yellowcake and fluorine, I have 4 plants making 1.1%, 3 plants making 1.5%, 3 plants making 1.9%, and 2 plants making 2.1%, and 2 plants making Depleted. The rest are all singles. My throughput bottleneck appears to be the 1.5% plants, but at least three is sufficient to prevent blocking.

The uranite slurry recipe is a little irritating, given that the operation takes far less time than an Inserter can feed 5 uranite ore. That little inserter was the bottleneck for my whole enrichment facility until I noticed it and replaced it with a Fast Inserter, which is still a bit too slow. A longer recipe time would help make it more obvious that multiple assemblers are needed to create slurry in order to keep pace with the fluorine.
Thanks for the feedback.

Uraninite slurry should take 3 times longer to make.

As for the balance of the reactors. I made a bit of a mess with that due to a silly mistake on my end. It should have been 15*faster. At the moment (as in on the github) one 3.5% fuel assembly should put out ~3MW and a maxed out reactor should out ~12-13MW.

I will probably pump out another release later today.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by Liquius » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:29 pm

Pushed out an update. You can find a link in the first post.

Changes:
- Uranium ammo (machine gun ammo and tank shells) made from depleted uranium pellets. The machine gun ammo is strong enough to stay relevant at all stages of the game.
- Reactor balance is different (or not broken). A fully maxed out reactor can produce a consistent 10MW.
- Uranium pellets are more plentiful.
- Fuel assemblies need more pellets, but overall less uranium hexafluoride than before.
- The raw resources are more plentiful.
- A few other tweaks that nobody will spot.

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Re: [0.11.x] Uranium Power

Post by kaldskryke » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:26 pm

Liquius wrote:Pushed out an update. You can find a link in the first post.
Sweet! I'll try it out when I can.

Edit: first impressions. Reactors are very very fast now. Processing time has gone from 28.6 seconds (15 time / 0.525 speed) to 0.38 seconds (0.8 time / 2.1 speed), which is 75 times faster. Recipe yield is only 25 now (from 40). I don't really have time to play right now so that's as far as I've gotten, but according to some quick math, I'm getting roughly 66 superheated steam per second, which I'm guessing will yield 15MW unless something else has changed with the steam. Overnight my base has gone from a pretty severe energy deficit to a huge surplus, which is pretty shocking. I'll have to spend some time before I can say anything about the other changes, I may have to start a new game to feel out the enrichment tweaks.
Liquius wrote: - A few other tweaks that nobody will spot.
We'll see about that.

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