Project: Fusion Reactor - a chronicle (WIP)

Padfoote

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As for SFM, watched the spotlight. Awesome, and not at all hard to understand as far as I'm concerned. As for how useful it would be for my reactor, hmm....I would have to place those cable blocks so that they touch every fuel core. That has disadvantages but I might try it. Also, how do I get to that TPPI pack which SFM is part of? Or can I just use the normal download from the mod's site?
The normal download will work. Plus, you won't have to download an entire pack for a single mod.
 

Ieldra

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All right, I won't get to do any more testing today. I'll have to wait until my test pellets are used up, which takes basically forever, so I'll let that - and deuterium production which has reached 6 kilobuckets - run for a while in the background while I do something else. Also I'm installing Steve's Factory Manager. One ID conflict to resolve...could've been worse.

@Pyure:
The reason why that wasn't part of my standard setup is because I returned to modded Minecraft after an absence of two years just....about two or three months ago I think. Since then, I've had to learn or relearn so many mods that it almost overwhelmed me at times. I simply didn't get around to it until now.
 

Pyure

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The reason why that wasn't part of my standard setup is because I returned to modded Minecraft after an absence of two years just....about two or three months ago I think. Since then, I've had to learn or relearn so many mods that it almost overwhelmed me at times. I simply didn't get around to it until now.
Your excuse is better than mine: I'm just too lazy to figure out new things sometimes.
 

Ieldra

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Change of plans. I connected my tritium-breeding reactor's fuel cores, added all the necessary piping and SFM "cable" blocks, then looked at it....and decided I didn't like this sprawling contraption I had built. It occurred to me that I didn't need a fully-functional power-generating reactor but just a tritium breeder. Some tests with fuel cores and irradiation chambers told me that a single fuel core serves just as well for that purpose. So I tore down the whole thing, thereby accidentally breaking a fuel core with nuclear waste (result: re-load from my backup of half an hour before), and came up with something that fits my aesthetic preferences much better. Behold....Ieldra's prototype tritium breeder:




From the second picture, it's easy to see how this works. Super-simple, actually. Three isolated fuel cores are surrounded by irradiation chambers and neutron reflectors, and deuterium is pumped in from two of the corner tanks and tritium pumped out into the other corner tanks. Just the conduit placement needs a little care to avoid accidental connections. Also, fuel usage is extremely low: In this setup, a fuel core's fission events can only be initiated by its own reflected neutrons, and the irradiation chambers absorb 70% on the way out and 70% of the remaining 30% on the way back, so that only approximately 10% of all neutrons make it back to the fuel core to initiate fission events.

This breeder transforms a bucket of deuterium into tritium every 14 seconds, which is too slow for my purposes but I'm going to build two more of them, which will make it almost as fast as my current electrolyzing goes - that will need a power-up at some time but for the moment I'll just let this run while the rest of the building project continues.

The question remains how to get stuff in and out of the fuel cores. Unfortunately, I can't use SFM directly since there is no space for the cable blocks, so my options may be reduced to EnderIO conduits, and hoping that once a pellet is depleted enough I can pump it out. Does anyone know, perhaps? However, I have another idea. It involves one of my favorite blocks in all of modded Minecraft: Thaumic Tinkerer's Transvector Interface. Basically I place it somewhere near (up to 4 blocks from) a target block, bind the two together with a special instrument, and from then on everything I do with the Interface will be done with the target, in this case, the fuel core. I suspect SFM won't work through the Interface but it's worth a try. Setting this up may take some time.

There's also the question of nuclear waste. I don't actually feel bound by ReactorCraft's tech level in this, and I don't want to have to build a self-expanding nuclear waste storage facility. Simply voiding it into a trashcan feels like cheating....hmm...I'm going to store it in my ME network for now since digitalized it can't do any damage, probably because it's frozen in time.
 
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Pyure

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Change of plans. I connected my tritium-breeding reactor's fuel cores, added all the necessary piping and SFM "cable" blocks, then looked at it....and decided I didn't like this sprawling contraption I had built. It occurred to me that I didn't need a fully-functional power-generating reactor but just a tritium breeder. Some tests with fuel cores and irradiation chambers told me that a single fuel core serves just as well for that purpose. So I tore down the whole thing, thereby accidentally breaking a fuel core with nuclear waste (result: re-load from my backup of half an hour before), and came up with something that fits my aesthetic preferences much better. Behold....Ieldra's prototype tritium breeder:
Vertical tritium breeder looks fantastic. I wonder if there's some way for you to leverage the odd multi-block functionality of some of these blocks, and actually stack the cores top-to-bottom without space between.
 

Ieldra

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Vertical tritium breeder looks fantastic. I wonder if there's some way for you to leverage the odd multi-block functionality of some of these blocks, and actually stack the cores top-to-bottom without space between.
I've thought the same. Stacking the cores would be no problem, but stacking the irradiation chambers would prevent me from piping the gases in and out through the top and bottom as they must be, which means I had to use one transvector interface per irradiation chamber to circumvent the problem created by that. Apart from all the additional work, this would break the radial symmetry and placing the conduits would become incredibly bug prone. I decided it's not worth the effort at this time.
 

Ieldra

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And here the final version of my tritium breeder, and a view of my complete nuclear fusion fuel production facility, minus the uranium enrichment. Maybe I should move that over there as well. Anyway, I still haven't placed the transvector interfaces, but that can wait until another day. In the few hours this took me to build, the uranium fuel pellets depleted by 0-1%. All in all, I'm rather satisified with my build and this day's progress. Maybe one more day here for the fuel pellet management, then I can start on the reactor proper. :) Unless I get distracted by trying to pretty things up ;)

I should mention that EnderIO has become a huge factor in my builds. Configuring these 72 conduit connections was somewhat stressful, but it's totally worth it. I wouldn't be able to create a facility this compact with any other transport system I know.


 
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Pyure

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What would happen if you removed the reflectors between each column? I have to think it would increase your production, but would it cause too much heat?
 

Ieldra

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What would happen if you removed the reflectors between each column? I have to think it would increase your production, but would it cause too much heat?
I see we're thinking alike ;) It would not create too much heat - I tried this in my test setup - and it would indeed speed up my production, but it would also speed up the creation of nuclear waste, which so far hasn't materialized in this version. I haven't had the opportunity to measure production increase, and I'm going to experiment with this a little, but not before I have the pellet and waste management finished.
 

Ieldra

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did you try steve factory manager as a transport system?
And very nice design there :)
I tested a few things, but SFM can't work with the tritium breeder directly since there is no space for the "cable" blocks. I'm going to try and see if I can route SFM functionality through a Transvector Interface. That would be crazy-awesome. If that doesn't work, I'll have to work with EnderIO item conduits. There is space for those since they can coexist with the fluid conduits, but they can't do what SFM can.

Also, thank you :)
 

madnewmy

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I tested a few things, but SFM can't work with the tritium breeder directly since there is no space for the "cable" blocks. I'm going to try and see if I can route SFM functionality through a Transvector Interface. That would be crazy-awesome. If that doesn't work, I'll have to work with EnderIO item conduits. There is space for those since they can coexist with the fluid conduits, but they can't do what SFM can.

Also, thank you :)
cable can handle liquid input and output off a single block
 
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Ieldra

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Plus item in/out too I believe. Can all be done via a single SFM cable block.
Hmm....you're saying I should let SFM handle the fluid management done now by my conduits, so that I can add item management and still have the connection? Interesting idea, and elegant, only it would be a configuration nightmare, those "cable" blocks don't look so good (there appears to be a disguise method but I haven't figured out how that works), and I would not be able to access the fuel cores manually, even for testing, without removing something whose replacement when done would necessitate another configuration repair. I'll keep this in mind, but I'm going to try the Transvector Interface first.
 

madnewmy

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Hmm....you're saying I should let SFM handle the fluid management done now by my conduits, so that I can add item management and still have the connection? Interesting idea, and elegant, only it would be a configuration nightmare, those "cable" blocks don't look so good (there appears to be a disguise method but I haven't figured out how that works), and I would not be able to access the fuel cores manually, even for testing, without removing something whose replacement when done would necessitate another configuration repair. I'll keep this in mind, but I'm going to try the Transvector Interface first.
you only need one cable per block. With a flat design you can have cable going under it, or with yours, in the wall
 

Kirameki

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I'm curious if you can get the TVI working, in my SSP experiments in Monster 1.1.2 TVI does not seem to work with boilers no matter what pipe/duct/etc. you use, so I'm doubtful of its friendliness with other ReC blocks. If you can somehow get it working though, I'd definitely like to see how.
 

Ieldra

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Another day as a Minecraft nuclear engineer. I'm afraid there won't be much visible progress today, since from now on I'll get to the really, really difficult part: figuring out which blocks exactly go where in the fusion reactor multiblocks with seriously insufficient documentation. I'll have to watch some videos very, very closely, and this will be extremely time-consuming. But before that, more about my Tritium production:

I tested SFM with the Transvector Interface and it works perfectly. In the screenshot below, you see a TVI next to an SFM inventory manager next to an ME interfact. The ME interface exports uranium fuel pellets. The SFM manager puts them into the TVI and the TVI, acting as it should, redirects them to the fuel core. Nice, I can only imagine the shenanigans that become possible with this doubly-indirect vectoring. In the other direction, I can tell the SFM manager to pull nuclear waste out of the TVI and the TVI takes it from the fuel core. Nice! What does *not* work, however, is to remove fuel pellets from the fuel core. Likely this is because SFM can't target any inventory slots that aren't associated with a side. I also don't have any spent fuel pellets yet so I can't test if I can pull them out. Anyway, here's how it would look:



Next, I have tested an uncooled 4-core reactor with 8 irradiation chambers and reflectors, and while it does produce Tritium at about the same rate as double the number of irradiation chambers in the other facility, nuclear fuel consumption is about 8-10 times as high, and nuclear waste is created, unlike in the other facility which still hasn't produced any. Here the test setup:



Also, I did the test with SFM and the TVI, but I have decided I will not automate this. Why? Well, because I have now produced 4 Kilobuckets of tritium with the fuel pellets depleted by 6-8%. My storage capacity is 16 Kilobuckets, and if my information about fuel consumption of the fusion reactor is correct, it will run on that amount for 1600 minutes, which is probably long enough to generate power for all of my plans within modded MInecraft for the next five years. So, very likely I will not need to run this facility again after having made 16KBk of tritium, and anyway I am planning to relocate production to the fusion reactor once it's running, using the neutrons generated there.

I'll start a new post for the next part, since now it gets interesting.
 

Ieldra

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Chapter 3: Building the reactor components.

This will take some time since, as mentioned, I need some information I don't yet have about exactly how to build the multiblocks. Anyway, I wanted to comment on resources first. All in all, my calculations indicate that it isn't *THAT* bad. You won't need a five-digit number of anything but lodestone, and possibly iron. One problematic area may be wool since that may be unexpected for some. You'll need about 8-10 K, but a moderately sized sheep farm should be able to make this in a reasonable time. The most likely bottleneck is is the Lodestone. You'll need more than 30K of the stuff, which is 6-7K even with ore quintupling, and it spawns at elevations 60-80 so most targeted automining operations won't get all that much of it. I highly recommend going to the Deep Dark for this, because the ground in that dimension is at elevation 80, which means that the topmost 20 layers below are all spawn locations for Magnetite.

As an aside, here a view of my ore processing facility. Ores are exporting into the extractor by bus, then the flakes are smelted in the two Elite Factories. They aren't quite enough to keep up, but I am not constantly processing but only if I need metals, and up to 7K ore can be processed before the backlog is more than the gold chest can contain. The Cyclic Assemblers are for the items that come out of the smelting and need to be crafting into their final shapes, such as Thaumcraft shards, calcite, fluorite, magnetite, Magical Crops essence and one or two more. I've found that cyclic assemblers are significantly faster than using ME buses for unconditional autocrafting (you can't use ME Interfaces because their export function doesn't have an "always craft" option). Also note the two unifiers. I dislike having different versions of metals around.



Next, the site for the fusion reactor. I couldn't avoid some landscaping since this needs a 40x40 blocks area. The blueprint highlighter helps me with placing the different components, but that has never been the most difficult part for me. I did mention I wanted the place to look somewhat nice, and I think I found such a location, near a river at the border between a Moor and Mesa biome, about 120 blocks from my base. .



Now I'm off for some out-of-the-game planning. CU later.

AND HOW THE HELL CAN I BE SUCKED INTO A GAS TURBINE THROUGH A COVER, DAMN IT?

Edited to add:
I found that fuel pellets can be pulled out from the bottom of a fuel core once they're fully depleted. I find this odd. Actually, I don't even know where the thing went. It may end up as depleted uranium or have vanished completely, I wouldn't know the difference. Shouldn't have kept the test automation running.
 
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