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Interesting Nuclear Reactor Design

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So I was messing around with gas physics and the nuclear reactor and came up with this interesting structure that appears stable.


This structure allows the nuclear reactor to sit in relatively cool hydrogen.  It then dumps its nuclear waste and superheated water as droplets through the mesh tile in to the steam room.  The drywall is only needed because I made this in space.

On that mesh tile, there is a single tile of natural gas.  The steam, which is at about 10000 kg/tile, can not appear to move in to the upper chamber, which is about 1000 g hydrogen, because it can not compress or move the 100 g natural gas out of the way. 

If insulated tiles were used, (especially if double layered), the only heat transfer would be through the natural gas, which can be as low as 1 gram to function as a blocker. 

I was planning on doing more with this build, trying to make something actually functional, but I became busy and got wrapped up in new projects.

I built this in debug, but I see no reason it can't be built in survival.






Edited by Zarquan
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32 minutes ago, cyberwarlord said:

How small can you make it? 

I think the bottom chamber could be 2 or 3 tiles tall.  1 tile for the steam, 1 tile for the nuclear waste, and potentially 1 tile for the water when it falls down. 

I just found this and didn't really have time to explore it further.

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Ah yeah of course, the single tile can't be compressed because it's only one tile, and it can't expand into either gas because it's too small.

13 hours ago, Zarquan said:

If insulated tiles were used, (especially if double layered), the only heat transfer would be through the natural gas, which can be as low as 1 gram to function as a blocker. 

Incidentally cell:cell heat transfer is mostly independent of mass (though it certainly does help to use low quantities like 1 gram due to per tick capping, and oxygen would be way better than natural gas in terms of being capped, but it'll still leak amounts measured in kDTU/s). If you wanted to reduce the heat transfer, the best option is to eliminate the heat transfer by using tiles smaller than 1 g. Since tiles larger than 1 kg clobber tiles smaller than 1 g, you could do a stack something like this:

  • hydrogen at 500 g ( < 1 kg)
  • 1 tile oxygen at 100 mg (< 1 g)
  • 1 tile natural gas at 100 g
  • steam at 100 kg

That would make a stable vertical gas lock that blocks 100% of heat transfer.

Now in terms of making such arrangements outside of sandbox. It'd seem to be easiest to start with something like this:


So there's a room full of steam, pressing hydrogen into a single tile.

Then deconstruct the pipe carrying the valved intermediate density gas (which should be far lower density than the hydrogen), which displaces the steam downwards. With that done, embiggen the hydrogen room, while making sure it maintains enough pressure that the natural gas can't expand upwards. If you start with like 20 kg of hydrogen, and deposit 2 g of Natural Gas, that should be easy.

The more advanced version:


  1. Start with a hydrogen room with significantly less than 1 kg/tile of hydrogen.
  2. In the bottom deposit like 10 g of natural gas by deconstructing a pipe.
  3. Then deconstruct the oxygen pipe valved to less than 1g
  4. Then deconstruct the tile holding back the steam.

If it's desired to use this with a Research Reactor, and you want to have the Reactor in Oxygen for compatibility with more plant species, then it should be possible to use a stack as follows:

  • Oxygen
  • Polluted Oxygen
  • Natural Gas
  • Steam

Oxygen and Polluted Oxygen are the same density, and so don't seem to swap places, they just keep their initial arrangement. It is a little more scary than using gases with actually different density but seems to be stable.

Incidentally, yesterday I was trying to figure out good Research Reactor designs for mutating plants which just totally ignore the outputs of the reactor.
Integrating a stacked gas lock seems to work well:


I'm feeding it with only 1000 g/s of water to minimize resource cost, and the water and nuclear waste which drip down are mostly annihilated due to one element per cell rule. Meanwhile a stacked gas lock blocks any heat transfer from the 2000 C hellbox.
Now I'm not saying it's a good design there's a fair argument for collecting the nuclear waste for other purposes (and actually it's trivial to allow collecting the nuclear fallout by building an airflow tile at the bottom) but it's a good exercise in making a radiation source with minimized side-effects. Also if using the infinite storage variant it's a fun concept that like 100 mg of polluted oxygen is holding back hundreds of tons of 1000 C steam and nuclear fallout, and so much as a single tile of stray gas being released into the area (such as from a Dupe being accidentally ordered to remove their suit) can unleash the apocalypse.

Edited by blakemw
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