This is what I've personally found, so it might well not be perfect so complain if I've done something wrong (but I'll try to avoid doing that). All the image references come from here: http://imgur.com/a/gI5Tl. I recommend you keep that page open while you read this. All the image references should be in bold, unless I screw up, then some won't be.
Normally, nuclear reactor will look like image A. You'll notice that the right hand side has a convenient gap, it surprisingly isn't to annoy people with OCD. A quick trip to the IC2 config confirms this:
This looks promising right? Yeah, in case you were worrying, it is. Change that false to true, save the config file and re-open Minecraft. Suddenly, your nuclear reactors look like image B. Two tanks, the top one with a capacity of 10 buckets, and the bottom with a capacity of 1. I'll get into what those are for soon.
Another thing you might notice, is that IC2 suddenly has many slow flowing fluids you can see in creative mode. That is important too.
Try crafting a 10k coolant cell using the normal 4 tin plate and 1 water container recipe (image C). Doesn't work, does it? Note: If you are using IC2 486 or below it will. Ignore this, but you are stuck in the olden days. Just saying.
It turns out, by a quick trip to the shaped_recipes.ini file in the IC2 jar/assets/ic2/config shows that in fact it reads this:
Hmmmm, but what is IC2:itemCellEmpty@11? Doing /give *your_player_name IC2:itemCellEmpty 1 11 will give you one coolant cell. That is what you in fact need (image D).
But, I hear you say, how do I get a coolant cell? Even NEI doesn't say, ignoring the fact that NEI isn't updated to 1.7.10.
It is quite simple. All you need is a Canning Machine (The 4 EU/t tin casing one), some water and some lapis dust. Lapis dust being made by macerating lapis. Put some water in the left hand side tank either by pumping it in with another mod's fluid pipes or by putting another canning machine next to it with a fluid ejection upgrade set to "drain from cell to tank". Now, change the canning machine's mode to "fluid enrich (tank or cell)". By putting in the lapis dust into the middle slot, suddenly it will wirr into action (as long as it's getting power) and produce 1 bucket of ic2coolant. (See image E) Huzzah!
With that ic2coolant, you can do two things:
- Make coolant cells
- Pump it into your nuclear reactor
To make the coolant cells, all you need to do is pump the coolant out and into another canning machine set to "fill cell from tank", put a normal Empty Cell in there and you'll get your coolant cell (see image F)
If you choose to pump it into your reactor, you'll notice one big thing. It does nothing. You might even put a fuel rod in there (image G). Still nothing, but note that it doesn't cool the fuel rod. So don't blindly trust it to do that. The reason it doesn't do anything is because it needs some heat vents to cool. Upon adding some vents and turning on your reactor, you'll notice that suddenly your coolant is being used up to produce a Minecraft style even lower quality red fluid. That is hot coolant, or as IC2 calls it: ic2hotcoolant. It produces it in a 1 to 1 ratio of coolant to hot coolant.
New Fancy Stuff
Back to the IC2 creative mode tab, you'll see a new generator: The Stirling Generator. Unlike Buildcraft's Stirling Engine, it does not burn coal or similar items to produce power. For a start, when you place it down (Image I), it has a blue square on one side, and a weird symbol on the two adjacent faces. The blue square should face the direction you place the Stirling Generator. Opening the GUI, you'll see image J. Hovering over the hU: 0 / 0.0 EU will show you that hU: 0 means the currently received heat and the 0.0 EU the current EU production. For those who are curious, it has a 30,000 EU buffer (image K).
But how do I get it heat? It's quite simple, we need to use the other new machine: the Liquid Heat Exchanger!
Placing it down (image L), you'll see that it too has a square facing you when you place it down, but it is a light grey colour. It is light grey because it isn't currently producing any heat. To get it to produce heat you can either:
- Put a lava cell in
- Or put a hot coolant cell in
I expect you can pump it in, but I've yet to find a 1.7.10 mod with fluid pipes in. Once you've put the fluid in, it'll look like image M.
In this case, I've put 1 cell of hot coolant in. From the normal GUI (image N) it changes to image O, where it has cooled 1 milli-bucket of hot coolant back into normal coolant. But it's stopped! Before declaring it a bug, try putting a Stirling Generator, with it's blue square facing the Liquid Heat Exchanger's red. With them both off (image P), nothing special will happen, but with fluid in the Liquid Heat Exchanger, it'll start cooling more of it (image Q) and the textures will change of both blocks, as seen in image R.
But Choco, it's so slow! Yes, it is. But it can been made faster by using those 3 slots in the middle, by putting normal Heat Vents in. Each vent allows an extra 3 Heat to be transfered, up to the maximum of 10 (images S, T and U).
So, you've processed your 1 bucket of fluid (image V), ready to put another one in right? Wrong. The right hand tank is now full (as it can only store 1 bucket of fluid - image W) so no more can be produced. But how can we empty it? Very simply, either using a Universal Fluid Cell, or a normal Empty Cell.
- Using the Universal Fluid Cell, the right hand tank will indeed empty (image X), but while more coolant is made, it will go straight into another waiting cell - image Y.
- Using a normal Empty Cell, the right hand tank will again empty (image Z), but when the next round of coolant is made, the Empty Cell will not will, another full bucket must be made before the cell will fill - image AA.
Be careful while trying to put more hot coolant or lava cells into the left tank if it is not empty! This is because it will just void the cell, and the fluid in it. This is a major drawback of trying to automate it using a hopper for example, but might well be a bug. Yes it was, fixed in 492
I'll finish the rest later.