First of all here is the reactor layout that I use and some statistics by the reactor planner:
Mark V pulsed reactor, operating on a 5-sec on 2-sec off pulse with an average efficiency of 40
So... After about 5 months of building and testing (The oldest backup I could find dates back to early March this year), I think the automation is reliable enough, at least that was what I thought, for me to finally release this build, which is literally a redstone mess.
In this build, I had automated the warmup process, fuel rod replacement and recycling, and optional fuel rod crafting completely only with IC2 and vanilla Minecraft. The principle of the automation of warming up is quite simple: by removing the vents and putting them in after the reactor is warm enough through redstone control, the reactor can automatically warm up and run at above 50% heat even after it is turned off. As the reactor itself is almost undetectable without other mods, things can still be detected through redstone circuits that controlled the reactor. I'm not going to go through how other things work because they should be able to be easily understood by just looking at them in the world.
The reactor and automation circuits are built within a single chunk, but redstone related with the reactor control room (which are built in cyan concrete) and part of the redstone controlling the crafting system extends into another 3 chunks as I don't think not loading these will cause problem. I haven't tested what will happen if only the reactor chunk is loaded yet. Therefore the chunk loader within it is set to load all the 4 chunks. Slimestone is used in some parts when wiring is too difficult or I'm just too lazy to do the wiring. These can be replaced with redstone dusts. Also there are a chest with low durability rods at -1, 31, -1 if you want to watch how the fuel rod automation works. Remember to middle-click them
Normal running, scanned for 45 secs
Warming up, scanned for 45 sec (roughly the warmup time)
There are still some problems I found out but I have no solution. Any help to solving the following problems is greatly appreciated.
1.Occasionally there was an extra pulse in the main clock that controls pulsing. I haven't figured out the exact cause of this yet. Although this won't cause the reactor to explode, sometimes the reactor will cool down because of this extra pulse, causing the efficiency to severely decrease.
2.Chunk unloading and reloading causes issues. When the chunk that has the reactor is reloaded (player entering the area, F3+A seems to have no effect), the clock will de-sync with the reactor, causing it to eventually cool down. There is a rare chance that this will cause the reactor to explode. In theory enabling the chunk loader should be a way to solve this issue.
3.Vents occasionally mysteriously disappear or reappear. Although it is designed to only turn on the reactor when all vents are extracted from the reactor, there is still a chance that the reactor continues to be on when there is a missing vent, which will break the heat balance and make the reactor explode. The only chance of this happening I found out is that the vent(s) get stuck inside the droppers which are responsible of putting the vent(s) back into the reactor at the proper time.
Apologies again for the redstone mess.