[Suggestion] Control the power of the sun, or: Fusion reactors!

    • Official Post

    First: I KNOW that fusion reactors were discussed and denied, but all proposals were very bad thought stuff, like 2 sentences or less. Pls read it and think about it. Don just say no before taking a look.

    I wanted to make a new Suggestion, a new high end reactor for energy needs not even a nuclear reactor can support. The Fusion reactor! Capable of emitting TONS of energy at a not soo high price. The only big negative part, this thing is VERY expensive to build and needs 2 things already achieved:
    A working Massfab
    a working nuclear reactor/breeder.
    You will soon see why. I do not Expect this thing to be like included in the next release or something like this, but I would definitely like to see it released some day.
    I once read that you (Alb) wrote that you were thinking about a big collider thing. I don’t know if those plans died with the nuclear reactor consisting of multiple blocks or if it is still a valid option. If it is: This reactor may serve as a realistic way to make a “circle” of blocks.
    The theoretical recipe of a reactor should look like this: (I will explain everything like the reactor is just one block big, if you would decide to make it a built circle variations would be great, like varying circle length for varying energy etc.)

    To Build and maintain this new reactor we will need a few new items as well as new functionalities.

    New Items:
    Fuel Parts:
    Heavy Water Cell
    Uber Heavy Water Cell
    Deuterium Cell
    Tritium Cell
    Fusion Fuel Cell
    Lithium Dust
    Lithium Ingot
    Lithium Plating

    Reactor Parts:
    Reactor Control unit
    Magnetic Mantle
    Electronic Magnet
    Uncurred Ceramic Plating
    Fusion Reactor Plating

    New functionalitys for Existing machines:
    Nuclear reactor is able to breed heavy water cells => Uber heavy water cells (like isotope cells)
    Electrolyzer will need a 3rd slot to input an empty cell which for each electrolyzed water cell will be 1/10 filled with heavy water (thats actually like they do it in RL but we are just much more effective... :P ).
    Now how does that thing work?
    First to the new recipes for stuff:
    Electronic magnet:
    C = Copper Cable
    I = Adv Iron
    Fusion Reactor Plating:
    CAC = U

    C = Carbon plate; A = Advanced Alloy; U = Uncured Ceramic Plating

    Sending Uncured Ceramic Plating through a Furnace (preferrably an induction furnace (at 100% heat if programmable)) will create a Ceramic Plate, which can be used for heat shielding on a fusion reactor.

    Magnetic Mantle:
    M = Electronic Magnet C = Adv Circuit R = Fusion Reactor plating I = Iridium Plating
    Control Unit:
    F = Glass Fiber Cable A = Adv Machine Ac = Adv Circuit L = Lapotron Crystal
    Fusion Core:
    M = Magnetic Mantle C = control Unit
    Lithium Dust:
    Obsidian -> Macerator -> Obsidian Dust + Water -> Igneous Solution -> Electrolyzer -> Lithium Dust

    Now that you can build yourself a brand new Fusion Reactor you may ask yourself, how the hell does it work? By now it’s just an expensive piece of metal and circuits… You do good asking:
    To heat up the reactor (or to be more exactly the plasma) to the needed 150’000’000°K (And yes that is the real temperature you need :P) you will need a lot of power available. (I don’t know whats better to make: Like the teleporter taking energy from a near storage or loading the reactor itself)
    The reactor will need 1M Eu to start the little sun inside your brand new reactor! HAYO!
    Additionally you need 1 Fusion Fuel cell within the reactor and 1 Lithium Plating (optional), that is placed around the reactor (within GUI) to breed new Trithium. And an empty cell to take the newly bred Trithium. Now you hit an active redstone signal and off we go.

    1 Run of the reactor will produce 20Meu Emitted as 2048eu/T that is over 450 seconds of a big POWER load. This reaction is unstoppable and will run through in one shot, if the power is needed or not.

    After the fusion within the reactor stopped it will cool down and be ready again for a new run and as you guessed it will need to be heated again after every run! HAYO!
    But how do I get my cool Fusion Fuel Cell?

    First you need deuterium, which you can get as a residue of electrolyzed water. While electrolyzing water cells you will get 1/10 of a filled heavy water cell as residue.
    You will need Tritium and Deuterium mixed 1:1 for the Fuel. To get that stuff initially, since you do not have a running reactor that is breeding your lithium to tritium you will need to breed that thing otherwise. And there comes your nuclear reactor to play.
    The breeding of Deuterium (in the form of heavy water cells) => Tritium (in the form of uber heavy water cells) will work the same way as does the breeding of Isotop cells, but heavy water cells do not produce heat unlike Isotop cells.
    Now that you got that Heavy or uber heavy water cell, you wont need it liquid as the water it is, but as a Gas, therefore you need to electrolyze it. (heavy water => deuterium, uber heavy water =>tritium)
    You now mix 1 Tritium and 1 Deuterium Cell and get 1 Fusion Fuel Cell.

    But how do I get lithium platings for easier breeding of tritium? Very easy stuff, you can make it totally realistic out of: Redstone/Iron dust/Tin Dust which gives you 1 Lithium dust which can be smolten into 1 Lithium ingot.
    Lithium Platings:
    L = Lithium Ingot.

    And that is how you get that reactor running. I hope you like the idea at least a bit for the far future. (The whole reactor bases on the best scientific ideas to make a working fusion reactor, the reference for the reactor was this type of reactor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER for nice pictures go here: http://www.iter.org/mach). All numbers are just a shot in the blue a lot of balancing would be needed to implement it.

    Oh and there is NO WAY to amplify a nuke with fusion fuel cells so that the devastation will be even bigger.... :rolleyes:

    Thx to Irontyger for some good inputs.

  • Overall I like this proposal's basis. I'm not sure about the sustainability. Also it should put out Tier 4 energy (2048eU/t) as this would be a next level generator device. The unit it's self might even (when not undergoing fusion) be used as a giant magnetic storage field; obviously getting energy back out would be lossful and it would also slowly diminish internally.

    As for new block types, after looking at what RP2 is doing for blocks I /very much/ like the idea of consolidating ores to dammage values on a block id. It looks like notch is just going to keep gobbling up block ids like candy instead of doing anything useful to give modders space to breath in.

  • It should also be possible to cool it and inject additional fuel to have it 'continue' to the next operation if conditions are met. Likely it would catch anything near the core parts on fire though; including buildcraft pipes; only at specific points would it be possible to add/remove things.

  • I'm going to nitpick with you here a little.

    You don't ever heat up a nuclear fusion reactor vessel (unless you want a toxic cloud of gaseous metallic products). You heat the PLASMA contained inside the magnetic containment field within the vessel. In order to do this, you have several stages:

    Ignition: This can be done in many ways, usually it's done by bleeding a rarified gas into the vacuum vessel (the reactor chamber has to be brought to a complete vacuum) then using a massive inductive coil to run a current through the gas.
    Heating: The now warm plasma (not yet achieved the 40 or so keV required) is then bombarded with intense RF waves and high energy neutral beams to come up to fusion temperature.
    Fusion: Theoretically, with proper confinement, the plasma will now self-heat thanks to fusion alpha particles.

    Magnetic confinement fusion reactors don't use "cells" or "rods" like a nuclear fission reactor, putting the fuel into a cell and then playing around with reactor configs like our already existing IC2 reactor makes zero sense.

    In "real life," a commercial magnetic confinement reactor will be a continuous run device with D-T or D-D fuel pumped in, and thermalized alpha particles pumped out. Separating waste alphas from the reactor plasma is not hard to do, and the reactor doesn't have to shut down for that to happen.

    Reactor plating for a fusion reactor is different from reactor plates for a fission reactor. I feel like a different formula should be used accordingly. This would be far closer to (but not entirely accurate) a fusion reactor plate:

    CAC = U

    C = Carbon plate; A = Advanced Alloy; U = Uncured Ceramic Plating

    Sending Uncured Ceramic Plating through a Furnace (preferrably an induction furnace at 100% heat) will create a Ceramic Plate, which can be used for heat shielding on a fusion reactor.

    Finally, while it is possible to breed Tritium from Lithium, that's not the purpose of Lithium in a fusion reactor. Lithium is used (in advanced fusion experiments) as a regenerating liquid wall capable of heat-shielding any components that are directly exposed to plasma flow.

    PS: Fusion reactors don't have enough energy contained inside their plasma to do anything beyond obliterating their internal carbon plating and damaging the reactor vessel from the subsequent outgassing. There's no solid or solid-like material in one to burn a hole in the ground with, and there's certainly not enough energy within the reactor chamber at any given point in time to create epic boom with water.

    EDIT: Here's a better formula for obtaining lithium:

    Obsidian -> Macerator -> Obsidian Dust + Water -> Igneous Solution -> Electrolyzer -> Lithium Dust

    • Official Post

    Comments in RED
    Btw: I included some changes (Plating/Lithium recipe) into my 1st post i hope this is okay with you.

  • My main issue with a "preheat" stage is that a) it's part of the actual reactor operation cycle, not a preheat stage, b) it takes only a few tenths of a second to heat the plasma (if even), and c) when the reaction shuts down, plasma heat is lost on the order of tenths of seconds again. There's really no realistic point in simulating heatup and cooldown.
    Then again, I'm not entirely sure if you're suggesting simulating preheat and cooldown ... so take this criticism accordingly.

    ITER is an experimental reactor, and therefore has shot-lengths that are finite. Everything that I have heard leads me to believe that the goal is for a commercial reactor to be a continuous run device. Now, if the fusion reactor in Minecraft is supposed to be an "experimental" class device, that's fine. But if it's supposed to be a "futuresight" commercial device, it really ought to be continuous.

    Something else to consider to increase complexity and decrease "availability" of fusion is that neutron blankets have to be changed often on a fusion device (est. at once every 2 years for a commercial device). The blankets will be so radioactive that they will be unsafe to handle without significant protective equipment.

    I stand corrected on lithium breeder walls (I don't work on fusion reactor wall research, used to work on plasma core and core-edge interface research).

    Also, you're more than welcome to take my suggestions and incorporate them in the OP. Tier 4 powerplants would be a cool addition. :)

    • Official Post
  • Maybe when you place this block, it would spawn a rather large (~10 diameter) torus-shaped collection of blocks around it to simulate a real fusion reactor? Or the size could be variable, depending on the amount of resources you put into it.

  • I've coded a (somewhat simplified) fusion reactor as part of my Rocket Science addon - you might want to check that out. Tritium breeding and plasma-wall interaction damage are slated to appear in the next release.

    (Irontygre, you worked in plasma physics? What're the odds that there would be two of us on this board?)

    Great addon, Kentington! Hopefully in the future there will be SMP support :) .

  • A fusion reactor would require more energy than you would get out. I know this is just a game, but still, IC2 (to me) tries to mimic real life components in some fashion.....do we have fusion reactors? And no, the HC is not a fusion reactor in any sense.

    In order to create a sun, you would need a yotta-mega-gram of hydrogen (that's 1e30) compressed until self-fusion reaction occurs. Currently, in order to get hydrogen from water, it requires about 1kj of power to produce 22g of hydrogen...which means you would need 45.5 yotta-mega-joules of power in order to create enough material (at the current rate of a nuclear reactor in IC2 pumping out say 400 EU/s, it would take 3.6 zetta-years). AND that would require 8x more water as resource in order to make the hydrogen in the same mass. PLUS, the energy produced by this sun with our current technology only allows us to absorb and use only about 80% of it back as EU in the system....there is no perpetual engines in thermodynamics, there is always loss somewhere.

    This is why fusion reactors are not feasible, in real life, but if you want it in a game, fine, but I won't be using it (I feel it is either OP or useless no matter how you justify it).

  • >> "before posting meaningless BS, pls take a second to get acquainted with actual research. and take a look at the iter project. thx"

    I have and I know about it...but just because someone is getting grants to do research on something, doesn't make it any more possible or proven efficient. Look at all the companies/idiots trying to create perpetual motion for example. There was a device created years ago (similar to the design of Iter) that injected hydrogen on small scales in a magnetic centrifuge but the power output was less than that of straight burning it in comparison (and burning is 80% efficient).

    So before posting a comment as if I know nothing, you might want to say to yourself "this guy might know wtf he's talking about, maybe he has degrees in the field," or at the very least, rub a couple of your neurons together to remember that you can't create more energy than you put into a system....ever! Even our own sun has limited power, it will eventually die, that's called entropy (although it's more of the expanding universe theory and the cooling effect, but we won't get into quantum mechanics and other proofs when you can't even handle basic Einstein energy law).