Warning: if you don't like side-notes (I would call This a side-note) then don't read this text. It will drive you mad.
Today I thought I'd have another go at CASUC reactors. I wanted to know if the fact that you can now attach pipes to the chambers itself changed the winner in the water vs ice race. For me it always was fairly simple. I need two different types of pipes to insert and extract buckets in and out of the reactor. Redpower tubes and it's awesome retrievers (to extract many empty buckets out of the reactor through only 1 pipe and thus only using the space of 1 chamber) deployers and filters. And I needed Buildcraft (with the additional pipes insertion and redstone pipe) to insert the filled buckets by creating a little circle (remember, it's Minecraft, so when I say circle I basicly mean a square) with an insertion pipes, an iron pipe, a golden pipe and a redstone pipe to create an "infinite" sized buffer which could dump out its entire contents in only a fraction of a second (which could be 5 or 500 buckets (or ice)). Because I could not make a "kind of a bit stable" reactor with only one of the 2 kind of pipes I stopped with looking in the possibilities of the water cooled reactors and build a gigantic ice cooled nuclear power-plant using ice cooled reactors and breeders. The result was a 15000 EU/t power-plant which was so efficient I felt wrong about asking the other players of my server 1 uranium per 10 million EU (delivered for free using teleport-pipes and power-converters (I kept track of how many EU every one used with a energy counter I designed myself and could also let them pay by means of teleport-pipes)) because it was much cheaper for me to make (it also had some ridicules number of MFSU's, good for 10 billion EU of storage (in case I didn't log in for a few days)).
I'm wasting your time by not getting to the point. Because you can now attach pipes to the chambers itself I thought I'd give the bucket design another go. The result is in the crappy quality screenshots (only 450 kB for all your attachments). It's this design and it doesn't use an absurd amount of redstone logic-circuits (yes, it does use 1 million vanilla repeaters too many). As you can see it produces 2020 EU/t and I ran a complete cycle without any problems. I could not make this design work with Redpower to insert the buckets, not even with the now 10 relays right next to the reactor or attached directly to the chambers themselves (I tried 1, 2 and 8 attached to the reactor, but they still got "out of sync" and missed 1 bucket every 10 seconds or so, enough for the reactor to overheat and blow up (luckily I did have 7 backups (I learned the hard way how important backups are when doing nuclear reactor stuff))). It's counterpart these days is this 2070 EU/t design which is only 50 EU/t more. So this means that a long as you don't use EE to get the ice, it will be very difficult to get more EU/t out of an ice reactor vs a water reactor (I know someone set himself the challenge to do this with only 50 EU/t (it was mijnboogje:"i just love the advanced machine's add ons, gues its time for me to build an industrial monster... goal: dont let the coolants eat more then 50 eu/tick now THAT wil be an chalange :P")).
Lets for argument sake his cooling design is awesome and uses exactly 50 EU/t (which it probably will) and that it is just as large as a good empty bucket extraction system (which it might not be, but who cares, it's Minecraft, so we have a lot of space to build something awesome). Then there is no difference in EU/t between the two designs, so then the biggest thing for me is: ice stacks, buckets don't. This has always been a huge reason why i like ice better then buckets. When you detect (with the system you can see in the screenshot of the reactor itself) that the reactor is filled, with ice it means you can safely let the reactor run for a minute without supplying any more ice. With a buckets cooled reactor the only thing you know is that there was no free slot in the reactor when the buckets tried to get in. This could also mean that the empty bucket extraction system failed to pull out all 8 empty buckets within 1 second and if it failed altogether then you are now relying on some other system to shut down the reactor for you. I never liked the idea that you need to react within 5 seconds, or the reactor is very likely to blow up. With ice cooled reactors you can have no ice coming into the reactor for a whole minute and still have 4 ice in every single slot and the reactor at a maximum of 299 heat.
So, what do you like? Water, or ice.