Posts by DuncanS

    That's reasonably efficient right out of the box - you can simply run it from cold until it runs out of Uranium, then wait for it to absolutely cool. Run it a second time, and when Uranium runs out this time, you'll have 8 re-enriched cells to collect.

    There is a way to do better with that reactor, which is to use a boiling water detector, (or a reactor temperature control addin of some sort) to regulate it - with your reactor, automatically switching off at the point of water evaporation will allow the reactor to maintain a steady 8000 heat. This will allow you to collect 8 re-enriched cells after only 1 run instead of two (although the run will be as long as the previous run + cooldown, on average you'll get twice as much output per unit time as before). This improves both the efficiency and (more importantly in my opinion) throughput. With a temperature control addin, you could maintain over 9k heat, and get more throughput still. (I use the boiling water detector because my game is vanilla IC2 with no additional anything.)

    See my post on making an automatic safety shutoff here How to make a reactor safety shutoff . To make a regulator instead of a shutoff, all you need is a redstone circuit or something like it to regularly try and turn the reactor back on.

    There is a still more efficient approach - making a perfect breeder, but that takes a different reactor design.

    Well, if he's trolling, it's working. You've all taken the bait and bitten hard....

    The idea that this is a thread of good reactor designs seems just about dead. You may as well let people express their creativity in peace.

    Actually I've got a reactor design which is even better. By the rules it's allowed, because it's not an efficiency 1 reactor.

    For best results, plant it right in the middle of your base, and perhaps even apply a redstone signal to it, just to be on the safe side. Then wait for a really long time.


    My thought is that it ought to be somewhere the teleporter would be able to teleport you to if you'd actually set it up normally. ie that if you have 10 MEu in the MFSU nearby, it'll kick you out to anywhere within about a 5k radius, or whatever radius 10 MEu could normally teleport you to. But perhaps it should be more random than usual - some chance of not going far at all - some chance of ending up significantly further away.

    Obviously it should gulp down all the energy in the attached MFSU's as a tradeoff....

    I can't see any reason why it should favour chunks you've seen before (other than technical limitations, obviously)

    Suppose you link a teleporter to itself, what should happen? Well, surely not nothing - instead there should be a feedback loop that means that you're deposited somewhere - anywhere - across the current world. After you've walked back, if you try it again, you will end up somewhere else....

    To be slightly more helpful, there are some heuristics you can use to help you build a good reactor.

    1. Never split your Uranium into several areas. If you find you want to, you'll discover it's cheaper to build small reactors for each of the areas rather than one big one to contain them all.

    2. Minimise the heat dispersers! Well I think I've gone on long enough about those, but you should aim to have something to heat/cool on each side of a heat disperser, and to avoid cases where one cooling cell is next to several dispersers. Form little crosses of cooling cells around a heat disperser (well, you always have to settle for 2 or 3 cells in most cases, but try...)

    3. Breeders are a little different as typically you don't try to directly cool the Uranium - instead the whole reactor is set up to cool the reactor chamber. You want to maximise breeding efficiency by surrounding 1 or 2 U with isotope cells. The rest is usually cooling, but usually with either perfect balance or some other temperature objective in mind.

    4. Juggle juggle juggle stuff around looking for any small advantage, until you're happy. At this point you probably still don't have an optimum reactor, but the result shouldn't be embarrassingly bad any more.

    There are lots of ways of designing a bad reactor, and I can't cover them all here, but there are some mistakes being made over and over again....

    1. Don't just make some reactor, and say -"Here, look how good this reactor is." What did you design it to be good at? Are you aiming for the all-time power record for a Vanilla IC2 reactor? Or are you doing this for a CASUC? Perhaps instead you prefer reactors that don't work at efficiency 1, and are tolerably efficient in their use of Uranium. Perhaps it's a breeder?

    To make a lousy reactor post, make sure you don't decide what it ought to be good at, or if you do, don't tell us in the title.

    2. Make sure you include lots and lots and lots of heat dispersers in your reactor. Why will this make your reactor worse?
    a) Heat dispersers are really, really expensive to make. So unlike cooling cells, which are really cheap. So adding lots makes the reactor cost so much more!
    b) Heat dispersers just move heat around, and allow you to keep hot cells cool, and cooler cells hot. But they don't actually cool down the whole assembly. So adding more means you have less space for cooling cells, which means your reactor runs hotter, for less time, at higher expense. It's a lose - lose scenario !

    Conclusion. To make your reactor worse, take out cooling cells and add more heat dispersers!

    3. Use Reactor plating. It's expensive, it hardly has any cooling effect, and it acts on other components in ways that are hard to understand. So obviously it would be good to put more of this into the reactor, especially if it means you can put less of those cheap, effective cooling cells in.

    4. Reactor chambers are free ! Did you know this? Everyone used to think that reactor chambers were expensive, crafted only with great amounts of copper, iron, redstone and tin. But nobody making a bad reactor should worry about this - you should make a six chamber reactor for everything as they are just more HAYO. The fact that small reactors get the same amount of free cooling from water blocks as big ones is irrelevant, and you shouldn't consider either that, or the extra expense of all those chambers as being important in any way !

    5. Scatter Uranium all over the reactor. Make pretty patterns with it. Be creative ! Sensible rectangular shapes are so square and boring. Who cares if they're more efficient? Forget those boring rectangles, and you too can have an inefficient reactor with a cool design motif written in Uranium!

    If you put all this into practice, you too can design a 6 chamber reactor with efficiency 1, giving 100 Eu per turn and needing 90 minutes to cool down after each run, and costing enough to build three regular reactors......

    Note this is the easy way - not the most efficient !

    First, here's a suitable reactor design.


    The extra chamber isn't a mistake - it's to ensure that the reactor doesn't get to 85% heat externally, and start spewing lava everywhere.

    The way to use it - you simply load it up, and start it. It's a positive breeder, so it will get hot all by itself, but it's designed to run out of Uranium before it actually overheats. Once finished, leave it to cool until absolutely cold. Then put in another uranium cell (don't start it off early, or you'll just have a nice hole in return for your efforts!) This time, when it finishes, you'll get 4 re-enriched uranium.

    No pre-heating. No monitoring. No timing. And a relatively cheap reactor too.

    For your safety, please note that this reactor requires external water cooling, and does get hot enough to evaporate water blocks. You are advised to build it with source water blocks above the reactor, with at least two clear blocks between them and the central reactor block to ensure they aren't evaporated. It also gets hot enough to give radiation damage - stand well clear....

    The overall maths - for each initial chunk of Uranium you get 8 isotope cells. These get converted into 8 uranium cells, but with this method you'll need to put 4 of them back into the breeders in order to run them. Overall, you get a surplus of 4 uranium cells per initial piece of Uranium, and additionally 8 million Eu (generated at efficiency 1) from the breeder reactors. If you burn the other four cells at efficiency 3 in some other reactor, that nets you 32 Million EU per uranium chunk, all told.

    You may know of two methods for doing this already.

    1. A wooden block carrying a redstone signal within the 5x5x5 radius of the reactor. Once the reactor hits 40% heat, it starts setting fire to such blocks, breaking the redstone signal. This can be used to shut off the reactor.
    Upsides - pretty simple.
    Downsides - destroys the wooden block, which will need to be replaced.

    2. The chicken kill switch. Imprison a chicken on top of a (stone, I think) pressure plate. When the reactor hits 65/70% heat, the radiation level increases, and the chicken dies, releasing the pressure plate.
    Upsides - simple.
    Downsides - You need to replace the chicken.

    The third method is to detect the water evaporation which happens at 50% heat, and you can do that by placing a wall like the one pictured around part of your reactor. In this demo, standing on the pressure plate arms the detector by first powering the pistons at the bottom, then via a redstone wire along the top. (Note the extra delay for the line along the top.) When power is released, the piston's don't retract, and this is the state you see in the picture. At least, they don't until a block update occurs next to one of the pistons. This can detect evaporating water, but in this mockup you can emulate that by placing or removing a block next to one of the pistons. When you do that, the whole wall will retract.

    To turn this into a redstone signal, I usually mount the last piston in the row sideways, and make it sticky. You can then use standard redstone techniques to turn this into a signal to turn off your reactor when the piston retracts.

    Once set up, it doesn't consume anything, and it'll turn off your reactor within about 20 seconds of it hitting 50% heat.

    I think the cells take 15 or 20 seconds to recharge because he's playing in creative mode. In creative mode, a newly coined depleted isotope cell is generated in the almost completely charged state.

    At 9000 heat, in survival mode, you'll see his reactor takes half a cycle to recharge these things - just over an hour and a half.

    If you're using a CASUC, you may as well go to 9000 heat - if you can stably keep that heat level, it is more productive. For the particular approach I'm using (detecting the point at which water starts to evaporate around the reactor), it's not as practical because I'd have to push the reactor to over 18000 points, which implies putting more than 20 pieces of plating in - not such a good idea.

    The thing I like about the reactor I have is that I don't need to come back in the middle of the cycle and switch things around - I only interact with it once at fuel load time, and then I leave it to look after itself for a few hours. In Uranium terms my approach is perfectly good enough - I get 6 Uranium cells out for every 1 Uranium in - if I used 9000 heat instead I would only get 7 instead. However, throughput is low - the reactor takes around 4 hours to return its six cells (it yields 8, but burns 2 in the process) due to the cooldown issues.

    I haven't tried the perfect breeder or CASUC approaches, and maybe that would be equally easy.

    I have to agree with the earlier poster who said that if you've got a decent mining operation, you probably don't need breeders. I'm playing with only IC2 and Minecraft (no CASUCS's or Redcraft for me), and while I can breed U cells pretty efficiently, it's really just as easy to dig more Uranium out of the ground.

    Having said that, I've had more fun making the breeders than anything else, as mine are not newbie reactors - they use piston-based block update detectors and some vanilla redstone circuitry to automatically stabilise their temperature at 7000 and 8000 heat (I have two reactors of slightly differing design.). So far I've made about 50 enriched uranium cells with them.

    However I have about 100 Uranium, so I don't really need to bother....

    Your reactor is running hot enough to have environmental effects - any water in a 5x5x5 cube centred on the reactor has a chance of evaporating. Put another way, any water around the reactor will evaporate, and must be resupplied either as falling water supplied by source blocks out of range, or by source blocks that reduplicate. If your source blocks end up being evaporated and the reactor starts to go dry, then overheating and explosion will follow shortly afterwards.

    I think your reactor config might lose the plating in the top left corner over time because it has no cooling, but that shouldn't cause the reactor to blow.

    When I came to the point in IC2 to construct my first breeder reactor, I decided I wanted a fully automated system. All I want to do is put fuel in, and take the Re-enriched uranium cells back out. How can you do this in IC2?

    Think about increasingly hot reactors. They cause environmental effects. Can these be detected in-game? Some, such as the ability to harm nearby mobs, can't easily be. But there are three that can be detected by a block update detector in minecraft. Lava is one, but it also destroys random blocks around the machine, and so will eventually cut off both power and the redstone circuit that turns off the reactor - so that's no use. The ability to set fire to flammable stuff at 40% heat is not much better because you need to manually provide flammable stuff. That leaves water - at 50% heat, flowing water evaporates. This effect can readily be detected by a block update detector, and this can provide a trigger to turn off the reactor. We should therefore be able to automatically maintain a reactor at 50% heat. I call this reactor type the BWR - the boiling water reactor.

    For automated breeding purposes, we want to maintain a reactor at 6000 heat or more - or even, adventurously, at 9000 heat or more. In order to do this, all we need is a reactor of the right size. A reactor with no additional chambers melts down at 10,000 heat, and hits 50% heat at 5000 - too cool. A 4 block reactor is better - it melts down at 14,000, and 50% heat for it is 7,000 heat. At that temperature, it should turn a depleted isotope cell back into enriched uranium in one cycle. 9000 heat is only just possible - for that you need a 6 chamber reactor which contains more than 20 pieces of reactor plating to push the overall meltdown point to over 18,000 - the reactor planner says this is possible, but so much cooling capability is lost that it's not really better in my view than a safer model running between 6-8000 heat. The build I used had 8 isotope cells and 2 uranium, and gives a net gain of 6 uranium cells per cycle for the input of one piece of mined uranium. The rest was cooling. You also get 4M Eu, but that's not so important.... Cooling is good because more cooling means the reactor runs a larger % of the time.

    The rest is just engineering. We need a reactor design that continuously gets hotter, so that it will self-heat from zero up to (say) 7000 heat, at which point it will start evaporating water. We don't want that to happen too fast so we have some safety margin. We need falling water in the reactor so that there is a continuously replenished supply of blocks to evaporate. We surround the water with a line of block update detectors (these are not triggered by smoothly falling water) so we can detect when a block is evaporated, and turn off the reactor. And we need a reset circuit that tries to reset the detector and turn the reactor on roughly every minute or so - this can be based on redstone clocks and pistons. And that's a BWR breeder.

    When it's switched on, it will run continuously until it reaches 50% heat. The block update detector approach is actually very sensitive - in my builds, the reactor turns off within about 5 seconds of reaching 50%. Because of this sensitivity, I can use a very crude clock for turning the reactor back on again. If it sometimes turns on again immediately, that doesn't matter, as the BUD system will turn back off again fast if it's too hot. An independent timer that fires every minute or so is sufficient.

    So here are the rest of the components I used. The detector is based on pistons, and the pistons are placed facing outwards around 3 sides of the bottom of 5x5x5 cube containing the reactor. Each piston is primed by powering the block beneath it using a repeater, and it is kept on initially by a redstone wire some distance above. You power the repeater, then the wire, then depower the repeater, then the wire - but the piston will stay extended until a block update occurs. The vertical layout is repeater powered block, piston, block, block, redstone.

    The big advantage of this detector is that if you put these pistons next to each other horizontally, they set each other off. Any block update detected by any of the pistons causes a chain reaction of updates, causing all the pistons surrounding the reactor to retract. I'll leave the problem of turning that into a redstone signal to power off the reactor to you....

    All of this stuff ought to be in a single chunk for safety, and that's doable.

    The simplest reset / repower clock is two circles of repeaters - one slightly quicker than the other - and a circuit that only fires when both circles have a signal at the same local point. It's not terribly safety critical - although I also added an edge detector circuit inside the chunk to ensure I had no problems if the clock unloaded in the powered-on state to ensure I didn't get stuck in continual reset. (You can make an edge detector with a torch and delayed repeater at the end of a line - if both torch and repeater are off, you have an edge..)

    Anyway - it's an arguably safer alternative to perfectly balanced reactors which are manually preheated - I enjoyed making one, and thought I'd pass the idea on.