I’ve been thinking a lot about how nuclear reactors could work in GT6. A lot of mods before have created interesting nuclear reactors so expectations are quite high. However the most interesting, fun, customizable and expandable reactors in modded MC are still the old IC2 reactors.
They provide a perfect optimization puzzle for power, efficiency, material cost and ease of automation with no “best design”, but multiple use cases as normal, breeder or cooling reactors. IC2 Classic stepped things up even further by providing more unique fuels, electric heat vents, steam reactors and a bit of an “crafting system” for them, where you need to breed the best type of fuel additive.
While trying to think of new systems more in the line of ReactorCraft, I wasn’t able to come up with something half as good as IC2s reactors and I doubt there even is, as in-world multiblock designs lack the room limitation and flexibility of a simple inventory.
So why not have GT6 nuclear reactors be a slightly changed IC2 (Classic) reactor?
There are a lot of benefits to this compared to an original in-world multiblock reactor:
- Generally more server friendly than multiblock variants
- Smaller, so less chunks need to be loaded for it
- Breeder reactors and breeding based crafting
- Familiarity makes learning to use it easier
- Greater usability of a component heat based system, because component heat can be displayed as a damage bare, which wouldn’t be possible with an in-world solution
Obviously IC2 reactors aren’t entirely fit to GT6, but with some changes and expansions they could be. Having the ability (and need) to place covers on them and configure sides would be the first thing and a obvious addition. Shutting the reactor off would require Redstone Machine Switch, etc. The reactor would also not output electricity anymore, but heat. Heat extraction could be implemented in a number of ways, either just outputting it on the top or on a heat output configured side or with a heat output cover.
Instead of having an entirely separate steam reactor, the reactor is basically a steam reactor from the start. Heat vents should store a liquid or gas and output a hot version of it. The default coolant would just be air, added by a Air Vent cover, producing no hot product, but just outputting the heat directly.
Different coolants would change the properties of the air vents, able to change up how the reactor works entirely. This allows for a lot of design freedom (for the implementation and the user).
Some small new mechanics could also be introduced this way, like moderators. They could double the neutrons passing through them and allow them to pass through. Graphite blocks could act as moderators and water feed heat vents too.
This system would allow many real world reactor designs to be replicated in some way (heavy water, liquid metal, gas-cooled, pebble-bed, molten salt), without special reactor types with their own special mechanics required for them.