Q: How are the settings based on?
A: This mod tries to preserve as much vanilla settings as possible, while just do the minimal essential modifications to correct the "enrichment problem". Therefore, recipes ingredients ratios are balanced primarily towards original vanilla recipe ingredients, so may not reflect real-world figures too well (e.g., amount of U-235 contents in uranium fuel cell or atomic bomb).
In general, it is easier (in time and effort) to start the use for power generation, and it is no longer needed to accumulate enough U-235 (for starting Kovarex enrichment for reliable fuel cell production).
It would be a bit harder to use for atomic weapon, because of the longer enrichment time. The yield should roughly the same as vanilla game (actually a bit cheaper).
Information and figures are taken from various online sources as references, including World Nuclear Association.
Q: Why is sulfuric acid requirement moved from uranium ore mining stage to the uranium oxide concentrate "yellowcake" stage, from 0.17.2 onwards?
A: First of all, this change only applies if option "Remove need of mining fluid" is checked. So players prefer not to change their already working base production, can choose to disable this.
But there is a high incentive to implement this: sulfuric acid is used at uranium oxide concentrate "yellowcake" stage, not during mining. Use of sulfuric acid is to get the uranium part out from other irrelevant contents. (This is where the high compression ratio of 10:1 ore to U-238/U-235 should come from.)
I believe it is way more accurate to reality, it is hard to imagine pouring acid on ground to extract uranium directly! (Not to say in concern of gameplay, laying pipes and supplying acid to all the mining drills is an annoying process...)
Q: Why is the uranium oxide concentrate "yellowcake" crafted in assembling machine from 0.17.2 onwards?
A: In reality, preparation of yellowcake is a relatively "low-tech" processing that involves crushing and grinding of uranium ore, then further processed by acid (or other solution). So it is just an ordinary mechanical and chemical process. It does not requires the expensive centrifuging cylinders to prepare that.
Still, the stronger reason is gameplay-wise. In-game centrifuge does not allow fluid as input. To support this option to shift the sulfuric acid from mining stage to oxide concentrate stage, the latter can no longer be done by centrifuge.
Q: Why not just remove the Kovarex enrichment process?
A: Although Kovarex enrichment process is unrealistic or even "cheaty", this recipe is preserved, because it is the only way to get rid of the excess uranium-238. Here I allow the player (or the host player on multiplayer server) to choose whether to keep this process or not (under "Options" → "Mod settings" → "Startup").
Especially for players who do not produce uranium ammo and cannon shells, the depleted uranium will pile up endlessly. Although uranium disposal is a real-life problem, I have to balance between realism and gameplay. Dumping unused uranium in chests does not bring any fun or constructive elements to the game, so I am leaving the modified recipe to deal with that.
Q: Can you add another recipe to get rid of uranium-238, and replace the Kovarex enrichment process?
A: Yes, I want to do it too, yet I do not have any idea for it. If you have any suggestions, please do so in discussion section! Especially if it has some scientific base (like successful lab-tested), I will be very happy to take it!
Q: Do you plan to add intermediate concentration of uranium items? The gap between low enriched uranium (LEU)
and ighly-enriched uranium (HEU) is too large.
A: Yes, LEU has 3.5% - 5% U-235 and HEU has ca. 90% U-235, it would make sense to do so... BUT there are no practical uses for those moderate concentrations. It would not add any "fun" to the game, so I prefer not to add that.
Q: Do you plan to add thorium and plutonium cycles, which are actual uses of uranium?
A: Although they are realistic uses, my answer is no. This mod tries to keep the "vanilla-flavour" and keep simple. Adding new radioactive elements would mean totally new applications (new products), would end up as a much bigger mod than what I expected. These elements deserve to show up in a new extension mod alone, but I do not have any plans to do that.
Honestly, radioactive and/or fissile elements have no practical uses in this game, other than making nuclear bombs. The vanilla uranium atomic bomb is already well enough to take out these "weak" biters and their nests... Possibly only modded biters can withstand one blast. But when one is not enough, you can always throw in two or three...
Plus, there are some existing nuclear mods doing these already. Those plutonium bombs should be able to handle these modded biters... So I better not be a copycat here.
Full List of New (or Changed) Items
- (2 new, 2 changed) resources:
- Uranium concentrate
- Depleted uranium [renamed from "Uranium-238"]
- Low enriched uranium
- Highly enriched uranium [renamed from "Uranium-235"]
- (2 new, 5 changed) uranium-related:
- Uranium processing [outputs uranium concentrate instead]
- Low enriched uranium
- Highly enriched uranium
- Kovarex enrichment process [outputs low enriched uranium instead, recipe time increased to 120s]
- Nuclear fuel [inputs low enriched uranium instead]
- Uranium fuel cell [inputs low enriched uranium instead]
- Nuclear fuel reprocessing [outputs uranium concentrate instead, and in larger amount]
- (1 changed) uranium-related:
- Uranium processing [unlocks two new enrichment recipes]