Adamo Nuclear

by ElAdamo

Always number one. Always Nuka Cola!

9 days ago
0.17 - 0.18
The Unlicense (Public Domain)
10 months ago
Latest Version:
0.2.2 (9 days ago)
Factorio version:
0.17 - 0.18
1007 times

Strongly recommended to use alongside my physics and gas power mods. Make power with freedom!

Adamo Nuclear overhauls the nuclear processing chain and power production. It significantly increases the effectiveness of nuclear fuel, and makes the production of enriched material more straight-forward and physically-sensible, at the cost of a fluid logistics step at the enrichment stage. It introduces a complete nuclear fuel reprocessing cycle based on the PUREX (standard across industry) and REMIX (recently invented by the Russians) processes, which ultimately allow for a complete burn-down of all nuclear material. Plutonium 238, a radioactive isotope well-suited for RTG applications, and radioactive glass are the ultimate "products" of the nuclear fuel cycle, but I provide other ways to use nuclear materials, too.

Big picture, this mod is about long-term production and the recycling and reprocessing of resources and fuels to efficiently use your uranium, but everything still works well-enough if you don't worry about reprocessing. I think it sounds more complicated than it is. Don't let the details dissuade you! Give it a try; it's not hard to figure out, and the recipes are well-organized.

To begin, uranium ore is rebranded. Uranium ore is mined with sulfuric acid. Why is that? Two reasons, in modern industry: leach mining, which uses acids to mine ore out of the ground in a slurry; and uranium is concentrated into yellowcake directly at the uranium mine using acid. Therefore, mining drills over uranium ore output yellowcake instead of uranium ore. Yellowcake is processed into natural urania (old speak for uranium dioxide, the typical uranium fuel form) before enrichment.

In the uranium processing tech, there is a new type of reactor: the thermal nuclear boiler. This reactor covers the same footprint as the vanilla boiler, but can power 4 steam engines instead of two. It makes good use of uranium due to its low enrichment requirements and serves well as an intermediate step between chemical burner boilers and the primary nuclear reactor. I was not able to set the boiler to continue burning nuclear fuel after the steam fills up, so this boiler is even a bit "cheaty". Combined with the electric boiler mod and the gas boiler mod, you will have a wide range of boilers available in the 2x3 footprint: electric; chemical fuel; fluid fuel; and nuclear fuel.

The vanilla reactor is rebranded as a liquid-metal-cooled fast reactor, which is strongly implied by its graphic. These reactors make efficient use of nuclear material through plutonium breeding but require highly-enriched fuels.

Three types of nuclear fuel are available: low-enriched urania (LEU); high-enriched urania (HEU); and uranium-plutonium mixed-oxide (MOX). LEU fuel is used in the thermal nuclear boiler mentioned above. HEU and MOX fuels are used in the vanilla reactor. Along with providing energy in the reactor, spent HEU fuel is reprocessed for its bred plutonium. Plutonium is combined with depleted uranium to make MOX fuel cells, which can be burned down (about 3.5% at a time) using the REMIX recipe. Expect a complete fuel cycle with a mega reactor to take days, or even weeks. For those who aren't using mega reactors: don't fret. You will simply have plenty of energy and probably a lot of leftover uranium. Use it to make weapons!

Ore-for-ore, uranium fuel has approximately 20 times as much energy as it does in vanilla. This balances against the fact that you will need to use considerably more uranium to make nuclear bombs or the thermonuclear rockets introduced in this mod. I consider these improvements in realism.

Urania must be converted to uranium hex, a fluid, which is piped into the centrifuge for enrichment. Enrichment recipes are available for various levels of enrichment. I think this will be straight-forward when you examine the recipes. To make the uranium hex, you will need hydrofluoric acid. Adamo Chemical introduces hydrofluoric acid from fluorite ore, but without that mod, this mod will populate a simple hydrofluoric acid recipe made from stone. If anyone has another hydrofluoric acid they'd like to be supported, we can talk. The enriched hex and depleted hex are then piped separately to chemical plants, where they are transformed into enriched urania and fuel cells, and the hydrofluoric acid is recovered.

One might ask: how did I come up with these numbers? I developed a toy model using the nuclear absorption and fission cross-sections of most uranium and plutonium isotopes relative to the fast neutron spectrum, set some of the game parameters, and let the fuel "burn" and "breed" plutonium according to their intrinsic probabilities. The results are somewhat interesting and definitely more realistic than vanilla gameplay, but I do want them to work well for gameplay, so I may adjust them, and I'm open to suggestions. If anyone wants to see my data sheet, we can talk about that, too.