Nuclear Power: Why Bother?

MaxAstroMaxAstro Join Date: 2005-07-07 Member: 55451Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
Okay, for starters I understand that in some cases it's the only option - like you are so far away from a thermal vent that you can't possibly string together enough power transmitters even though gold is ironically the one of the most common resources in the game.

However: It's hugely inconvenient, requires constant maintenance/farming of a rare resource, and - this is the big one - doesn't even produce that much power comparatively. Actually, no, the constant maintenance is the big one. Ironically from its description, the only time nuclear power feels worth it is if you have a base with an unusually low power yield, such that it will functionally never burn through the yield of a set of four rods. In any other situation, renewable power is a better choice.

Also, I don't feel like there are many places in the world that you would WANT a base where neither solar nor thermal is an option. The blood kelp? Maybe? Is there enough stuff there to be worth making a permanent base?

tl;dr: Does anyone ever use nuclear as their main source of power?
"The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go." - Sanae Hanekoma
Absolite
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  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 858 Advanced user
    I've only used nuclear as a base power supply once. It was a small depot I built in the entrance of the Lost River, so no thermals available and no solar. I could've gone with bio, probably, but the fuel was right at hand, so I went with it.

    But you are right, 100% - keeping a nuclear reactor fed and operating is a serious time-sink. Even so...it is kinda cool... :)

    (PS: Nice quote in your sigblock, mate.) :)
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
    CaptainFearlessAbsolite
  • sayerulzsayerulz oregon Join Date: 2015-04-15 Member: 203493Members Posts: 744 Advanced user
    What I have to wonder is what the hell is there in our seabase that uses so much power that an amount of fissile uranium that could power an aircraft carrier for decades is consumed to power our little titanium tubes in a matter of hours?
    LordDerpTenebrousNovascifiwriterguyMyrm
  • MaxAstroMaxAstro Join Date: 2005-07-07 Member: 55451Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
    It probably goes to feeding the energy -> matter conversion that allows the coffee machine to produce coffee from thin air. :P
    "The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go." - Sanae Hanekoma
  • gamer1000kgamer1000k Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Members Posts: 313 Advanced user
    A bit of shameless self promotion, but on the topic of energy usage in Subnautica...
    Energy in Subnautica

    Nuclear reactors aren't mentioned (I haven't used them much myself), but there is definitely some wonky physics with the energy usage in this game.
  • Amazing_AquacatAmazing_Aquacat North Texas Join Date: 2017-05-22 Member: 230676Members Posts: 31 Advanced user
    I use one in my base just on the edge to the drop to the ILZ from the lost River. It was more of a "let's see if I can find a use for all this lead" than anything else. I tore it down and moved the reactor when I discovered the sound it made drove me batty. Uranium is easy to come by down there so it seems like a no brainer.
    Amadeone
  • FathomFathom Earth Join Date: 2016-07-01 Member: 219405Members Posts: 614 Advanced user
    I use the fuel based power plants as a foundation for my energy needs and the regenerating energy sources for my day to day use. So should I need a lot of energy at some point, I don't have to wait for the recharge. Also bridging night time with solar power. Beats spamming the relatively resource intensive Solar Panels and Thermal Plants to get the power level to where I want it.
  • MaxAstroMaxAstro Join Date: 2005-07-07 Member: 55451Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
    Here's a thing I haven't tested enough to figure out: Which are used first, renewable energy or non? For example, if you have a base with both nuclear and solar - say 200 of the energy cap comes from solar. Will the solar be used first so that the first 200 burned will recharge? Or will the nuclear be used first, leaving you with an empty reactor that your solar can't refill?
    "The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go." - Sanae Hanekoma
  • FathomFathom Earth Join Date: 2016-07-01 Member: 219405Members Posts: 614 Advanced user
    Honestly, I am not sure. It may be by build order but I'd have to test it to find out. Or maybe activation order. I know I had a Nuclear Reactor staying full while Thermal Plants provide power for the Water Filter where I build the Thermal Plants first.

    Would be nice if you could see that somewhere or even determine which order what gets used. More good arguments for a Seabase Control Room.
    xm234scifiwriterguy
  • RalijRalij US Join Date: 2016-05-20 Member: 217092Members Posts: 602 Advanced user
    Last I had checked build order was what determined what source power needs came from, but that was quite a whIle ago. Personally, I only really use the nuke in my main base as a backup... most of the time I just use the power transmitters to either haul energy from the nearest fissure or from the surface. You can string transmitters clear across the map, I've had a solar array in the shallows and strung it down into the grand reef.
    garath
  • kingkumakingkuma cancels Work: distracted by Dwarf Fortress Join Date: 2015-09-25 Member: 208137Members Posts: 825 Advanced user
    Ralij wrote: »
    Last I had checked build order was what determined what source power needs came from, but that was quite a whIle ago. Personally, I only really use the nuke in my main base as a backup... most of the time I just use the power transmitters to either haul energy from the nearest fissure or from the surface. You can string transmitters clear across the map, I've had a solar array in the shallows and strung it down into the grand reef.

    Yeah, I built my base next to the QEP and built the solar panels on the back end above the moonpool.
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  • ThePassionateGamerThePassionateGamer Germany Join Date: 2016-06-07 Member: 218219Members Posts: 303 Advanced user
    I have never build a nuclear reactor in my playtime before because I favor the "no-fuel" reactors. Yes that restricts any base that is even slightly power hungry to thermal active spots or close to the surface but that is the way I like my power to be. Setting it up and not having to worry about it anymore.

    As I mentioned in various other threads before, I still think the nuclear reactor should not remain our "top tier" option. I still hope for a self-sustaining fusion reactor or something SciFi-ish like Antimatter/Darkmatter reactors or so...as our end game power source. Something that puts out and stores enough power to keep a big base running AND recharge a Cyclops once docking gets implemented. That would be awesome. :love:
  • HiSaZuLHiSaZuL N.Y. Join Date: 2016-11-11 Member: 223803Members Posts: 210 Advanced user
    Ralij wrote: »
    Last I had checked build order was what determined what source power needs came from, but that was quite a whIle ago. Personally, I only really use the nuke in my main base as a backup... most of the time I just use the power transmitters to either haul energy from the nearest fissure or from the surface. You can string transmitters clear across the map, I've had a solar array in the shallows and strung it down into the grand reef.

    But you can't use bulkhead doors then and underwater it feels weird not to have them :(

  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    I only made a nuc reactor because why the F not.
    Ive powered it on... never.

    There are simply so many other power options, I havent found a need for one yet.

    Easiest logical fix would be to come up with a building we need with absolutely devastating power needs & boosting the reactors power creation by a large factor also.
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  • RalijRalij US Join Date: 2016-05-20 Member: 217092Members Posts: 602 Advanced user
    HiSaZuL wrote: »
    Ralij wrote: »
    Last I had checked build order was what determined what source power needs came from, but that was quite a whIle ago. Personally, I only really use the nuke in my main base as a backup... most of the time I just use the power transmitters to either haul energy from the nearest fissure or from the surface. You can string transmitters clear across the map, I've had a solar array in the shallows and strung it down into the grand reef.

    But you can't use bulkhead doors then and underwater it feels weird not to have them :(

    I don't really understand what you mean...
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 5,239 Advanced user
    I only made a nuc reactor because why the F not.
    Ive powered it on... never.

    There are simply so many other power options, I havent found a need for one yet.

    Easiest logical fix would be to come up with a building we need with absolutely devastating power needs & boosting the reactors power creation by a large factor also.

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  • orobourosorobouros US Join Date: 2016-04-01 Member: 215163Members Posts: 117 Advanced user
    MaxAstro wrote: »
    It probably goes to feeding the energy -> matter conversion that allows the coffee machine to produce coffee from thin air. :P

    LOL, he's right you know. I once spitballed the math to figure out how much electricity it would take to create the mass of a typical ham sandwich (cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, on a paper plate, no napkin) - by direct matter-to-energy magical conversion, at 100% efficiency, of course. It ended up being several years' worth of 1990's-era Earth's total electricity consumption...

    On top of that, despite being called a reactor, the in-game device functions a lot more like a nuclear battery - a mass of decaying nuclear material that gives off light and heat that is directly converted into electricity. If it were a real reactor you'd need at least one turbine somewhere to actually generate the electricity.
    0x6A7232
  • MaxAstroMaxAstro Join Date: 2005-07-07 Member: 55451Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
    There's the solution - clearly there needs to be a new device called a steam turbine (not future-y enough? Call it a fission turbine or something :P ) that has to be build into a MPR attached to the bottom of the MPR the reactor is in. Our current reactors only seem horribly underpowered because we are using them in the least efficient way possible. :P
    "The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go." - Sanae Hanekoma
    Absolite
  • zetachronzetachron Germany Join Date: 2014-11-14 Member: 199655Members Posts: 1,189 Advanced user
    The bioreactor is the cheapest setup for deep bases and with food farming an infinite power well as well. A big base might prefer thermal plants for the sake of recharging convenience and power magnitude, but it takes long to build TP arrays, so only big bases should use them mainly.

    As power is drawn randomly parallel instead drawing from recharging ones first, or at least if the drain exceeds the recharging rate, the nuclear plants massively loose rods and in future with reworked power loose even more.

    The rods just don't have enough power to make it feel comfortable, even if you have a bunch of scanner stations near massive uranite wells to refill them in time. And the nuclear plant also looses as a quick startup reactor against the bioreactor.

    It would be different if the devs decided that only the Precursors have the thermal plant tech inside their TPG and you need to get to this late game point to be able to get the best reactors. And thus the nuclear reactors could be a mid game option.

    Another possibility would be to increase the nuclear reactor power massively, but compensate this overpowered solution with instability and blowing up your bases if you don't repair them in time if an incident happens.

    Or the possiblity to upgrade nuclear rods to ion rods once you get the tech.
    the_marinerAbsoliteLACreoleman
  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 858 Advanced user
    Fathom wrote: »
    Honestly, I am not sure. It may be by build order but I'd have to test it to find out. Or maybe activation order. I know I had a Nuclear Reactor staying full while Thermal Plants provide power for the Water Filter where I build the Thermal Plants first.

    Would be nice if you could see that somewhere or even determine which order what gets used. More good arguments for a Seabase Control Room.

    I'm pretty sure the renewables are tapped first for the base power needs. I built a main seabase in the shallows not too long ago with a TON of solar panels and a bioreactor. The bioreactor was hardly using fuel at all, despite the base having four water purifiers and a pair of moonpools. So far as I could tell, during the day the power was coming almost exclusively from the solar panels. Only at night was the bioreactor contributing to keep the charge at 100%.

    I'm not certain, mind...just pretty sure. :)
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
  • MalsqueekMalsqueek United States Join Date: 2016-05-17 Member: 216835Members Posts: 23 Fully active user
    Fathom wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure the renewables are tapped first for the base power needs. I built a main seabase in the shallows not too long ago with a TON of solar panels and a bioreactor. The bioreactor was hardly using fuel at all, despite the base having four water purifiers and a pair of moonpools. So far as I could tell, during the day the power was coming almost exclusively from the solar panels. Only at night was the bioreactor contributing to keep the charge at 100%.

    I'm not certain, mind...just pretty sure. :)

    This is my experience as well. My main base has a thermal, four solars, and a nuke (because reasons), and the nuclear plant with a single rod was good for about 20 or so hours of playtime under pretty heavy stress from battery and seamoth charging as well as building things.
    Absolite
  • ThePassionateGamerThePassionateGamer Germany Join Date: 2016-06-07 Member: 218219Members Posts: 303 Advanced user
    I wish they would give the energy system a little overhaul. I think some more control would be really nice and one common energy pool instead of a single one for each reactor. So that way Nuclear reactors could be kind of a powerbank for renewable energy. If you could define when each reactor is used and or if you could define a percentage from your energypool at which fueled-reactors start using their ressources to keep up when you have a spike in your energy usage, that would be nice.

    So you could build several Thermal plants for example and one or two nuclear reactors and slowly fill up the big energy pool you have created. Once you reach say 25% (A value we should be able to choose) of the pool the Bio-/Nuclearreactors kick in and add their production to the total energy per second income until you fill up beyond the set percentage again. Would work nicely, reduce the reactor maintenance to a minimum as long as you have enough renewable energy income to have a positive energy income per second. Spikes would be covered by the fueled reactors if you recharge your Cyclops for example but would not drain as long as you keep your pool above the set percentage.
  • HiguideHiguide NJ Join Date: 2017-04-03 Member: 229385Members Posts: 55 Advanced user
    i know right, simply setting up multiple thermal reactors around chained across the ocean W/ transmitter. effectively eliminates the struggle for energy making it impossible to drain.
  • HiSaZuLHiSaZuL N.Y. Join Date: 2016-11-11 Member: 223803Members Posts: 210 Advanced user
    zetachron wrote: »
    The bioreactor is the cheapest setup for deep bases and with food farming an infinite power well as well. A big base might prefer thermal plants for the sake of recharging convenience and power magnitude, but it takes long to build TP arrays, so only big bases should use them mainly.

    As power is drawn randomly parallel instead drawing from recharging ones first, or at least if the drain exceeds the recharging rate, the nuclear plants massively loose rods and in future with reworked power loose even more.

    The rods just don't have enough power to make it feel comfortable, even if you have a bunch of scanner stations near massive uranite wells to refill them in time. And the nuclear plant also looses as a quick startup reactor against the bioreactor.

    It would be different if the devs decided that only the Precursors have the thermal plant tech inside their TPG and you need to get to this late game point to be able to get the best reactors. And thus the nuclear reactors could be a mid game option.

    Another possibility would be to increase the nuclear reactor power massively, but compensate this overpowered solution with instability and blowing up your bases if you don't repair them in time if an incident happens.

    Or the possiblity to upgrade nuclear rods to ion rods once you get the tech.

    Considering bio reactor produces 1 energy every 12 seconds. Good luck with that. You would need about 30 to power 1 alien containment tank. God forbid you turn on that coffee machine.
  • RalijRalij US Join Date: 2016-05-20 Member: 217092Members Posts: 602 Advanced user
    the containment unit and coffee machine will use power in the future...?
  • MaxAstroMaxAstro Join Date: 2005-07-07 Member: 55451Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
    I'm pretty sure the coffee machine thing was a joking reference to a comment I made. I think the containment unit does use power though.
    "The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go." - Sanae Hanekoma
  • RalijRalij US Join Date: 2016-05-20 Member: 217092Members Posts: 602 Advanced user
    Ah, I never realized the containment unit uses power. I don't know what is real and what is not! I think the glowing balls of the grand reef are making me lose my sanity.
  • HiSaZuLHiSaZuL N.Y. Join Date: 2016-11-11 Member: 223803Members Posts: 210 Advanced user
    Think you got a mesmer invading your place of residence via "utility" access point :flushed:
    Ralij
  • zetachronzetachron Germany Join Date: 2014-11-14 Member: 199655Members Posts: 1,189 Advanced user
    HiSaZuL wrote: »
    zetachron wrote: »
    The bioreactor is the cheapest setup for deep bases and with food farming an infinite power well as well. A big base might prefer thermal plants for the sake of recharging convenience and power magnitude, but it takes long to build TP arrays, so only big bases should use them mainly.

    As power is drawn randomly parallel instead drawing from recharging ones first, or at least if the drain exceeds the recharging rate, the nuclear plants massively loose rods and in future with reworked power loose even more.

    The rods just don't have enough power to make it feel comfortable, even if you have a bunch of scanner stations near massive uranite wells to refill them in time. And the nuclear plant also looses as a quick startup reactor against the bioreactor.

    It would be different if the devs decided that only the Precursors have the thermal plant tech inside their TPG and you need to get to this late game point to be able to get the best reactors. And thus the nuclear reactors could be a mid game option.

    Another possibility would be to increase the nuclear reactor power massively, but compensate this overpowered solution with instability and blowing up your bases if you don't repair them in time if an incident happens.

    Or the possiblity to upgrade nuclear rods to ion rods once you get the tech.

    Considering bio reactor produces 1 energy every 12 seconds. Good luck with that. You would need about 30 to power 1 alien containment tank. God forbid you turn on that coffee machine.

    I only use a big powered base for energy hungry things and otherwise use smaller bases for minor stuff like scanning outposts. For small outposts the bio reactor is ideal. A moonpool recharching outpost would either run with solar panels or bioreactors. The big bases are best with thermal plants. Never said that I'd use the bioreactor for energy hungry tasks. And you don't need the energy hungry tasks in the small bases. Unless of course the devs increase the power consumption of things like the scanner room or moonpool.

    But I forgot one good thing about the nuclear reactor: It would be safe from external damage through creature attacks. But creature attacks aren't implemented. Just imagine what happens if attacking creatures destroy your thermal plants or the power lines to your base ...
  • HiguideHiguide NJ Join Date: 2017-04-03 Member: 229385Members Posts: 55 Advanced user
    sure it's perfect for small set ups but i cant be bothered to dedicating my time collecting uranite for my main base. again with thermal i have like 4 water purifiers running at once (infamous for draining power), +moonpool and + anything else that draws power, then lining like 4+ thermal generators around a vent makes losing power entirely impossible. way it is right now (and i welcome any future balances) just easier to stick with thermal anything else for small outposts
  • JackeJacke Calgary Join Date: 2017-03-20 Member: 229061Members Posts: 582 Advanced user
    Higuide wrote: »
    ...i have like 4 water purifiers running at once (infamous for draining power)....
    Why so many Water Filtration Plants? I have 4 total, a pair in two bases, with one base not in use. 2 produces water much faster than I consume it.
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