Are minireactors working properly?


I attached a minireactor to my charging station which consisted of 2 upgraded solar arrays and 8 storage batteries which were around 11-13% power each. I then inserted 3 plutonium cells into the system (resulting in 1500 in plutonium total). I turn the minireactor on and the vehicle display shows minireactor: 149K+ watts /hour which should fill my batteries to capacity in 15-17 minutes. 15-17 minutes later the storage batteries are at 100% but I only have 44 plutonium left. Is this normal? I didn’t know minireactors used up plutonium so quickly! Charging the storage batteries via sunlight would take 24 hours so I would’ve done that instead of using up precious plutonium cells!

Anyone have any ideas? Or what am I doing wrong? Thanks.

Build 8601
Win 7 64-bit


Plutonium cells are like ‘emergency switches’, in my opinion…
Well, atleast you recharged your storage batteries that quickly :smiley:

Each unit of plutonium is supposed to provide 100 battery charge equivalents. You had roughly 280,000 battery charges worth of storage batteries to refill, so there’s a bug that they’re twice as good as they should be.

I really need to go fix reactor handling.

Hmm. So minireactors are only good for charging batteries. I thought you could run a vehicle using only a minireactor. Plutonium cells are rare so feel free to push that bug fix to the very end of the ‘to-fix’ queue :slight_smile:

Thanks for the clarification.

1 Like

Here I thought they were burning too fast. I was always confused at how fast my reactor died on me. So they are intended to run out even faster? Twice as? Holy crap.


I think he meant the bug is they produce twice as much power. In my example I had 8 storage batteries so 8 x 40000 * 0.89 (11% charge remaining) = 284800 power to fill. I only put 3 plutonium cells. So 3 * 500 = 1500. Each unit is supposed to provide 100 battery charge equivalent. So 1500 * 100 = 150000. I gained an extra 134800 power. I’m fine with that as long as I get more juice per plutonium unit. Actually I thought they even produced more power than that,

Heh. As long as we’re being sticklers for reality: per unit mass, plutonium isn’t 100 times as energy dense as a lithium ion battery or even 50000 times… It’s got about 10 MILLION times the energy density. :smile:

Not that I think plutonium cells should provide anything like that in the game - but even if you assume that a plutonium cell is mostly shielding, they’d still be representing orders of magnitude more power than a battery cell.

One other aside is that any sort of real plutonium based power source is going to have a fuel lifetime of months at a minimum - generally years. If you were to try extract energy from it much faster than that, you’d turn your containment system to slag or trigger a criticality. Generally speaking they’d tend to make more sense as a reliable long term, medium draw power source.

Given the technology of CDDA, batteries allow instantaneous draw off a large capacity anyway, so having an exceedingly fast power generation source like the way mini-reactors work right now isn’t actually very useful, unless you’re trying to run a MBT with an entire array of fusion guns and lasers on it.


Now that’s a lot more what I expected from these reactors, not a quick poof and done.

We really don’t know what plutonium cells and mini-reactors are, because they don’t work like any real world nuclear power device. They’re too energetic for RTGs and too small and not energetic enough for fission or fusion reactors.

TL;DR Kevin wants to replace the existing minireactor with something that will provide power perpetually (or near enough) slowly but be unrefillable.


Yeah, an RTG would be a very low draw power system (a few hundred watts or so?) with a useful lifetime measured in decades.

Given the term ‘reactor’ we should probably assume that there is actually chain reaction fission going on in the mini-reactor, though of course how they achieve that efficiently in such a small volume with such small amounts of fuel is an open question. Sounds like an engineering challenge, but probably a simpler one than designing CBMs. :sweat_smile:

Now that sounds like a great change. Good stuff to hear!