How do think some CBMs work?

Well I guess I’ll start. The nuclear reactor CBM I think that when you use it you actually consume the item in question for it. So eating the plutonium cell. The way I think it doesn’t kill you to swallow such things is the CBM makes your throat stretchy so you can swallow things like that. It then plucks it from your throat as it goes down which is why it irradiates you.

I’ve always considered it like the chest reactor from Ironman, just a little reactor stuffed in the chest cavity in-between essential organs. The radiation probably comes from the fact that nuclear reactions produce a fair amount and nothing that fits in your body could have enough shielding to block it all.

1 Like

I was think it was kinda like that too but you feed it by eating the cells or fluid. And you can have proper use shielding if it is a slow enough reaction lead or other heavy metal backed and radiation pouring out the front would work for the most part. It would also turn it into a weapon in melee combat which sound brutal as all hell. Just imagine someone punching at you and they just start vomiting from rads cause you removed the control rods for a few seconds.

Eating them might just be the easiest way for them to code it, I sincerely doubt it would be intended for you to pour radioactive slurry down your throat, and the mechanics of getting it from there are massive compared to just having a port on your neck or something.
Alpha or Beta radiation obviously isn’t going to have much effect if they have any shielding whatsoever, but you’re going to get dosed with a good portion of any Gamma radiation involved (probably most of it). You need something like a foot of lead to reduce Gamma radiation to safe levels, so unless they want to have a few inches of lead surrounding wherever this reactor is, you’ll get quite a bit of it.

Of course that all assumes you can somehow make a nuclear reactor small enough, which I doubt.

If I remember rightly from high school physics if you reduce the amount of reactions it reduces the amount of gamma radiation and therefore the danger it poses to you

And I agree with your point of size as the size you would need for it to fit in the average chest (even if it stuck out 50%+) it would not have enough plutonium to function at that size(even though plutonium has a lower critical mass than uranium it still requires a large brief case (like traveling brief case) for explosive power of any kind). Kinda weird that it would function on a few grams of plutonium at all let alone in a productive enough manner to warrant usage for cybernetic power supply/mechanized armour power supply.

It reduces the amount, yes, but it reduces the amount of energy produced as well. The reaction has the same products whether you do it 1 time or 10,000, just you get more of the product the more reactions you cause. You’re going to have a baseline radiation production for however much energy you want to produce, and you can’t reduce that.

I’m not a complete expert and I’m not going to get myself put on a government watchlist by googling it, but I don’t think you necessarily need a huge amount of fuel to run a reactor if you have some way of maintaining it. You could probably get away with just bombarding a little chunk with neutrons if you don’t mind it being massively inefficient. Of course with plutonium even a tiny amount produces a massive amount of energy, so it’s not like efficiency is a big problem on a personal scale.

Uhm, firstly, reactors do not produce electric power. Reactors produce heat from radioactive decay. It’s a matter of converting heat into electricity.
Full size reactors like the ones found at power plants, submarines, ships, or even planes (yes) use the most common way, that is, by boiling water and using steam to turn turbines. This construction is utterly massive even for most vehicles, so fitting it into human is like fitting a rocket engine into your finger. Not going to work.
There is, however, another way of getting energy from radioactive decay through the usage of thermoelectric generators. Resulting arrays are hugely unefficient but can be very compact. Problem is, a human-sized construction only gives you just about enough energy to run a PC, and two of them may let you run a microwave. Another problem is that the material (plutonium, strontium, and such) heats up to about a thousand degrees celsius and you steel need some shielding to protect everything from radiation and heat.
You can see these RITEGs used in the ‘Martian’ movie by the main character to heat his rover, for instance.

All things considered, both vehicle-mounted minireactors and implanted reactors are completely unrealistic. Of course, it’s future and so on, but still.

Radiation is not always a concern, as different materials emit different particles when decaying. By choosing correct materials, you may lower the radiation levels to safe-ish levels, at least not the levels you’d get when devouring plutonium.

You don’t need explosive power for the reactor to function. Critical mass is about creating a chain reaction, which, believe me, you woudn’t want happening anywhere close to you.

You don’t. In fact, Voyager spacecrafts still function by sucking power from the same batteries as 40 years ago. That is quite a lot of time. Sure the power output is falling, but for a human 40 years is more than enough.

1 Like

I’d agree they are completely unrealistic if we assume they are, indeed, just simple thermoelectric generators.
If it’s something like catching beta-decay energy directly it might be much more viable with the right fuel.
Heck, you can buy a tritium-powered glow tube the size of a straw that glows for, like, 10 year.

1 Like

Personally i think they are betavoltaic. You have a small chamber in your chest and use beta emitters to power special solar panels internally. This is a thing we can do today. The power output is absolutely terrible, but they run essentially forever and are very safe.

I’ll point out i said energy rather than electricity, I’m aware heat exchange is used in the actual generation (assuming that was directed at me.)

To my knowledge, most reactors use nuclear fission reactions which need to be excited with a neutron to begin, so i wouldn’t really call that nuclear decay. That’s more on the RTG side of things, since those are just left to decay at their own speed.

That said, the fact you have to regularly fuel the CBM with plutonium cells suggests it’s just a standard plutonium reactor, which would produce a lot of electricity, heat and Gamma radiation. Obviously pretty unrealistic, but far more viable for our purposes as far as powering laser guns is concerned. I’m not sure if plutonium can be used as a beta radiation emitter, anyone got any examples?

241-Pu can beta-decay.
But that’s a pretty rare isotope.
It’s much more likely that in C:DDA some kind of material has been invented that can convert normal alpha-decay of Pu in electrical energy more efficiently than the generators we use nowadays.

It’s still going to be super slow unless you actively cause fission though, right?

240-Pu has pretty high spontaneous fission, so it could work ok(-ish).

Weird. Kinda doubt that’s the kind in the game though, considering how rare that particular isotope probably is. Also depends on the implementation ingame. Does it have variable ouput? If so, it must be some sort of active reactor. If not, could be some sort of passive decay thing.

from the descriptions and how they worked I always imagined a solid steel case with carefully packed and sorted parts tied in place with zip ties and an instruction booklet on building installing and maintaining it taped to the lid