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Old February 9th, 2019, 09:57 PM
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Default Power Sources

I have been working on power sources for my sector, which would also work with the Traveller community at large. Going through Traveller 4 and also Traveller 5, it looks like the standard power unit is a cold fusion one, which also backs into Classic Traveller without it being spelled out quite as clearly. Now, for a cold fusion plant to work, without a large heat exchanger and power turbines to generate the electricity required, it means that there is some way in which the energy from fusion is converted with incredible efficiency to electricity without the needs of complex equipment. It also means that the plant is encased in some material that is essentially impervious to radiation from the fusion reaction.

If you look on Project Gutenberg in the science fiction area, there are several stories describing exactly such a situation, so this is not something coming out of nowhere. In addition, H. Beam Piper uses what he calls nuclear-electric power units, doing exactly the same thing with both fission power and straight radiation. I can work up a nice little fission reactor with a fair amount of power by using a mixture of reactor-grade Plutonium with a lot of Pu-240 and Uranium-238. If someone wants the details, I will post them.

As I see if, if the small cold-fusion plants work, then the nuclear-electric plants should work as well. This gives me two possible power sources. In addition, whatever field is being used to collect and generate power inside of those power units will make a great solar collector as well. Which leads to the collector on the ANNIC NOVA and other possibilities.

As I assume that the fusion power units will be using deuterium in some form, either as straight deuterium or storing it as heavy water or D2O. that also gives me a distinction between refined and unrefined fuel. Refined fuel is deuterium-based, with the unrefined fuel being mainly straight hydrogen. That can be used for the Jump Bubble, but deuterium in some form or another is used in the power plant. You can run the power plant on hydrogen as long as you start the reaction with deuterium, and it should not take a lot of deuterium to get things going. Maybe one or two kilograms. However, the power plant might not run exactly right, so the possibility of a mis-jump does occur, unless the plant is basically a multi-fuel one.
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