The Satisfactory ‘End of June’ update brings with it nuclear power. It started out in the Experimental build but is now live for everyone. Here, we’ll go over if nuclear power is worthwhile, and how to get your factory running on nuclear.
Unlocking the Next Tier
Nuclear Power Plants are part of Tier 7, which was designed to be very challenging to get to! Unless you’ve been pumping out high-tier items for a while, it might take you some time to be able to unlock this tier. You need 1000 each of Motors, Heavy Modular Frames, and Computers. These all have some complex ingredients and take a lot of time to put together a full production line. If you haven’t been working on these things, you might want to dedicate a weekend to handcrafting, or leave your computer running all day while your factory produces. Either way, Tier 7 is a challenge to unlock, but it is certainly attainable.
And of course, after sending the Space Elevator up, you will still have to find 200 more Computers and Heavy Modular Frames and 400 more Motors in order to unlock the H.U.B. research for nuclear power.
Once you do that then you’ll be ready to start building, finally!
How to Build the Nuclear Power Plant
Building the Nuclear Power Plant is actually not all that hard. If you had the ability to unlock Tier 7, you probably have the means to create the required ingredients. 150 Concrete, 10 Heavy Modular Frames, 5 Supercomputers, and 15 High-Speed Connectors are all it takes. Some of these items takes a bit of work to construct, but once you’re producing them all, you should be well on your way to creating more power than you know what to do with.
The hardest part is finding a place to put down the reactor. These things are easily the biggest building currently in the game, dwarfing even large structures like the Manufacturer or Fuel Generator.
How to Fill the Nuclear Power Plant
Unlike coal plants, which only ask for a direct line of coal, or fuel generators, which require turning oil into fuel first, the Nuclear Power Plant has a few more steps in the process.
First, you need to mine Uranium. Unfortunately, Uranium gives off radiation, so you will have to be careful when extracting it. Get too close, and you’ll start taking damage. The resource nodes work like any other resource node and are also radioactive themselves. But as soon as the Uranium is in a miner, on a belt, or in a storage container, it begins to emit radiation. Set up your mining operation, and then leave as fast as you can.
Uranium nodes are pretty uncommon compared to others. Use your resource scanner to find the nearest one to you. If you start in the Grassy Fields starting area, for example, there is one in a spider-filled cave to the north. It’s reasonable to walk to, but you’ll need a lot of conveyor belts to bring resources out there.
Uranium then must be turned into a Uranium Cell. This can be accomplished by combining 45 Uranium with 9 Concrete in an Assembler, producing a stack of 10 Uranium Cells.
And that’s not even the last step. Then the Uranium Cells must be sent to a Manufacturer. Here 25 of them are combined with 3 Encased Industrial Beams and 5 Electromagnetic Control Rods, to create a Nuclear Fuel Rod. Electromagnetic Control Rods are themselves a new item, which are made from Stators and A.I. Limiters. These Fuel Rods are what is ultimately put into the Nuclear Power Plant.
Since every item in this process is radioactive, it’s important to keep your power production facility far away from the rest of your factory, and anywhere else you plan on spending time. Ideally, you’ll just have a really long power line going back to your main power grid.
Protecting Against Radiation
Along with nuclear technology, Tier 7 also unlocks the Hazmat Suit. This will protect against radiation damage, in case you need to get up close and personal with your Uranium.
Much like the Gas Mask, this suit requires filters to work. At maximum radiation, the Suit will consume 1 filter per 12 seconds, but in general, will consume much less. In a perfect world, you’ll set up your mining and production operation such that you do not need to even make this item!
Dealing with Nuclear Waste
Just like in real life, the side effect of nuclear power is radioactive waste. Nuclear Waste is an item with some unique properties. In addition to being radioactive itself, it also cannot be removed by using the trash button in your inventory or in containers. Its sole purpose is to be disposed of, and you’re going to need to find a way to do so. Some players have gotten creative by flinging themselves off the map with a full inventory of waste. But most people just build giant farms of storage containers far off in the distance.
Nuclear Power Plants output 25 Nuclear Waste per burn time (300 seconds at 100%), and stacks to 500. So while it will take quite a while to build up the waste, you should probably make enough storage containers to last you a long time.
How Much Power Does Nuclear Get You?
Nuclear Power Plants makes an insane amount of power. They consume 1 Nuclear Fuel Rod per 300 seconds (5 minutes), and it outputs 2500MW of power. This is an insane amount of power, so making just a couple of these should replace dozens of coal plants or fuel generators. Overclocked, they will produce even more, so you should be set on power for quite a while.
Is Nuclear Power Worth It?
You bet it’s worth it! Coal and Fuel work perfectly fine, but once your factory gets particularly large, an operation of those power sources can become hard to keep up on. And adding Fuel Generators takes up so much space! But a single Nuclear Power Plant can produce 2500MW, whereas a single Fuel Generator only produces 150MW. That’s an insane difference – over 16 Fuel Generators in just one Nuclear Power Plant!
While the setup will take a long time, and it will require a fair bit of planning to pull off, going nuclear will be better in the long term. Storing it should not be too hard as long as you plan ahead and make plenty of storage. And if you don’t, just give yourself a Hazmat Suit.
Share your plans for nuclear power in the comments!