May 26, 2022 11:10 AM
the probecule visits Amenta
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hopelessly-entangled: We're glad we can help. Thanks for working with us.
hopelessly-entangled: And good luck out there.

Makoki spends some time snuggling with Penjaga in VR while responding to new or interesting questions and comments received on the Azurifice website.

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Muroti enlists Penjaga to help plan a party conference! They find the earliest date that's feasible for everyone they really want to invite and enlist help from Allocator Mozeen to get a venue picked out. Muroti has entirely too many opinions about catering for someone who's never eaten food. Once everything is settled, they announce the conference on their website and send a blurb to science-y news outlets, informing everyone that the Az are excited to share a new (to Amenta) type of power generation technology. Catch the livestream on the Azurifice site!

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The livestream is well attended but there's considerable attrition as people check out the nuclear physics to fun alien content ratio and determine it is pretty high.

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Excellent! Muroti opens the conference with very high level explanation of how nuclear fusion works ("Fusion power is pretty simple! First you create a tiny artificial sun, then you squeeze it into a donut to keep it from exploding, and finally you use the heat to boil water.") before passing off to Avakar, who has a surprisingly-easy-to-understand explanation of how a fusion reaction produces energy, for the public; she also announces that they will be posting free on their site some more detailed write-ups of nuclear fusion, translated into every major Amentan language. The two of them are ready to field questions from greens in attendance! (The more nitty-gritty "how to build and run nuclear fusion reactor" talk with the Voan energy sector is scheduled for later today).

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Some of the greens point out that if you skipped the part where you prevent it from exploding, that would be very bad.

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It sure would! She recommends not skipping that.

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void-your-warrantydear

"...in practice, if you don't build any containment system at all, you'll run into problems well before any actual fusion occurs. Fusion takes a lot of energy to start happening; if you tried heating up a plasma to fusion temperatures, without building a sufficient confinement system, it would melt whatever container you were holding it in and dissipate extremely rapidly, which is very bad not because it would cause an explosion, but because it would destroy your expensive equipment."

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A green attempts to privately convey that they are mostly worried that it would be possible to use these principles to create a weapon on purpose if someone were so moved.

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That basically wouldn't be possible to do in a remotely efficient manner? It's definitely possible to intentionally design a fusion "reactor" such that it would, when turned on and fueled and supplied the enormous amount of energy required to heat up the plasma to fusion-producing temperatures, explode in a horrifying fireball of death, but there really aren't effective military uses for a weapon that costs tens of millions of dollars, can't feasibly be built in less than a season, and cannot feasibly be moved, once built, and you'd be able to tell from the blueprints that it would cause a horrifying explosion. (If you design your own fusion reactors, please send us the blueprints, we can check them for horrifying-explode-ability).

(The Az know but absolutely will not mention that it's possible to make a fusion bomb if you use a fission bomb to kickstart the reaction! This is not the kind of fun science fact they're interested in sharing at this time.)

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space-ourselves: I know it's a much weaker offering and also probably a bad idea for other reasons, but it would have been funny if we'd gone with nuclear fission plants instead
life-should-flourish: ...you don't think the radiation would have tripped their pollution response something fierce?
space-ourselves: Oh, no, it definitely would.
space-ourselves: That's, like, most of the draw.
life-should-flourish: ...
light-and-wonder
: ...okay, I'll bite. 
light-and-wonder: why, exactly, would it be good for us to be handing out power plants that produce waste byproduct that triggers these people?
hopelessly-entangledohhhhhhh.
space-ourselves: :D
light-and-wonder: ???
hopelessly-entangled: If we ran the reactors ourselves, we could employ a ton of reds. 
void-your-warranty: Not just for the reactor itself, but for the associated breeders and maybe even some of the mining operations.
light-and-wonder: ...Huh. Could even set up company towns for them, too, if the facilities were big enough.
hopelessly-entangled: I don't think it'd've worked, though. Clean castes would be too afraid of rioting reds triggering a meltdown.
space-ourselves: Yeah, like I said, other reasons.

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The greens remain kind of nervous but will apply themselves to nice safe power generation.

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Avaker puts on a much more detailed talk for the Voan power generation industry purples, and any yellows they brought with them, and anyone else who Avalor cleared to be there!

Fusion reactors need be capable of generating extremely powerful and precise magnetic fields, and need tritium as fuel; here are some easy-to-bootstrap ways of mining for tritium and some plans for how to make most of the stuff they need out of existing Amentan industrial processes. Some of the components simply can't be manufactured efficiently by Amentan industry; the Azurifice will produce and sell those at these prices. (Here's why these parts are needed; here's where the designs would have to be changed if they didn't want to rely on them. Notice how this would increase the overall cost about 130% and land used by about 20%, and also be very very slightly less safe!).

She starts and ends the presentation with some really beautiful numbers on how much power these plants will generate and the rate at which she expects Voa can adopt them, how many jobs this will create per reactor (both in construction and maintenance), and a bunch of Azurifice-known energy-intensive ways of increasing agricultural yield (the Haber process, desalinization, etc etc) from back in the vault days. She's incredibly enthusiastic about both the logics and the obvious good this will do!

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They already have the Haber process and desalinization but cheaper electricity will certainly not hurt. Can they improve their industry to be able to provide all the components themselves?

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Well, these parts they'll be able to make in a year or two, those parts shouldn't take much longer than that but have some dependencies on the first kind, and this set of things they don't actually see an easy way for Amentans to make safely, as key steps in the manufacturing process rely on having an Az who is unusually good at this very specific kind of exception handling (Penjaga and Zanmi are both extremely good at it). Only a few things from that last group are required, though; Az fusion reactors use a lot more of them, but they've adjusted these designs to be feasible for faster widescale deployment. 

(Zanmi adds that they'll be happy to consult with greens on alternate manufacturing paths that could be run entirely by Amentans, but they haven't thought of any work-arounds on their own yet. The ability to use raw data as sensory input is pretty important to keeping this kind of fabricator from exploding!)

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They will content themselves with "imports" while they figure it out.

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Cool! Any other questions, comments, concerns...

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Plenty, but mostly just details!

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Avaker will happily and enthusiastically provide details!

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space-ourselves: ๐Ÿ’™ She's so cute when she gets like this!
light-and-wonder: She really is.๐Ÿ’™
void-your-warrantyI am having so much fun
space-ourselves
: Loop unbounded*, babe! You've earned this. 
void-your-warranty: ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™

(*Azurifice expression that approximately means "go nuts")

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