Barotrauma: How to Blow Up the Reactor

A guide on how to operate the reactor.


How to (Not) Blow Up the Reactor

To avoid blowing up the reactor, you must not set turbine output to minimum and fission rate to maximum.
And you most certainly should not detonate an explosive such as a frag grenade afterwards. Such a blunder will skip straight to the end of a meltdown.

Ensure you have at least 1 fuel rod inside the reactor.Adding more fuel rods without manually lowering fission rate can also cause the reactor to explode.

But why does this cause the reactor to explode? How can we safely start-up the reactor?

Well, all you need to do is insert 1 fuel rod and flip on the automatic control switch. But for most submarines this is not enough power for when engines are at full speed and/or fabricators are cooking. So we add more fuel rods, but to do so safely requires a much deeper understanding of the reactor.

If a meltdown warning triggers for more than 2 seconds, power off the reactor and try again or check for damaged junction boxes. A reactor is useless with broken junction boxes.

  • First, power on the reactor and turn off automatic control. Ensure both dials are set to 0. If not, double click the power button.
  • Add however many fuel rods you want. 2 is enough for full power, but a set of 4 rods with varied amounts of durability will allow you to replace them 1 at a expired rods without affecting the power supply beyond momentary flickering lights.
  • Then set the turbine output to the green ‘sweet spot’. This dial increases the kW output and how much heat is consumed (the currently empty bar left the of the line graph). Setting this dial too high can cause heavy damage to junction boxes, but otherwise does not harm the reactor itself.
  • Set the fission rate to the leftmost orange spot, typically somewhere around 20. This dial increases how much heat is generated. Setting it too high will cause a reactor meltdown. This is why we are setting this to orange manually, as the automatic control will move the fission rate’s dial faster than the turbine output’s dial, causing it to overheat before reaching the sweet spots.
  • Lastly, enable automatic control. If both dials are somewhat close enough to where they need to be as shown in green and orange, automatic control will be able to take over without melting down the reactor.

You can also skip all this by adding fuel rods to an already active reactor and immediately lowering the fission rate to orange (or lower). However, I don’t recommend it as this requires practice because if you don’t lower the fission rate by an appropriate amount, a meltdown warning will trigger.

Reactor Wiring

You can also control the reactor via the wiring system. I will not be covering wiring in this guide.

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