Consolidated Power

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Consolidated Power is a whole-owned subsidiary of the Gudersnipe Foundation and is widely responsible for meeting the Foundation's energy needs. It's own subsiaries include Pleasant Company, who construct Nugen Reactors, and a variety of other manufacturing and heavy machinery concerns. Consolidated also owns the power grid, distribution stations, and most power plants in Foundation territory.

Do to Consolidated's vast economic capacity, they are one of the few major sub-divisions on par with the Crimson Blade(though there is a great deal of overlap between the two).

Power Generation

Nuclear

Large-scale power generation is primarily nuclear, with slow-fission breeder reactors being preferred. The reactor systems are heavily tied in to weapons production as they enrich uranium for N2 ordnance. Most plants use a standardized design, with some variation in legacy conversion projects. In general, plants almost never close, with some having seen thousands of years of operation. Every piece of equipment will have been changed out a hundred times over, but the basis structure and site will remain.

The standardized design is a light-water moderated slow-fission design, with the core placed in an array of small pressure vessels. Primary fuel assembles are made of a uranium-zircon compound with a large, prompt negative fuel temperature coefficient of reactivity. While less efficient over all, this safety function makes the reactors all but impervious to melt-down. Coupled with other engineered safety features, each reactor achieves the Foundation's coveted "Hands-off, boots-out, safe" certification. This means that, at any given moment, the engineers operating the reactor could take their hands off the controls and march out of the building; and the reactor would safely shut down with any radiation contained.

While the practicality of the rating is hotly debated, Foundation-built plants have the highest safety records of any in the known-worlds.

Hydro-Electric

Wherever remotely applicable, hydro-electric dams are also employed; though dams serve two primary functions: as energy storage, and as flood control. As such, most impounded lakes are kept at or near capacity for most of the year. The high emphasis on storage also leads to a surplus availability in water for irrigation and drinking. Often, artificial reservoirs are built beside conventional nuclear plants to provide a source of cold water.

Few hydro plants go for more than a year without operation, but very few operate year-round. As such, most of the emphasis is on maintenance, with a high degree of design strategy based around longevity.

In many cases, "Battery Dams" are also constructed. These work with an upper and lower lake, and a hydro-electric plant in between. During the day, water flows from the upper lake to the lower lake, generating power. At night, when more electricity is available on the grid, the turbines are reversed, using the excess energy to pump water back into the upper reservoir. Battery dams are popular wherever the topography allows for it, and again are frequently built near conventional plants to simplify distribution. Some such reservoirs have also developed a thriving tourist industry; where the dams and plants themselves act as a draw, as well as the swimming beaches where the water level can change sometimes by dozens of feet.

Manufacturing

They build stuff; mostly in factories or foundries.