This node is fictional. Refer to Continental Class Space Battleships.

This is what powers a Continental Class battleship. The fusion power plant, consisting of two reactor blocks with three fusion reactors each, generates the electricity needed for all of the ship's installations. Thus, they power the mighty mass drivers, the discontinuity drive of course, the beverage dispensers, partly even the main engines - everything.

Each reactor puts out a nominal total of 600 MW of electric power. For short timespans, a peak output of between 650 and 750 MW can be achieved, depending on circumstances and the specifics of the individual reactor. The nominal output of the ship's power plant is thus 3.6 GW, and ideally, a peak output of 4.5 GW should be possible.

A reactor installation consists of the following main components:

  • Reactor core ("core")
  • MHD generators ("inner circle")
  • Turbogenerators ("outer circle")

The reactor core is a conventional torus-type fusion reactor, built to the naval form factor, which means that basically as much equipment as possible has been packed into the hole in the centre of the torus; the torus itself is as tight and small as possible for a reactor of this output. The reactor fuel is the usual deuterium/tritium mix ("D/T" a/k/a "grog"); the coolant is not a liquid metal as with most land-based fusion plants, but helium.

The MHD generators (MHD = magnetohydrodynamics) are arranged in a circle ("inner circle") around the core. They're vertical tubes and produce electricity from the extremely fast and hot helium coming from the core cooling circuit. When the helium reaches the end of the generator, it is still extremely hot.

It is then piped into the turbogenerators, basically conventional hot-gas turbines driving one generator each. Those machines, too, are arranged in a circle ("outer circle") around the core.

The still-hot helium delivers the rest of its exploitable heat to the ship's integrated heat distribution/dissipation system.

The coolant systems of all three reactors of one block are interconnected so the generators of one reactor can take workload off others. Magnetically armoured Plasma pipes provide a means of quickly ejecting the ultra-hot plasma from the reactor cores out into space, should the magnetic containment of a core be in danger of collapsing.

Since they're the most essential system on board of a battleship, the reactors are highly redundant, the blocks are well-armoured, compartmentised and deep inside the ship's mass (slightly forward of the ship's centre of gravity, decks 4-7; the port and starboard blocks are about 70 metres apart). Furthermore, the extremely compact construction (at first glance, the core and the inner and outer circles of a reactor look like one single piece of extremely complicated machinery) helps making the Equipment Removal Procedures for just about any component of the power plant a nightmare for any maintenance engineer. The removal of the machinery from the hull is not all that hard, however; directly above the rectangular area of the reactor blocks, there are two of the ship's reaction mass bunkers. They can be removed by simply sliding them out of the ship on rails; then, it takes only about two days to completely cut off a reactor block from the rest of the ship and slide it out as well.

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