The Renraku Arcology: Level Eight

Fusion Plants and High Energy Laboratories

Renraku Arcology Level Eight: Fusion Plants and High Energy Laboratories

   On this level, the truly major features are the particle accelerators, the fusion plants, and the major laboratories.

   The largest feature of this floor is the 3.6 mile Synchrotron, which approaches the outer walls. A mature technology, the layout would be recognizable from late last century, although the various components have improved and reduced in size: the array of cryogenically cooled superconducting coils providing a gargantuan magnetic field in a evacuated tube (maintained at a near-perfect vacuum thanks to a little magic and the use of a vacuum in the external containment tube), the acceleration systems, and the relativistic beam. Given that it is maintained in vacuum, the interior of the external 10-foot containment tube is generally out of bounds for humans, and is maintained by drones. Given the use of the accelerator system for multiple projects, the system incorporates heavy redundancy.

   The system usually operates at a maximum of 5.3 TeV (although energies of up to 12.6 TeV are possible with adjustments and a greatly decreased overall power output) and is pumped by protons, electrons, or ionized nuclei bled off from the fusion reactor plasma or plasma recycling system. The thermal ions are passed through a linear accelerator into the feeder rings (operating at approximately 2 TeV) before being transferred into the main ring. The final particle stream is bled off and/or used in several experiments.

   The Brilliant X-Ray Laboratory uses the particle stream to generate high-intensity collimated X-ray beams for detailed (down to the atomic level) analysis of physical structures, with applications ranging from restoring ancient documents and imaging internal details of fossils through investigating the detailed properties of materials, and on to analyzing complex biostructures, chemicals, and cellular processes.

   The Suppressed-Radiation Storage Arrays use several quickened area-effect spells to hold the beams stable, suppress synchrotron radiation, and allow the beams to be turned more sharply. While this does not allow further acceleration, it does allow the storage system to accumulate a considerable reserve of high-energy particles, which can be tapped to stabilize the beam density or provide short-term power boosts to the output of the main ring.

   The linear accelerator to the Neo-Physics Accelerator gives the particle stream a final boost of +2 TeV before feeding it into an experimental magically-augmented ring accelerator used for particle physics research. Most of the research here is too esoteric for most people to understand, but Renraku believes that basic research has always paid off in the long run – or at least someone managed to convince the board of directors that it was worth trying.

   The Astral Interaction Lab investigates the interactions of high-energy radiation with magic, in an ongoing effort to discover the effects that destabilized so many nuclear plants in the early days of the awakening, why radiation is so often associated with astral disturbances, and what effects can be produced using such methods.

   The Transmutation Reactor uses magic to selectively target the particle stream, raising the interaction probability to near-unity – and thus allowing the production of designer nuclei in lots of a substantial fraction of a kilogram.

   The Final Linear Accelerator provides a final boost of up to +4 TeV and feeds the Beam Inversion Collider – a partially-magical system intended to be capable of reflecting a particle beam back into itself and tuning the resulting collisions for exotic particle production. The system is primarily intended for practical antimatter production (primarily for space exploration and development purposes) and secondarily for research and the large-scale production of other particles. It is not yet on line, thanks to a variety of magical difficulties.

   The Heavy Transport Stations are this levels stops for the dual-monorail double helix running through the arcology. It provides both a passenger-service track and a heavy cargo track. The mall-level loop is connected with the Seattle general monorail system, while the subsurface level connects to the Seattle heavy transport subsurface system and through that to the harbor.

   The three Fusion Plants are a laser-ignited continuous-flow process, generating electrical power via Magnetohydrodynamic systems. The reduced-temperature plasma is then used in the plasma-recycling process as a fusion torch, reducing wastes and junk to ionized elements which can be magnetically separated. Waste heat from that process goes to industrial processes (melting metals and such), and from there to keeping the forced-growth algal systems warm, heating water, and space heating, before being pumped out of the arcology via the air-conditioning and venting systems. One will suffice to power the basic arcology systems and the algal-farming systems, major industries and the synchrotron ring will require another, although this also allows for exporting approximately 3000 MW of power to the Seattle Metroplex. The remaining two can be used to produce additional power for export to Seattle, but – according to general procedures – one is offline at any given time to allow for maintenance and provide reserve capacity. Thanks to security concerns – and to the engineers making some allowance for irrational fears among the executives – the floors and ceilings of the reactor high-security zones are of double the usual thickness and especially reinforced and the outer security walls of the reactor security zones are equally durable.

   Unsurprisingly, since the power plants are critical to both the moment-to-moment and to the long term operation of the arcology, and the particle accelerator systems are both an enormous investment and relatively vulnerable, security on this floor is exceptionally tight. Large numbers of both security drones and heavy military drones (and not a few live security officers) are deployed here, there are numerous checkpoints, security scans, and passcoded doors. Drones are also stationed at each entrance and exit and at chokepoints.

   As is going to be usual for levels of the Renraku Arcology, this map is only going to show some major features: mapping an area 1.2 miles square on tactical scale simply isn’t practical.

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