The Nuclear Power Plant is an advanced production building of the Atomic Era in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. It is the third and final power-producing building in the game; it is built in the Industrial Zone district and requires a Factory (or one of its replacements).
- +4 Production.
- +3 Science.
- The Production and Science bonuses extend to all City Centers within 6 tiles of the Industrial Zone (if these cities do not have Power Plants).
- Converts Uranium into Power for this city and other cities whose City Centers are within 6 tiles. (Conversion rate: 1 Uranium → 16 Power)
- +1 Citizen slot.
- +1 Production additionally per Specialist in this district
- +1 Great Engineer point per turn.
- Minuscule CO2 into the atmosphere.
- Increasing risk of Nuclear Accidents as the plant's reactor ages.
The Nuclear Power Plant, more so than any other energy source in Gathering Storm, has benefits and drawbacks that the player needs to balance for their specific situations. Note that Nuclear Power Plants are vulnerable to enemy Spies, for example via the Sabotage Production espionage mission.
Nuclear Accidents Edit
Once built, a Nuclear Power Plant starts to age. The age of a Nuclear Power Plant (displayed in-game as Reactor Age when hovering over the city project Recommission Nuclear Reactor) is defined as the number of turns that have passed since the Power Plant was first constructed, converted to, or last recommissioned.
As Reactor Age increases, the likelihood of a Nuclear Accident increases, as does the potential severity of the accident.
Completing the city project Recommission Nuclear Reactor resets the Reactor Age to 0 (in the city with the aging Nuclear Power Plant).
There are three levels of accidents, each successively more severe and made possible by higher Reactor Age:
|Radioactive Steam Venting||10+||Radioactive steam escapes from the plant. The Industrial Zone and all surrounding tiles are contaminated by fallout and unworkable for 2 turns. The Power Plant is pillaged, and there is a 10% chance that any improvements in the affected tiles are pillaged.|
|Radiation Leak||20+||Radioactive substances leak from the plant's reactor. The Industrial Zone and all surrounding tiles are contaminated by fallout and unworkable for 10 turns. The Power Plant is pillaged, and there is a 50% chance that any districts and buildings in the affected tiles are pillaged and a 40% chance that any improvements in the affected tiles are pillaged. There is a 50% chance that any civilian units in the affected tiles are killed and a 50% chance that any military units and the defenses of any City Centers or Encampments in the affected tiles are damaged.|
|Nuclear Meltdown||30+||The plant's reactor overheats and explodes. The Industrial Zone and all surrounding tiles are contaminated by fallout and unworkable for 20 turns. The Power Plant is destroyed, any districts, buildings, and improvements in the affected tiles are pillaged, and there is an 80% chance that any Citizens working the affected tiles are killed. Any civilian units in the affected tiles are killed, and any military units and the defenses of any City Centers or Encampments in the affected tiles are damaged.|
Prior to the Antarctic Late Summer Update, a Nuclear Accident could be inadvertently triggered by pillaging the Nuclear Power Plant (either with a military unit, or by having a Spy carry out the Sabotage Production mission). Also, subsequent to this update, the Recommission Nuclear Reactor project will automatically repair a pillaged Nuclear Power Plant.
Production Upkeep Edit
To avoid the most severe accidents described above, it may be necessary for a city to perform Recommission Nuclear Reactor - a project with a base cost of 400 Production. The true impact of this production cost depends on the frequency the player deems necessary for recommissioning. On paper, it would seem that the risk-free use of Nuclear Power Plants requires recommissioning every 10 to 20 turns.
Uranium Consumption Edit
One quirk about Power consumption is that each Power Plant requires a separate source of power. So, even though each Uranium produces the considerable 16 Power, this sum cannot be split up and shared by multiple Power stations in range. It can, however, be split up between multiple cities in range. Still, each separate Nuclear Power Plant which supplies at least 1 city will require at least 1 Uranium. It is thus advantageous to plan carefully the positioning of your Industrial Zones and use alternative local energy sources such as Dams, Solar Farms, or the unique ability of Cardiff to satisfy cities with lesser Power needs. On the flip side, the player should be careful in planning for the energy needs of their cities to avoid a sudden resource shortage before converting to Uranium.
Slowing Global Warming Edit
While Nuclear Power Plants suffer from drawbacks - the effective loss of the city's Production and a potentially significant draw on Uranium - they also enjoy interesting benefits. For one, Uranium consumption creates the least amount of CO2. Depending on the stage of Global Warming, widespread adoption of Nuclear Power Plants may allow the player to construct Flood Barriers in time to protect their coastal lowlands before such tiles are permanently lost, where without Nuclear Power Plants they otherwise cannot. Similarly, slowing Global Warming may also permit the completion of Dams along all rivers in the empire as Global Warming makes floods more frequent. However, once these preparations are made, the benefits related to Global Warming become less significant. Floods confer only fertility but do no damage. That is another layer of complexity the game offers.
Regional Science Bonus Edit
Another benefit lies in its regional Production and Science bonuses. While the Production bonus is eclipsed by Coal Power Plants in conjunction with strategically placed Industrial Zones, +3 Science in potentially every city before modifiers may be significant for the player until the end of the game.
Civilopedia entry Edit
The sole purpose of a power plant (or power station, generating plant, or power house) – be it hydro, nuclear, solar, fossil fuel-fired, tidal or other – is to feed the voracious appetite for electricity that civilization has developed over the past 160 years. Whatever the form, the principle is the same: convert one type of energy into another so that humans can enjoy their comforts. The first power plant was designed and built by Baron William Armstrong in 1868 AD (when scientists were still playing around with electricity in labs) in Cragside; water from a lake was used to turn the dynamos, and the resulting electricity powered lights, heating, hot water heaters, an elevator, and other odd devices in his properties nearby. In January 1882 the first public power plant came online in London, and in September the Pearl Street Station began operations in New York City supplying electricity to lower Manhattan. Although the Pearl Street Station burned down in 1890, it was too late – people were hooked on electric lights, and now over 7300 power plants operate in the United States alone.