Problems in Strategic Nuclear Targeting: The Electrical System and Fossil Fuels

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Vault Maker, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    Jun 27, 2006
    I've been thinking about what parts of the electrical power generation system get targeted in the Great War, because Reasons.

    The presence of the following types of power generation in the period leading up to the War should be relatively uncontroversial, since they are defined in canon sources:
    Nuclear Fusion
    Nuclear Fission

    I don't think it's canon, but there's no reason I can find that Biogas (methane capture etc.) would be ruled out.

    That leaves the fossil fuels. Obviously oil wouldn't be burned by power plants due to cost/scarcity. After that there are (mainly) natural gas, coal, and tar sands. Tar sands are in some ways a subset of oil, so those are probably not used either (but, being in Canada, are a great reason for Annexation).

    Natural gas is often co-located with petroleum, but not completely, so petroleum depletion isn't automatically the same as NG depletion. I haven't been able to dig up any specific canon reference to NG.

    Coal was going to be present in Van Buren, and is mentioned in New Vegas. The US has huge coal reserves, so this might be a viable power source.

    Complicating the continued use of natural gas or coal, either can be converted to synthetic fuels or lubricants using the Fischer-Tropsch process. As oil is depleted, the demand to create liquid fuels would place a strain on both resources.

    Question 1:
    Are there other strictly canon sources you know of that address coal or natural gas use? Please cite specific references.

    Based on the references to "regions" and "sections of the United States", I'd assume that the slow uptake of fusion power described is related to utility-level power generation. The use of fusion power for small arms, power armor, and vehicles shows fusion was adopted quickly for mobile uses, while it's use as a power source in various special facilities indicates it was readily adopted for long duration or high-priority applications.

    Now, assume we have a real-world map with power plants, and we want to use it for a Fallout map. As we remove fossil fuel energy production from the picture, there is still a demand for electricity. It seems reasonable to assume that nuclear plants are used as substitutes, but that most of them are fission plants.

    Question 2:
    Are there other strictly canon sources you know of that address the use of fission vs. fusion nuclear power? Please cite specific references.

    Opinions are fine, but canon citations are better. I'm a grognard so for this purpose (my purpose) canon runs like this:

    Fallout 1
    Fallout 2
    Fallout Van Buren
    Fallout New Vegas
    Fallout developer (aka Interplay/Black Isle) comments, interviews, etc.
    Fallout Bible
    Fallout Tactics