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Building in Beyond Earth
|Specialist slots||2 Traders|
|Effect|| +3 Energy|
Although able to function for a period with portable power plants from the ship, the energy requirements of a growing colony demanded more than mere subsistence. In time, reactors were constructed to supply sustainable energy; while a few early generators built on the planet were based on traditional designs, these were at best inefficient applications of outdated technology. Best among these were the radioisotope thermoelectric generators that used thermocouples to convert the heat from the decay of a suitable radioactive material into electricity via the Seebeck Effect. However, most colonial administrations focused construction efforts on the likes of thorium reactors; thorium is relatively plentiful on this planet in the monazite sands, and produces the radioactive gas radon-220 as well as thorium-232, both used in thorium reactors. Although most thorium-related nuclear research on Old Earth was suspended after the Great Mistake, thorium reactors have proved a safe, efficient and inexpensive means to produce the power needed by the colonial settlements. Research efforts aimed at improving these aspects has led to even better thorium reactors and methods of electric storage, to the point where some settlements had an energy surfeit and were able to broker agreements to exchange their surpluses for materials they lacked.