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Uranium processing is the only way to use uranium ore and the first source of uranium-235 and uranium-238 that is available to the player. The process has a 99.3% chance to produce 1 uranium-238 and a 0.7% chance to produce 1 uranium-235.
Initiating the Kovarex enrichment process
Unlike all other crafting processes in the game, uranium processing creates U-235 and U-238 based on probability, rather than in guaranteed deterministic amounts. Additionally, the Kovarex process requires a bulk stockpile of 40 units of the rare uranium-235 isotope to initiate in a single centrifuge. Therefore, planning uranium mining and processing for the Kovarex process takes certain considerations not encountered elsewhere in the game.
As U-235 is created in centrifuges running uranium processing with p = 0.007, the expected number of processing cycles to gain a single unit is E(1,p) = 1 ÷ p = ~143. The expected number of cycles to gain 40 units is then E(40,p) = 40 × E(1,p) = ~5,714 cycles. Note that running this many cycles requires mining 57,140 uranium ore, a non-trivial task.
However, given the nature of probability, it is impossible to guarantee that 40 units will be reached in this number of cycles; as a matter of fact, some mathematics yields that the probability that 5,714 cycles will produce at least 40 units of U-235 is only about 52%.
Some further mathematics enables one to calculate the number of uranium processing cycles one must run to obtain at least 40 units of U-235 (given p = 0.007) with a given level of confidence (probability of achieving the set goal).
As discussed in the previous section, the level of confidence corresponding to 5,714 cycles (for which the expected value of U-235 gained is 40) happens to be about 52% (or, in other words, with this number of cycles, one can expect to fail to reach 40 U-235 a bit less than once out of every 2 tries).
Some further example confidence levels that may be of interest to players are given in the table below. Consult the chart to the right for custom values.
|Confidence level||Failures||Cycles required|
|10%||9 out of 10||4,595|
|50%||1 out of 2||5,667|
|90%||1 out of 10||6,894|
|95%||1 out of 20||7,272|
|99%||1 out of 100||8,015|