Frustrated with the high intake requirements of the other steam engines, Dr. Farthing went about looking for a replacement to burning coal for power. After many years searching, he settled on the single thing he could find that generated heat without burning - The ore pitchblende. With careful refinement and shaping, Dr. Farthing discovered that the metal yielded would create great amounts of heat, especially if the the floride gas was centrifuged, and then returned to the metal.
While the danger was great, and several of his apprentices died of peculiar illnesses during the creation of the first engine, still, it was completed, and proven to function.
Essentially a primitive fission reactor, Dr. Farthing’s Fabulous Engine is basically a drop-in replacement for any other large steam generator. Rather than burning through vast supplies of coal and spewing out soot, however, it carries a supply of refined pitchblende that will generate steam for several years, at a certain cost: Although Dr. Farthing does not realize it, the steam that it generates is radioactive, and over time, this will take its own toll on the people exposed to it, a toll of strange sicknesses and odd cancers, and of children born with twisted and failing bodies…