"You have no choice when there is conflicting evidence. We have to choose what parts we retain as "pure," what parts we reject entirely..." Saquist - Canon should not be "meaningless" in a project such as this, and I think CTM would acknowledge this. It is one of the primary sources drawn upon, in concert with the design intent (although my stance is still that intent need not be so slavishly adhered to).
I can't emphasize enough that it all revolves around design and the real physical limits of the hull. The sets were not contructed to any other reason but ergonomics to rely on them above design principle makes this more art that planning.
CAD is computer Aided Drafting and drafting has rules, rules that even Trek designers have recognized which is that design must be function first over all.
Also, I'm not sure that your description of the intermix operation on the refit Enterprise is entirely accurate. On the Enterprise D, it is the case that deuterium and anti-deuterium (I think?) are injected at opposite ends of the chamber and regulated by the central dilithium crystal, from which the plasma stream emanates. But the refit chamber doesn't follow this method. There are two shafts, and no central crystal to regulate the reaction. Indeed, the actual crystal appears to be located in a seperate room, well away from the shafts - the reactor room where Spock dies. Evidence that this may be a crystal chamber can also be found in Voyage Home when Scotty peers at an identical chamber on the Bird of Prey and comments that the crystals are burned out.
You see this is the perfect example of what I speak.
The Intermix chamber was never pointed out in the Movie. The Central dilithium crystal chamber was never identified on film. YET we know that the crystals mediate the reaction of matter and anti-matter so why would the camber be in another room?
The most logical explanation is the the room Spock was in was a control room and likely a radiation purge room.
Another theory I've read which may explain the workings of the refit shafts is that the shafts themselves are uniformly coated or treated in some way with dilithium, so that the matter & antimatter is simultanously released into the shafts where it is instantly converted into plasma energy. [/QUOTE]
I don't know about that. It wouldn't fit the description of a supercolider.
matter and antimatter have different charges and spins. In order form them to colide they must be accelerated at each other with significant force.
Well, when speaking of design intent, the intermix chamber of the TMP ship was just a power transfer conduit, not a "Warp core" in the TNG sense. The antimatter is stored at the bottom of the shaft, as is the reactor; the PRODUCT of reacting matter and antimatter is pumped through the shaft to where it needs to go. The impulse engines only need a little, so the intermix isn't very active then, but when you transfer power to the warp engines, it becomes a blazing inferno.
According to this the Core did proceed down to an antimatter souce.
Produced by Paramount from this illistrator.