"No...Dilithium isn't needed for the reactor...just one thing is necessary....
a shield. Not for containment but for decaying the neutinos so that the energy produce by the reaction could have an effect on the matter and become high energy plasma. The only other thing needes is a magnetic bottle.
So, while those guys I'm sure had a design intent of there own, in order for warp cores to produce that amazing amount of energy the neutrinos need to converted because they carry 99 percent of the energy away from the reaction and they don't react with anything but water....occasionally.
That's also why they don't need that much matter and antimatter. "
Saquist - where are you getting this info? Dilithium IS needed for the reactor, it always has been since TOS. Dilithium is the regulating element that prevents matter and antimatter from annihiliating one another in an explosive, uncontrolled reaction. It allows them to meet and converts the reaction into plasma.