Ships older than the Enterprise
used piles. The Republic
had atomic matter piles and the Antares
had an energy pile. What is a pile?
"(Physics / General Physics) Physics
a structure of uranium and a moderator used for producing atomic energy; nuclear reactor" (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pile
Baffle plates are used nowadays in the construction of nuclear reactors. We know of two older ships that had baffle plates - the Antares
and the unnamed Class J starship. This latter was another training ship.
Delta Rays - the rays that injured Pike - is a term used in the real world to describe a type of radiation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_ray
Having an open circuit in a nuclear reactor is a matter of grave concern, even nowadays.
What is a circuit fault?
Circuit faults are failures within plant electrical systems where wires come into contact with other wires or other equipment in a way that is outside the plant design. These faults are described in the rule as hot shorts, shorts to ground, or open circuits. The circuit faults of interest are the ones that have the potential to prevent operation or cause maloperation of plant equipment that is important to safe shutdown.
Timo, you can dance around the terms, but the basic fact is this: The people who wrote these episodes had a basic understanding of nuclear reactors. They applied that knowledge to Star Trek. We know from TNG that starships in the 22nd century were using for their prime drive type a pulse fission nuclear engine. It is possible that antimatter was used in these engines - even now, this is a theoretical concept. This propulsion method is called antimatter catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion