I a couple of prior articles with the “LANR” or “LENR” tag, we’ve seen that the Laves crystal structure is important, and that for a particular patent, the size of the “lattice constant” was claimed to matter. I’m going to go out on a speculative limb and claim that for the “Rossi Effect” in the E-Cat, the size of Lithium matters.
Note the big space between the blue and green atoms.
First off, the “size of hydrogen” as a diatomic gas can range from about 2 Å up to about 7 Å with heating. (As a reminder to those limited to using only S.I. units, the Å is about 0.1 nm, I just find it very useful as it is ‘roughly an integer’ at atomic scale things and it was also the unit in which I first learned all this stuff in High School in the ’70s… and I still have my High School Chem text as they “upgraded” the books and gave away the old ones ;-)
From that Laves link, per the H2 molecule:
I’ve calculated the solution for the molecule for different distances between the atoms : 7.5, 6, 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1 Angstrom and finally the known 0.734 Angstrom.
So we can see right up front that the “known” distance is 3/4 Å, then add about 1 Å for the diameter of the two atoms, you get about 1.5 to 2 Å for the molecule.
And from the patent application referenced in that article:
A indicates at least one element selected from a group of Zr, Ti, Hf, Ta, Y, Ca, Mg, La, Co, Pr, Mm, Nb, Nd, Mo, Al and Si (Mm indicates a mixture of rare earth elements), B indicates at least one element selected from a group of Fe, V, Ni, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Al, Si, Nb, Mo, W, Mg, Ca, Y, Ta, Pd, Pt, Ag, Au, Cd, In, Bi, La, Co, Pr, Nd, Ta, Sm and Mm, and α is a value of 1.5 to 2.5.
9. The electrode as claimed in Claim 5 in which said Laves phase C14 type alloy has a crystal structure of hexagonal symmetry and crystal lattice constants thereof a and c are of 4.8 to 5.2 Å and 7.9 to 8.3 Å, respectively.
10. The electrode as claimed in Claim 6 in which said Laves phase C15 type alloy has a crystal structure of cubic symmetry and the crystal lattice constant a is of 6.92 to 7.70 Å.
Again, note that I’ve bolded the reference to Al and Ni and the Angstrom sizes of the lattice constants. For anyone wanting a ‘brush up’ on lattice constant, here’s the wiki.
Essentially, for a cubic crystal, it is the distance between the two atom centers in either of 3 directions. Up/down. Side to side. Front to back. It’s a cube so they are all the same. For a hexagonal crystal, it gets more involved, and for other crystals all three axis can be involved. For Hexagonal, two directions ‘match’ so you just have a length and width to measure.
So they claim you need “about 7” Å (about 7.31 +/- .38 or so Å ) while in the hexagonal it is about 8 Å long ( 8.1 +/- 0.2 Å ) but only about 5 wide ( 5.0 +/- 0.2 Å ) so one presumes a bit more ‘snug’ fit to something that has a long axis and a narrow axis.
Now, from those lattice constants, you must subtract 1/2 the diameter of each atom on each end of each axis. I’ll leave it for someone else to work out just which atoms are in what end and exactly how they define the space. For my purposes, I’m just going to make a “close enough” estimate via the sizes of Nickle and Aluminum atoms.
Consulting said old high school text book… (“Modern Chemistry” by Metcalf, Williams, & Castika) pgs. 578-579 “Relative Sizes of Atoms and Ions in the Periodic Table” a two page chart, we find Al at 1.43 Å radius for the atom, and 0.50 Å radius for the ion. Ni is only listed for the atom, at 1.24 Å, probably due to their being several sizes based on ionization. I’m not sure what the sizes would be in the metalic phase. (Someone who wants more accuracy and precision can look up metallic ion sizes…)
lists a “Ionic Radius: 69 (+2e)” which one presumes is in pm since their other similar measures are so marked, so about 0.69 Å is likely. Adding each together gives about 1.2 Å as the likely distance taken up by the atoms on each end of the space. That would make it about a 6.1 Å wide space for the cubic form, or about 6.8 x 3.8 Å for the hexagonal space.
Anything larger than that can’t get into the space. Anything too much smaller can’t be effectively “compressed” by the surrounding atoms when hit with some vibrational / electronic “whack”.
FWIW, this chart is also nice, but doesn’t have a decent label for units (pm?) and is only atom sizes (I think).
But it’s pretty, even if the lack of a decent ledger and units markings makes it somewhat hard to use for anything important…
Then there’s this semi-dodgy page that has a nice table of atomic radii. They are sensible enough to use Angstroms, and list ionic, covalent, atomic, Van der Waals, and “crystal” radius sizes.
They have “crystal maker” software to sell, so it’s a bit “puffy”, but the data is there.
On, and this is a nice chart with both atoms and ions images in it, though the sizes are, I think, only for the ions (and have no size unit listed, so pm?). It includes the H+ ion at 154…
So if you managed to “blow up” the H- and Li+ to be H+ and Li (neutral) you could get to much larger sizes and more cramped space even faster. (Though it would be nicer speculation if folks bothered to put legends and units on their charts…) Oh, and one wonders if it is radius or diameter…
Gives all sorts of other numbers (for radius clearly marked this time, and in pm) but not always in agreement with any of the others. Sigh. So many clocks just leaving even less certainty as to what time it is…
At any rate, anyone wanting to find a more decent and more clear source as to ‘metalic radius’ or ‘atomic diameter’ and / or clean up the math above, feel free…
Now We Can Look At Targets
So lets take a look at the targets. We’ve got H2, D2, T2, and the various mixes like H-D, T-D, etc. We’ve also got Lithium knocking around. For now, I’m going to ignore the D and T variations. Anyone seriously interested in them can look up their size compared to H2 and maybe even compare the spacing in Pd and see if “the size fits” (or the “shoe” fits the “atom foot”…). If they both are, say, 0.14 Å larger (as Pd is to Ni in my old text, or perhaps smaller if the lattice constant is the same or smaller) then one might leap to conclusions…
For now, we know that H2 starts off about size 2 Å long axis but grows up to about 7 or 8 Å on heating. One could easily load up 2 or even 3 molecules into a space in the crystal, then on significant warming and / or an electrical ‘whack’, have some of them “jump up” in size to where they don’t fit in the space anymore and either “two H become one” or one H goes into a metal ion. Not much else they can do to get away… especially if the “loading” is at 80% or more as is stated to be a requirement in the Pd system. Go to the next space, whack another H… The H atom is only 0.3 Å (and the ion is only a proton so even smaller…) so in a metal lattice with a sea of electron “gas”, one might expect a whole lot more H ions filling that space. IF they are H ions, you could have a whole herd of them in there, but even just as H atoms, it’s about 22 atoms wide…
Clearly it’s important to have H2 molecules in the space, or something “else” to help fill it up. As H2 (or D2) molecules, just heating could make the wave function large enough that “there ain’t room enough here for the both of us!” and something has to give. I’d further speculate that Laves structures with even smaller Å length might work better with straight H2 or D2 systems, or that putting “something else” in the space might also work. It can’t be a strong enough ion to enter the crystal structure itself, so one might be hard to find… but might explain why the Papp Engine used Noble Gas. A Xenon is about 1.9 Å and a couple of them with a H or two might be close enough packed to “go” under pressure and with lots of electrical discharge stimulation. (A minor “Dig Here!” would be solubility of noble gasses into metals…)
But back at Rossi… and about that Lithium…
My text lists Lithium as 1.52 Å radius for the atom, and 0.60 Å for the ion. That would make LiH about 1 Å radius or 2 in diameter size and an ‘easy fit’ into the space. In fact, one could likely get a couple of them in there. The wiki on Lithium Hydride lists it as a FCC (Face Centered Cubic) crystal with a lattice constant of about 4 Å which implies you could get (almost) 2 of them into the space.
a = 0.40834 nm
If, then, the Lithium “picked up an electron”, even briefly, it would balloon out by 2 Å diameter and completely engulf the H next to it. IFF that H had nowhere to go (say, due to a hard Ni or Al wall next to it), what happens?
I note in passing that the wiki also says: “it is soluble and non-reactive with certain molten salts such as lithium fluoride, lithium borohydride, and sodium hydride” so it will dissolve into “sodium hydride”… one wonders if it will also dissolve into “Aluminum Hydride” and maybe even “Nickle Hydride”…
Yes, I’ve glossed over a whole lot of things. What happens to the Laves structure as Li enters into it? Is the “space” changed in size? Or does the Li not get inducted into the crystal and instead fills the spaces with the H? Does the Li break up the Laves structure? (I think not, as there are many Laves metal alloys used for H2 storage that have 3 or 4 metals in the mix, so most likely IMHO it either enters the space or makes a Laves structure of it’s own, but with smaller size).
What IS clear, though, is that Li, LiH, and H2 are ALL very small species that can fit in the space in the Laves crystal structure when not too excited, but where with excitation they can fail to still fit and “something’s gotta give” at that point. Cyclical stimulation being more likely the best way to get “fully packed” and then “nowhere to go” and reactions.
In short, I think in the case of LANR (LENR) we need to recognize that “size matters” and the “targets” must be small enough to get into the lattice (so looking at things like absorption rates for H2 and solutions made with Li ought to matter) while at the same time they must be subject to some kind of “get too big too fast” process when subjected to heat, electricity, magnetic fields, light, whatever.
IFF this approach has merit, it opens a large field of exploration for other materials that ought to manifest the same LANR / LENR excess heat. Those 3 and 4 metal hydrogen storage metals, for example, and similar “salts’ using O or S or P as part of the lattice. Simliarly, Be is all of 1.11 Å radius for the atom and 0.31 Å radius for the ion. Smaller than Lithium and with an ion about the size of H atoms. One would expect BeH to “go” in lattice structures with smaller lattice constants (say about 6.6 to 7.0 Å or maybe even a bit tighter) while Mg at 1.6 Å radius atoms and 0.65 Å radius ions would “want” a lattice constant about 0.16 Å larger than Li (so might even “go” in a Rossi NiAl Laves structure… one wonders if MgAlH3 alloy exists…)
Says that a MgLiAlH3 exists…
United States Patent 3,849,542 LITHIUM MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM HYDRIDE John A. Snover, Midland, Mich., Joseph H. Waibel, Lake Jackson, Tex., and Arthur L. Daniels, Coleman, Mich., assignors to The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. No Drawing. Filed May 9, 1966, Ser. No. 549,430
Int. Cl. C01b 6/24 US. Cl. 423-644 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention is to the novel compound lithium magnesium aluminum hydride and a process for its preparation. The disclosed process comprises reacting magnesium chloride with lithium aluminum hydride in an ether solution under substantially anhydrous conditions, separating the resulting ethereal lithium magnesium aluminum hydride product solution from solid lithium chloride by-product and recovering the lithium magnesium aluminum hydride.
This invention relates to light metal hydrides and more particularly is concerned with a novel lithium magnesium aluminum hydride product corresponding to the empirical formula LiMg(AlH 3 and to a process for its preparation.
So I think you can see where I’m going with this. Size a lattice where a “small” light metal ion and some H ions easily fit the space. Then cause some of the metal ions to momentarily become atoms via applied (electricity, magnetism, light, whatever) and at the same time constrain the space (via things like heat and vibrations) and if ‘the size is right’ some of those H ions and atoms have “no place to go”. Their wave function must merge with a neighbor excited atom.
IFF that idea has any merit, the implication is that with proper selection of light metal and H isotopes and atoms (those that don’t change the crystal structure at the relevant temperatures too much and preferentially ‘fill the void’) one might be able to find other combinations than just LiH to make excess heat. Measuring the sizes of ions and atoms, and the lattice constant, ought to be a useful guide to those combinations more likely to work; and measuring solubility in / recovery from, a crystal lattice a decent guide to what goes into the spaces vs what disrupts the lattice.
Yes, a lot of space to explore, and likely only a few things that are not chemically incompatible (so, for example, F has a very small ion, but IS going to attack the metal lattice…) and of the right sizes. However, this opens the door to a fairly directed search of the potential space of candidate systems and even to the potential for using non-metallic lattice structures in some cases.
Size of Lattice Constant. Size of entrapped species. Eliminate chemically reactive (with lattice) trapped species from consideration. Examine size of entrapped species on excitation. If it’s a bit “not going to fit” when excited, but can be stored / recovered when not so excited; you have a candidate system to try.
I just note in passing that the wiki on LiH mentions the melting point as about 688 C and the boiling point (decomposes) as about 900-1000 C. So it flows well at 688 (and one presumes makes solutions into other metals well then…) and it starts to “come apart” into atoms at just about the point where the E-Cat shows positive gains… Just sayin’…
Sidebar On Metal Sources
There’s an interesting point that NiMH batteries store Hydrogen in metal (thus the Metal Hydride name) and those metals are readily available and likely not fully tested as LANR materials.
For example extols some of their wares available.
Hydrogen storage alloys are metallic materials that have a unique ability to reversibly absorb and release significant amounts of hydrogen from the gas phase or electrochemically (see image below). This unique property of hydrogen storage alloys is used in numerous applications1 such as:
hydrogen storage systems for fuel cells
Among the broad variety of hydrogen storage alloys that have been studied to date,1,2 two groups of materials, AB5 and AB2 type alloys, have the most advantageous combination of high hydrogen storage capacities and operations parameters.
AB5 alloys combine a hydride forming metal A, usually a rare earth metal (La, Ce, Nd, Pr, Y or their mixture known as Mischmetal), with a non-hydride forming element – nickel. The latter can be doped with other metals, such as Co, Sn or Al, to improve materials stability or to adjust equilibrium hydrogen pressure and temperature required for its charging discharging with hydrogen.2
AB2 alloys, also known as Laves phases, represent a large group of alloys containing titanium, zirconium or hafnium at the A-site and a transition metal(s) at a B-site (Mn, Ni, Cr, V and others). Reversible hydrogen storage capacities of this group of materials are comparable with those of AB5-type alloys. However, AB2 alloys are capable of storing additional amounts of hydrogen at high hydrogen pressures and have higher capacities at high discharge rates when used as negative electrodes in batteries.
The astute reader will note that those Mm Mischmetal elements are listed in the table of ‘things that work’ in the patent referenced above.
This implies, rather strongly I’d assert, that a DIY Hot-Cat style of LANR “cold fusion” device might be as simple as getting such electrode metal from an old NiMH battery, cleaning it up (degassing, dehydrating, etc.) and then putting it with some LiH source materials into a hot tube (ala Rossi with GOOD heat control / feedback to the heater!)
IF the thesis about Laves structures and that patent are correct, there’s a whole lot of suitable material knocking about in batteries and hydrogen storage systems already with lots of info about their lattice constants and such known. Then, IF my speculation about LiH and atomic sizes is correct, it ought to be fairly easy to get one to “go” via putting the (preferably powdered…) metal in a hot-tube with LiH and a control system to avoid overheating.
Oh, and as a ‘curious aside’: One wonders if such Li with Hydride and other metals kicking about systems might explain part of the tendency for Lithium batteries to go into thermal runaway and suddenly burst into flames “for no apparent reason”. Yes, I know about the thesis of ‘needle growth’ and internal shorting… but that really ought to just discharge the battery… yet they get to a certain degree of heat and all hell breaks loose. One wonders…
At any rate, my usual request applies: If you make a $Billion out of any of these ideas, I would appreciate a small crumb of a $Million or two tossed my way. Thanks! ;-) If not, well, have fun with it anyway ;-)
The smiling faces of world leaders meeting in Hiroshima, seventy years after destruction by an atomic bomb explosion,
belie their warnings to the public about the long-term dangers o
This two-page tribute to my late research mentor, Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda (2017-2001),
Click to access Tribute_to_Paul_Kazuo_Kuroda.pdf
may help the public understand how FEAR of worldwide nuclear annihilation has deprived humanity of Aston’s PROMISE of POWERS BEYOND THE DREAMS OF SCIDNTIFIC FICTION !
Thinking about it a bit more… LiH has a lattice constant of about 4 but that’s ‘center to center’. The radius of each needs adding, so add about 1 more ( 0.6 for Li, and about 0.3ish for H but if a bit warmer… an even 1 total) to get “about 5”. The “space” is about 3.8 x 6.8 for hexagonal and about 6.1 for the cubic; or about 1 (or 1/2 Angstrom each way) in the cubic and about 1.4 total or 0.7 Angstroms each end long way only, in the hexagonal (and constrained from rotation). Now “blow up” that Li to a Li atom (i.e. stick an electron on it) and it gains 0.92 radius or 1.84 diameter. That exceeds the available space. Make it hot in the process and just where does the electron shell end up? Seems like an easy space in which a proton could end up inside the electron shell, even if just momentarily…
Tacking on that electron puts it outside the H atom which is now seeing 2 electrons ‘outside’ of it and 2 ‘inside’ toward the Li nucleus (or perhaps 3 outside if it is H- ion). Net zero electron screening. if it drifts past the inner electrons (or if for just a moment heat puts one outside, or more e gets shoved into the outer shell via electric loading) net electric force pushes it toward the nucleus… and fusion.
Looks to me like the critical factor is an ionic radius (crystal lattice) such that there is under 1 Angstrom each side of wiggle room (preferably less than 1 total) and an atomic form that is significantly larger (by a couple of Angstroms if possible) such that the electrons join the “electron fog” of the metal lattice and the nuclei are net inside the electron cloud pushing them together. Then either the proton captures one of the electrons (so is neutral and slides on in) or things are just constrained enough for proton capture to happen in ‘enough’ cases to make excess heat.
If the electron push aspect is valid, then higher atomic number ions would not work, or only work under much more duress, as there are more screening electrons in the way even when the outer electron has ionized off. If the neutron formation aspect is valid, it ought not matter much as the proton became a neutron in all that high pressure electron cloud then drifted in. So if MgH2 can be made to “go”, it has implications about the steps the proton takes to get into the center… In all cases, you need ‘about an Angstrom’ kind of clearances or things are too loose.
Cold fusion turns to hot legal battles: Rossi vs Industrial Heat
Lobos does a pretty good job debunking the whole LENR thing.
Is there really a Rossi effect – other than unsubstantiated hype?
Li-ion batteries can burn and explode due to thermal runaway in which short circuits develop in the matrix that release more heat cascading into more short circuits, not dissimilar to spontaneous combustion, all of which can be explained by known chemical processes.
The Rossi effect, which is most likely not real, cannot be explained by known chemistry or physics.
While all that chemistry and crystallography is very interesting we seem to have lost sight of the main issue which is NUCLEAR reactions.
Not so long ago Rossi was talking about nickel nuclei reacting with hydrogen nuclei to form copper. Such reactions are exothermic with precise energy yields defined by the specific isotopes involved. The debate has shifted to hydrogen, deuterium, tritium and lithium so could someone please say what NUCLEAR reactions are supposed to be happening this time?
I think it is a reasonable guess that the Rossi effect – (if it is real) is something like this.
“confinement of suitable hydrogen isotopes in a metal hydrid with provides sufficiently long confinement that the statistical event of fusion becomes likely rather than rare.
Fusion like most atomic processes is best described statistically. If you subject a quantity of hydrogen to enormous temperatures and pressures and confine it long enough fusion of a large fraction of the sample becomes a certainty. In a thermonuclear weapon such as the W-80 warhead its estimated radiation pressure generated during detonation is on the order of 1,400 million bar (140 TPa), for the Ivy Mike device estimated radiation pressures were 73 million bar (atmospheres) (7.3 T Pa) for the Ivy Mike design. Plasma pressures are estimated to be about 5x higher, and ablation pressure about 45x greater
At those pressures and temperatures of 10’s of millions degrees fusion becomes certain even though the containment duration is much less than a microsecond.
The limits to conditions for prompt fission are defined by the Lawson criterion, and are approximately, 30 million degrees for a deuterium – tritium fusion event and 150 million degrees for a deuterium – deuterium fusion event. The required confinement time is a function of the temperature.
But — this only applies to the unspoken condition that a large fraction of the atoms undergo fusion during that time interval.
What happens if the time interval is increased a million or billion fold and the confinement temperatures are reduced by similar multiples. If fusion is simply a statistical process, then a small fraction of the available atoms would occasionally fuse under these more relaxed conditions. Since nuclear fusion releases something near 5 orders of magnitude more energy than a chemical reaction you don’t need very many atoms involved in a slow continuous nuclear fusion process to produce a meaningful energy output.
It is my guess that (if he is actually getting a nuclear energy yield) he is finding a sweet spot condition that allows occasional fusion to occur over long confinement times at temperatures and pressures achievable in a metal crystal hydride. All this is based on the assumption that there is a straight forward statistical likelihood that two atoms will fuse depending only on their temperature/pressure and duration of those conditions. Very high temperatures and pressures require only microsecond or nanosecond confinements for large fractions of the atoms to fuse. If there is no hard cutoff to that process at lower temperatures and pressures then fusion is no impossible at room temperature and pressures, just extremely unlikely. Somewhere in between those two extremes there should be a temperature/pressure/confinement regime that would allow very small fractions of the atoms to occasionally fuse at easily achievable pressures and temperatures.
That is just my hypothesis of what might be happening.
It’s been reproduced by at least 3 different groups now, the most recent being an open source project with spec and ‘how to’ cookbook published. Also the U.S.Navy via NAVSEA has replicated the idea (though not the actual e-Cat that the others did) and found it works, patented their work, hid the patent behind State Secrecy in 2007, and only recently let it go public since cat was pretty much out of bag by then with multiple replications and folks like Matshushita and SRI and MIT all filing patents on variations of LENR / LANR.
So yes, there’s real “there there”. What isn’t known yet is how “commercial” the tech will be, or if it is just a cranky curiosity that sometimes melts.
Read the prior linked postings I’ve put up and the links in them to those over folks work.
That’s the “standard answer”, but every small dendrite like sliver I’ve ever seen take a large current has generally gone “poof” and not grown more; so I’m just speculating on a potential ‘kicker’. Though I’m perfectly happy to accept that the “standard answer” could also be right. (Though as I understand it, the ‘runaway’ is in the dendrite growth in that as it gets closer it preferentially deposits new metal; not in the shorting that ought to fry it… but like I said, I could easily have just not dug deep enough to find some other ‘runaway’ thing in the final POOF! process.)
The early e-Cats were asserted to be turning Ni ( IIRC 58 ) into Ni (60? or 62?) and / or Copper (I don’t remember which isotope). After screwing around with it, changing it, and changing the fuel mix, Rossi claims a lot more power out and that it is now Li(6) to Li(7) (again, IIRC).
I could see either one happening, and if my speculation on “size” is correct, the Li(6)H to Li(7) ought to be faster and give more heat. Thus a “step forward”. The earlier Ni(58)->Ni(60) or Ni(56)->CU(?) would be harder to make “go” with that size lattice. Then again, IIRC, he was using more nearly pure Ni then, so the lattice might have been smaller.
I think that is “exactly right”. I’d only add that the “confinement time” is on the order of hours to days, and that the “pressure” can instantaneously be Very Very High inside the lattice (as noted in the prior LANR Laves posting that structure “compresses atoms”… not gas, not molecules, ATOMS. Implied pressures inside a crystal lattice can be quite high, especially when phonons or plasmons and other odd critters are running around banging nano-anvils together…)
What this posting attempts to do is to describe the sizes and spacings inside that lattice where a particular molecule might get in, be stuck, and unable to get out fast; then suddenly find it’s little cage just way too small for it to have discrete wave functions for two atoms… To me, ti looks like LiH fits in the space, but at a particular temperature of about 1000 C wants to suddenly be two atoms of gas, not an ionic bound compound, and finds the room isn’t there. Doesn’t take many of those pairs to have a wave function overlap long enough to fuse to create 100 W of power for the e-Cat-Quark… (or even 1kW for the “hot Cat”).
So that’s my working hypothesis. Then the corollary to it becomes that OTHER mixes of lattice size and target size might also be found with similar size disparity that would then also have the same pressure / time “issue” and fuse. (Though, again IIRC, Lithium is a bit ‘special’ in having some fairly low threshold fusion barriers, thus the use in fusion bombs… and the generally low crustal percentage as it gets reacted away rapidly in stellar processes…) So maybe Li is “special” and it actually won’t work with Mg or related. Or only work very slowly with things like D2 in Pd.
At any rate, we’ll find out eventually. (And no, I’m NOT betting on Rossi. I’m betting on NAVSEA:
and MFMP folks:
folks having found something (and MAYBE Rossi having stumbled onto it via a whole lot of stumbling…)
and that Matshusita folks being bright and honorable:
and that MIT are not known for lying about technical things:
Click to access 0595.pdf
and Parkamov doing a replication of the e-Cat:
that then goes to over 1 at higher temperatures (nice charts in the prior LENR you can trust posting) and
well, and a few more…
There comes a point where the sheer number of replicators and folks getting patents and their level of skill and credentials points to there being something very real happening. That Rossi stumbled on it ought not to be all that big a surprise.
Sidebar on Rossi Fraud:
I looked up the story again. The assertion is that Rossi made a ‘garbage to fuel oil’ conversion process, patented it, and was selling the stuff as fuel. Then (supposedly) a conspiracy of oil sellers got the “fuel” reclassified as a “toxic waste” and then Rossi ended up “fraudulent” for having sold “toxic waste” as “fuel”. (there’s more detail but look it up if you really care). The key points being that he DID do the conversion, that honestly one could call bunker fuel oil “toxic waste” (and it is so classified if spilled) and he did have a patent on the process and was put out of business by the reclassification from fuel to waste. Now you could call that fraud, but I’d question “On who’s part?” the maker of the “fuel”, or the reclassification after the fact?
I can’t answer what the truth really is, but there’s enough smoke in the air to make either side plausible to me; and given the reputation of Italian “justice”, I’d give Rossi the benefit of the doubt on it until proven otherwise.
In any case: I am NOT depending on Rossi to be honest or moral to reach the conclusion that there is something real going on. I’m depending on The Navy, MIT, Matshusita, MFMP, Parkamov, etc. etc. collectively to not be a Grand Conspiracy of Delusion and to be at least as professional as their collective titles and degrees ought to, on average, imply. That, and you can take a class at MIT to make and operate a cold fusion device in public… and subject to observation by anyone who want’s to give it a try. And they patented it…
There comes a time where the sheer number of replications and parallel existence proofs has more weight than one’s desire to disbelieve…
Seems plausible, Larry.
My conclusion: The WARNINGabout possible worldwide nuclear annihilation in the last paragraph of Aston’s 1922 NOBEL LECTURE and unreported events in AUG-SEPT 1945 frightened world leaders into:
1. Uniting nations and national academies of sciences on 24 OCT 1945
2. Falsifying nuclear and solar physics to hide nuclear energy from the public
3. Wildly exaggerating the danger of nuclear radiation to human life
4. Denying all experimental findings that later revealed nuclear energy
_ a.) Kuroda’s 1956 report of self-sustaining, nuclear reactors on Earth
_ b.) 1972-1983 reports the Sun’s a pulsar remnant of the SN that birthed the solar system
_ c.) Fleischmann and Pons discovery and report of “cold fusion” in 1989
_ d.) Herndon’s 1992 report of nuclear reactors in cores of outer planets
The first posting above shows the smiling faces of world leaders gathered in Hiroshima yesterday, unaware that their own actions confirm the livability of a city destroyed an atomic bomb is 1945.
The second posting above contains a link to Aston’s 1922 PROMISE & WARNING about energy (E) stored as mass (m) in the 3,000 types of atoms that compromise all matter.
Oh, and then there is this one:
Note: That is a Navy site with a .mil on the end. I.e. the real US Navy…
So the US Navy has a patent on a device using Pd and D2 to make particles via electrochemical means that:
The patent goes into great detail on how to make one of these, so anyone could do it.
When the USN and the USPO agree that something works, I tend not to call “fraud” about it…
So once THAT is the likely state of reality and physics, the idea that someone like Rossi, fooling around for years (to decades yet?) with similar materials might find a similar behaviour does not surprise me much…
Also note that if you can make “particles” from such an electrochemical cell, you can also use it to drive regular old fission reactions and make a very controlled heater…
Or just a nice X-ray source:
and then a DIY guide of sorts:
There’s a whole lot more in that patent.
So there’s your “how to do it yourself” guide.
Can folks now, please, accept that there is some kind of “there there” in LANR / LENR?
Or is the USNavy a fraud too?
Pingback: US Navy Patent on LENR / LANR Particle Source | Musings from the Chiefio
You are right, E. M. Smith. Seventy years of deception about nuclear and solar energy have woven a web of deceit that makes truth stranger than fiction to those who believe the “Standard Climate, Cosmology, Nuclear & Solar Models!”
Modification of a single sentence makes this tribute to truth more understandable:
Transmuting elements is a very powerful existence proof that particle generation is occurring and also that capture is occurring.
At that point about the only important questions are:
Does the reaction poison over time?
What is its cost in energy and materials to maintain conditions which sustain the reaction.
Is is cost effective (infrastructure, feed stock and energy) if so — are we alchemists yet? ;)
I want my philosophers stone and I want it now.
(memo to self sell gold stocks) j/k
@Larry; Your comment posting on the requirements for high energy fusion are about the same things I learned back in the late 1950s. That convinced me that Plasma fusion could not become a viable energy source as it always took more energy to contain it then it could produce. A great “Science Fair Project”, good for show and tell, just not practical. Main stream scientists said that given enough money, they could make it practical in 20 years! Now they have attained ROEs of 0.95 and claim they need at least 20 more years to push the yield positive
When I first heard of the F&P experiment, I re-examined my knowledge of fusion pressure/temperature requirements and the possible conditions in their cells and slapped my forehead! Of course! This could really work. Even better, a positive energy yield in a crude cell. People LOUDLY proclaim this can not be! Fusion they know, yields a fire storm of high energy Neutrons and other deadly radiations. This New thing could not be real fusion, no deadly radiation! Well if you super heat your materials to fuse them, and slam them together under high energies,you get super energized radiations. This new way is mild mannered, finessed, practical, the way GOD powers the Universe. The Key looks to be the dance of Neutron creation and decay and may feed on the pressure of Dark Energy/Dark matter that is the source of everything.
Prophecies for this century was that GOD would give humanity 2 gifts. One was an energy source that passivated radioactivity, the other would be an Electronic/electrical propulsion system.
We do live in interesting times…pg
@E.M.Smith – You wrote: “That Rossi stumbled on it ought not to be all that big a surprise.”
DeChiaro of NAVSEA on that:
“I would also suggest that some praise might be due to people like Andrea Rossi, who (by and large) had little alternative but to employ the Edisonian method and nevertheless appear to have obtained positive results. We have run materials simulations (also known as Density Functional Theory simulations) on our best guess of Rossi’s alloy material. It satisfies all the conditions given above, while pure Nickel does not.”
Most of real scientific advancement comes when some tinker stumbles over an anomaly and doggedly pursues it to some success in spite of accepted scientific theories. Then a “real scientist” writes and publishes a paper on his discovery of that tinkerer’s success with the scientist’s explanation and theory…pg
Your erudite defense of your position and your in depth command of the argument is, er, “evident”…
/sarc; … for the sarc impaired
I found that NAVSEA discussion particularly interesting as it covered the way in which they believed that the wave functions were induced to merge. A fascinating bit of insight. Also, given that The Navy seems to have got things down to where they can tune these things to do whatever they want, from x-rays to neutrons to aphas, and via 2 methods (at least – substrate type and magnetic fields impressed on the reactor) that leads me to think that they have a good theoretical base from which they are working.
It was the stuff quoted below that got me thinking about “size matters” for the lattice constant and what goes into it. They note H2 and D2 as molecule sized and a specific (unspecified) lattice constant size. I “ran with it” in the above posting speculating what those sizes ought to be.
This was where I decided to go look up the size of H2 and Li and when I had the “A Hah!” that thre reason the Matsushita folks found Laves structure metals important was that larger “absent” space in the Laves structure. A place where H2 and maybe LiH can hang out as molecules.
Which is why I said to look for metals and alloys that soak up a lot of H2 easily. It is a direct measure of the ability to meet point 2.
The need for a tickler energy of some kind. Thermal can get there “at the margin” where things like LiH break up into a gas. H2 a bit different. I’d look at using GHz microwaves / electric flows as a potential trigger of the oscillation needed. This is that whole “phonon” and such thesis of others.
I.e. the space has to be a snug fit, but not too snug, when the lattice is near “ground state”. Thus my exploration above of about “how loose” is just right.
I.e. make it ring… those atoms must vibrate inside the lattice box enough to bang their heads a lot and to the degree that it’s a problem for the molecule to stay intact. IMHO, for LiH it is easier with heat as at about 1000 C it starts to fly apart and the individual atom wave functions go ‘way large’ for the space. Speculative, but I think it ought to be a useful way to think about it.
My interpretation of this one is that the lattice has to be heavier materials than the target (or take part in the reaction itself?) and that preferably atoms ought to be well anchored in their positions. As NiAl “superalloys” are used for very high heat and chemical attack environments due to their strong bonds (ditto the Laves structure form) I think this is part of why they are favored.
That’s the key bit, IMHO. It rests on some physics that I know about, but can not command. They look to have “done the math” by what they say. I, too, am a bit skeptical of it, but they say they “did the math” and it worked out… so I’m willing to give them the benefit and hold my doubt in abeyance. They hit my “hot button” of finding a way that the tunneling becomes allowed. I think this the key bit, and one I need to do a lot more work to fully grasp the math.
I suspect that this is also the key to why things like impressed static magnetic fields impact results. Changing the Van derWalls surface and changing the terms of the Maxwell Equation environment. But that is, at best, a shot in the dark by me as to where to go digging to see if there is a small clue to be found. Not at all an answer, a “Let’s go dig over there”…
It seems very important to not use too pure a metal for the lattice, or to assure that an alloy is used so the spaces in the lattice are the right sizes. That is reflected in the patent that listed lattice sizes and was an impetus for the posting. To ask “Does LiH come close to the lattice size?” and “How close?” and “Hydrogen too?”. IFF you can size things, you can repeat them…
I think that other patent gives exactly some of those details on other metals and lattice sizes.
Now take all those different bits, each time “tipping the hand” on some of the important bits, and all them all together. Then it leads to the steps to reliably make things “go” with a variety of metals, alloys, and targets. My speculation picks up at that point and looks at LiH instead of H2 and NiAl instead of Pd.
In that, I think there is clue.
I’d say “somebody needs to go build one of these and put it on public display” except MIT did that and folks still call “BS”… Sigh. The effect is quite real. The only place in doubt is the engineering problem of making one big enough, safe enough, and with enough gain for cheap enough to be worth doing. THAT is where Rossi has a big claim to prove.
Sidebar on Neutrons:
I was reading about research reactors some years back. Seems the way you get neutrons to the target area is with a hose…
Neutrons don’t go far in water, and the reactors are in a water bath, so you put a nice plastic pipe through the water to where the neutrons are thick… then the thermal neutrons will just flow down the pipe to where to want them… The idea of hosing neutrons around is odd, but that’s how it’s done… and how transmutation is done. So if one finds a way to make neutrons, it doesn’t need all sorts of exotica to move them around and get them into various atomic cores. Just a nice plastic hose.
One you wrap mind around that, the penny drops on some other things… Atomic energy isn’t hard, doesn’t need massive expensive gear, and can be done by anyone with a bit of clue. Just don’t cook yourself in the process… Pile of wood blocks with pile of U is about all it takes. (There WAS a reactor made with wood moderator, so this is not a hypothetical… but I can’t find the name of it at the moment.) The “swimming pool” research reactors are especially direct in construction (though more complex than the wood pile one…
In essence, there are many fairly simple ways to make thermal neutrons (look up neutron cannon) and once you have them, they are easy to move around and then easy to make do things… The hard bit is getting lots of them to make net energy while not cooking yourself and do it cheaply.
Given how important “doping” is with semiconductors to control their behavior, it makes perfect sense that the materials involved in these experiments need to have the right tweaks to their alloy content to create conditions which favor a specific otherwise very rare behavior.
Once you have the basic theory of why it might work and a couple successful experimental efforts to compare theory against, this sort of a problem quickly becomes a super computer computational model problem to try 10’s of thousands of alloys mathematically then make physical test devices and use that to validate the theoretical model.
It would be funny in an Alexander Graham Bell/ N. Tesla/Marconi sort of way that once they get it sorted out it will be one of those “not so difficult” problems once you understand what you are trying to accomplish.
This sounds like it fits in very well with N. Tesla’s interest in resonant systems and how powerful the forces could be if you got everything right. Sounds like once you create the ideal containment void in the crystal lattice than you just need to encourage resonant vibration to bang things together often enough to make the unlikely happen often enough to be useful.
Given the Navy’s interest in technology like rail guns, directed energy weapons, and electrical catapults it would be natural for them to put great effort and resources into any avenue that would produce abundant power and that runs on a resource that their ships live on or in.
This article hit all my hot buttons, but the assumed fundamental LENR cause: hot fusion is not valid. LENR is caused by nucleon decay into mesons. Muons will produce a fusion reaction in many cases but LENR fundamentally results from the disruption of the nucleus through the decay of protons and neutrons.
These high pressure hydride formation processes must produce superconductivity which thermalizes gamma radiation. This process involves the compression of the hydrogen chemical bonds into a symmetric configuration through metallization of the hydride under high compression. Monopole magnetic flux tubes produced by Surface Plasmon Polaritons embedded inside a superconductive environment produces nucleon decay into mesons and subsequent nuclear reconfiguration. It’s as simple as that.
@Larry Ledwick says:
13 April 2016 at 3:35 am
The wisdom in your understanding is a sunny day 8-)…pg
I think your explanation gives the clearest picture so far. Certainly one that allows an engineer to visualize it. Brilliantly simple. Thank you.
All the stuff about Monopole magnetic flux tubes produced by Surface Plasmon Polaritons embedded inside a superconductive environment.. may be right, but goes over my head.
his article hit all my hot buttons, but the assumed fundamental LENR cause: hot fusion is not valid. LENR is caused by nucleon decay into mesons. Muons will produce a fusion reaction in many cases but LENR fundamentally results from the disruption of the nucleus through the decay of protons and neutrons.
These high pressure hydride formation processes must produce superconductivity which thermalizes gamma radiation. This process involves the compression of the hydrogen chemical bonds into a symmetric configuration through metallization of the hydride under high compression. Monopole magnetic flux tubes produced by Surface Plasmon Polaritons embedded inside a superconductive environment produces nucleon decay into mesons and subsequent nuclear reconfiguration. It’s as simple as that.
Thanks for that. I try… but it is nice to sometimes know it was worth it ;-)
I second your sunny day 8-)
“Or is the USNavy a fraud too?”
No, the US Navy is not a fraud. It is real enough but some of its employees may be interpreting their results with rose colored glasses. They are making claims of doubtful validity. From their standpoint there is an “upside” in the shape of fame and funding. The “downside” is that if nobody can reproduce their “results” they will soon join the list that includes Fleishman and Pons.
While I don’t know any of the navy authors you quote I doubt that any of them are bare faced con artists like Andrea Rossi.
“I could see either one happening, and if my speculation on “size” is correct, the Li(6)H to Li(7) ought to be faster and give more heat. Thus a “step forward”. The earlier Ni(58)->Ni(60) or Ni(56)->CU(?) would be harder to make “go” with that size lattice. Then again, IIRC, he was using more nearly pure Ni then, so the lattice might have been smaller.”
Once you write down a nuclear reaction the energy released is known with great precision. For example the Ni reactions with protons yield photons in the 0.25 to 9.8 MeV range:
Nobody in his right mind would approach such a 10 kW gamma ray source at this energy level with less than four “tenth value layers” of shielding. That would be a minimum of 24 inches of concrete. Thus you can be sure the Rossi demonstration at the university of Bologna was a scam.
Now Rossi is talking about isotopes of hydrogen and lithium I am curious to know what nuclear reactions are supposed to be taking place. Most of the possibilities I can think of involve the release of gamma rays and neutrons which can easily be detected with inexpensive equipment. You may be able to create a scam by rigging calorimeters but can you produce gamma rays and neutrons at the same time?
Dualism makes LENR go.
One of the key concepts that make LENR go is dualism. Einstein first came up with the concept of dualism when he worked on the theory of special relativity. The Einstein March 1905 paper treated light as particles, but special relativity sees light as a continuous field of waves. Such a contradiction took a supremely confident mind to propose. Einstein, age 26, saw light as both waves and particles, picking the attribute he needed to confront each problem in turn. One thing behaved in two ways. Einstein wasn’t finished yet. Later in 1905 came an extension of special relativity in which Einstein proved that energy and matter are linked in the most famous relationship in physics: E=mc2. (The energy content of a body is equal to the mass of the body times the speed of light squared). Here, mass and energy is the same thing, they are dual.
Then In 1907, Einstein confronted the problem of gravitation. Einstein began his work with one crucial insight: gravity and acceleration are equivalent, two facets of the same phenomenon. Two things can be treated identically. They share a duality.
There is a new duality that is emerging that is central to LENR. It seems the superconductivity and black holes behave in the same way and can be described by the same mathematics and demonstrate the same behavior.
Superconductivity is critical in the characterization of LENR. It provides some of the miracles that LENR demonstrates. This is due to the dualism that superconductivity shares with black holes. A superconductive Bose condensate is an effective black hole. The BEC acts like a black hole.
To justify this concept, I offer these two papers from the top man in black hole theory: Gary Horowitz. Prof Horowitz explains in some detail how superconductor/black hole dualism works.
Recent Developments in Holographic Superconductors
Using general relativity to study superconductivity
BEC/Black hole dualism is a solid and universally accepted concept in science and has been demonstrated experimentally.
Horowitz shows in the GR presentation how general relativity theory and associated math can be used in superconductivity and therefore LENR to show how LENR works.
How is superconductivity generated in the LENR reaction?
One critical facet of LENR is the production of a special type of nanoparticle: a superconductive hydride. This particle is produced by the extremely high pressure exerted by the chemical bonds in the lattice of a transition metal substrate lattice. Lithium hydride is an example of such a nanoparticle.
Take note…Rossi said as follows:
“Nevertheless I had an intuition about the application of Ni to LENR using the enormous pressures that you can reach in the pores of a Ni powder.”
Rossi knew from the very start of his research that high pressure physics and extreme compression of hydrogen was at the heart of the LENR reaction.
Under extreme pressure, the hydrogen chemical bonds become symmetric, that is the hydrogen bonds become equal in length and symmetric around the proton. This metallization of the hydride produces topological superconductivity.
Like in any nanowire, the SPPs will populate the surface of this superconductive nanowire. The superconductivity of the hydride nanowire will catalyze the entire ensemble of SPPs to readily form a Bose condensate which converts many individual SPPs into one super-SPP where the monopole magnetic beam that this BEC SPP projects is focused forward from the front of the hydride nanowire. This magnetic beam is very powerful as a result of super-radiance. The power of this super-radiance goes as the total number of SPPs.
The production of this metalized hydride is what converts the weak LENR reaction into the powerful LENR+ reaction.
Because of the BEC, the SPPs are concentrated, focused, and amplified. The monopole flux tubes produced by the SPPs generate a magnetic shield that locks the SPPs in place and solidifies the structure of the hydride nanowire. These nanowires and their superconductive nature are protected by this monopole magnetism even at temperatures (tens of thousands C) that would completely ionize any other type of matter.
There is an amazing positive feedback mechanism in play between the energy that the metalized hydride produces and its structural integrity. The metalize hydride is meta stable but as the SPP BEC absorbed power, the associated magnetic fields increasingly resist any disruptive force. This feature of the LENR reaction permits the metalized hydride to produce LENR effects even in a plasma environment or when the nickel lattice substrate is completely. Once the metalized hydrife is formed, it take on a life of its own as an exotic neutral particle. This is one of the little recognize miracles of the LENR reaction.
This BEC on the nanowire becomes a quasiparticle acting as an analog monopole. As we all know, a monopole produces nucleon decay into mesons as seen by Holmlid.
How does superconductor/Black Hole duality produce the miracles of LENR.
Thermalization of gamma rays.
The SPP BEC condensate absorbs energy from the nuclear disruptions that it catalyzes. This energy is nuclear binding energy that results when disrupted nuclei fuse and/or fission and decay energy from protons and/or neutrons that are converted to mesons via the monopole flux lines. This binding energy together with the decay energy produced by decaying nucleons travels down the monopole flux lines through entangled teleportation from the affected nuclei to the SPP BEC where the BEC stores the energy through super-absorption. This energy transition between the BEC and the nuclei is a completely dark one. In this way, a gamma ray will be absorbed by the BEC and equally divided between all the members of the SPP BEC. However, like a black hole, the photon content of the BEC will be thermalized through Hawking radiation, a thermal (infrared) level radiation whose intensity is based on the energy content of the BEC. The BEC can gain energy and store it for subsequent thermalization in an open ended fashion. An energy fullness level on the SPP hydride BEC in the 1,000,000 GeV energy range is possible.
Multi-particle entanglement leads to clustered nuclear reactions.
It is famously stated that Entanglement in quantum mechanics is monogamous. This means that ”Monogamy ” is one of the most fundamental properties of entanglement and can, in its extremal form, be expressed as follows: If two qubits A and B are maximally quantum correlated they cannot be correlated at all with a third qubit C. In general, there is a trade-off between the amount of entanglement between qubits A and B and the same qubit A and qubit C. This is mathematically expressed by the Coffman-Kundu-Wootters (CKW) monogamy inequality:
But LENR shows a special multi particle entanglement called wormholes.
Cool horizons for entangled black holes
Lief Holmlid should be dead now after performing one of his experiments. After each laser shot, Holmlid produces billions of high energy neutral particles that will eventually hit the structure of his reactor each producing gamma radiation. But amazingly, the whole experiment is covered by a gamma damping field where no gamma radiation is produced.
Because the BEC behaves like a Black Hole, the SPP BEC is connected via entanglement to all particles via multi-particle entanglement (wormhole) produced by the LENR reaction. Any gamma radiation produced by any resultant particles that have been produced by the LENR reaction is transferred via wormhole entanglement back to the SPP BEC.
@Axil Axil; Interesting dissertation on LENR. Your use of Initialed contractions without explanation makes following your arguments difficult. I try to insert an explanation with the first use of such things. I, maybe, understand what I am talking about, but I am sure most people do not.
The points you bring up of similarities in appearance and function of many physics actions, both large and small is near to my heart, K.I.S.S. , Keep It Simple Stupid, is better then endless complications that seem to prevail in our system of specialization.
Pointing out the similarity of behavior in Boise Condensate, Black Holes and Hydrogen Protons, as well as the similarities in Mass/Inertia acceleration and Gravity is also useful.
In all, your comment post is intriguing but long winded. I will have to read it a time or two more to see if I missed anything.
That LENR works seems to be no doubt. How it works, or why it works, seems to be the present question. The fact that unstable Isotopes are made into stable ones and there is little or no radiation hazard demonstrates that this is NOT the Nuclear Energy of Fission/Fusion we have been accustom to…pg
LENR Low Energy Nuclear Reactions
LANR Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reactions
BEC Bose Einstein Condensate
GR General Relativity
SPP Surface Plasmon Polariton
Hope that helps. I’d read about the SPP idea as the driver, and noticed some hints of connection between superconductivity and LANR, but not gotten this deep in the weeds on it before. While it (may?) point to the how of the means of reaction, I think the ability to absorb the molecular species to react, and the size fit turning to non-fit at some enegy level, is the stimulus and necessary comdition for a material to work.
I, too, apreciate the comment, but need a bit of a think on it. My sense of it is that it might well be correct, but it is “a bridge too far” to be proven (at least at my present level of understanding of things like BEC, SPP, Rydberg matter et. all. More digging required :-)
Hmmmmm…. from here:
down in footnotes
Ignoring the 180m metastable tantalum
I note that duterium and lithium6 are two materials so far shown to fuse in a lattice (li6 doing it with Protium H1)… leaving me to wonder if, as bosons, these can form BEC and if that be key, can we expect B10 and N14 to also work? Maybe nature doesn’t like big odd-odd boson atoms and will push them into combinations to fix that…
I also note that the graviton is supposed to be a boson of spin 2. Perhaps two bosons of spin 1 condensed to one particle? Might explain why crowding a bunch of matter together gives a load of gravity and a black hole… squashed bosons :-)
Hydride superconductors are based on the special position(topology) of the hydrogen bonds. Given enough pressure, any compound will become metallic and therefore become superconductive.
The magical feature of LENR is that once a metalize hydride is formed, it becomes stable and the LENR process reinforces the structure of the metalize hydride through the application of a positive feedback loop where the magnetism produced by SPPs further compresses the hydride and keeps it stable. This positive feedback loop allows topological superconductivity based on hydrogen bond symmetry to survive at ANY temperature even on the sun.
For example, Mark LeClair of Nanospire produces metalized water that he calls a “water crystal”. This crystal is used to produce hot fusion where the heaviest transuranic isotope can be formed. The water crystal can stay together at temperatures and pressures that are found in a supernova.
Today, most people think that LeClair is a wacko, but in the future, he will be remembered with honor.
“We have photographs of creatures that emit pure light that have completely melted the reactor down, all in a very quiet way. You just turn off the stimuli system and the reaction is switched off. It’s impressive.”
This observation tells us that the metalized hydride superconductor can decouple from the metal lattice that produced it and become free floating as an Exotic Neutral Particle(ENP). The stimulus is a form of EMF and the light that the particle emits is a form of hawking radiation. This description is very much like the description of ball lightning.
J. Fisher has seen these floating ENPs produce alpha particles as seen on CR-39 detectors with the angles of the particle tracks pointing back to a central point of causation as the ENP floated on the hot steam coming out of an electrolytic LENR experiment.
In order for a reactor to meltdown, the metalized hydride must be independent of the reactor that created it. This ENP must live off the environment and be free to extract energy from the LENR reactions that it catalyzes. The metalized hydride is conceived inside a cavity in the metal lattice but it can leave that location of its creation an travel freely in the air unless it is confined electromagnetically.
These ENP that escape from the reactor will lose a large amount of energy unless they are confined. A open electrolytic reactor will produce a diminished COP as these ENPs exit the electrolytic reactor.
Thanks for that amazingly intricate theory that attempts to explain how lethal gamma rays are converted into heat without the need for several inches of absorbent material. I concur with p.g. and his KISS principle. Nevertheless you have at least one Nobel prize winner on your side:
For the moment I will suspend disbelief and accept your contention that somehow gamma rays can be “Thermalized” at source.
I would still like to know what nuclear reaction is supposed to be taking place. Even if the gamma rays are magically converted into heat there should be other signs that a nuclear reaction is taking place:
1. Alpha particles, electrons or neutrons may be emitted.
2. New elements will be created that were not present in the “Fuel”.
Latest e-Cat reportedly turns Li6 into Li7 via a hydrogen fusion.
Theories range from formation of a neutron inside the electron cloud, then drift into Li6 nucleus, followed by emission of electron, to direct P implantation, to more exotica (that whole gamma, meson, plasmon, etc alphabet soup. Short form is long on theories short on evidence.)
My suspicion is that gamma emission is supressed by the proximate atoms and their energy fields, but haven’t work to anything more than a surmise…
“(There WAS a reactor made with wood moderator, so this is not a hypothetical… but I can’t find the name of it at the moment.)”
Charles Bowman built a nuclear reactor on his farm in Virginia that was made of black pine. The reactor was about eight feet high and eight feet in diameter. The moderator was special graphite granules that enabled a very high neutron yield to be achieved. The black pine was the box that contained the graphite and reflected neutrons (owing to its high content of hydrogen).
Charles was a Duke alumnus so he had no trouble persuading my golfing partner (Edward Bilpuch) to test his reactor at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory in 1999. The reactor worked well and was sent on to the Los Alamos National Laboratory for further tests. Sadly both Charles Bowman and Edward Bilpuch are deceased but the “GEMSTAR” reactor lived on for a while at Virginia Tech:
Click to access bowman.pdf
While I appreciate ADRs (Accelerator Driven Reactors), MSRs (Molten Salt Reactors) have the potential to be more cost effective when it comes to consuming our inventory of spent nuclear fuel. Our >80,000 tonne stock of “Nuclear Waste” can be reprocessed in MSRs (such as the LFTR). The reprocessing will produce about 200 times more electricity than was produced by the nuclear reactors that created the spent fuel in the first place.
When we get into the nuclear effects of LENR, we get into the effects of monopole magnetism on nuclear processes. This puts us beyond current science into the realm of non-associative quantum mechanics. Holmlid has shown in his experiments that nucleons decay into kaons. If you are interested, see this paper. Thanks to the naysayers, the link to the original paper has been infected with virus so beware about the direct link.
Fascinating article and responses. Some of the most fascinating chemistry work that I am aware of happened to be, at the time, crystallography and surface condensed phase chemistry. Much of what is known about Standard Chemistry is gas phase and liquid phase solutions. Much of the premises behind them don’t apply to condensed phase chemistry on surfaces. That’s what we are talking about here. Quantum effects cannot be ignored here, even though we are generally still talking about mass action; and, yes, that means we must apply statistical mechanics.
Radioactive decay is a threshold phenomenon and thus is deterministic, that is to say when all of the necessary and sufficient conditions are present, the transition will occur. Which atom decays, or inversely, fuses, depends on local conditions. With a large lump, you will not have enough information to state which atom will undergo the transition, but you can say what fraction of them will have done so over a defined period of time if or when you know enough about the reaction(s).
@ EM, yes, for atomic things, the old Angstrom, which was 0.1 nm or 100 pm, made things easy to work with. Picometers just don’t sound as sweet, plus for analytic chemistry, you’d confuse the length unit with the concentration unit (picomolar/picomolal).
“Latest e-Cat reportedly turns Li6 into Li7 via a hydrogen fusion.”
There are not many possibilities when it comes down to fusion reactions involving the three lightest elements. These reactions have been studied in great detail given their potential application to “Weapons of Mass Destruction”.
Note that the most likely reaction when a thermal neutron encounters a Li6 nucleus is #5 listed in the link above:
Li6 + n = Tritium + He4 + 4.78 MeV
You want us to believe that the 4.78 MeV will be thermal rather than lethal gamma rays. Even so this nuclear reaction has a clear footprint. The presence of tritium, helium in the “Spent Fuel” would be convincing evidence that lithium nuclei were was fusing with neutrons. If Li7 is being produced it would be easily detectable.
Modern mass spectrometers are amazingly sensitive so if the E-Cat is based on Li6/n reactions you would only have to run a 10 kW device for a few seconds to generate detectable quantities of He4 or Li7. Naturally people like Rossi don’t bother with mass spectrography. They offer weird science and mumbo jumbo.
IF the reaction were a classical Hot reaction….
Making a roast turkey in the oven is NOT the same as doing it over a grill… and certainly not like a Hawaiian BBQ in a blanket of banana leaves under a pile of hot sand and rocks…
It may be the metal lattice acts to Faraday Cage the radiations during the reaction. Shorting Gama radiations to yield heat. The reaction can only take place within the packing pressures of the lattice, any loose Neutrons are contained, converted or absorbed rather then being sprayed out as in accepted high energy atomic reactions…pg
Here is a LENR reaction that runs completely in the plasma phase with a COP = 5. Note how x-rays are produced because an arc is used as a stimulation.
Click to access Klimov_Poster.pdf
LENR is a meson based reaction, not a neutron based one. The reaction does not produce radioactive isotopes so tritium would not usually occur. but He3 would. LENR is a chaotic reaction where anything can happen becuase atoms can fuse and fission a thousand times before the end of a reaction chain is reached.
Here is an experiment by Holmlid that produces fusion but not tritium
Proposition: “In fact anything coming from the energy of electron orbitals (chemistry) cannot access the nuclear world.”
There is an important principle in Physics called “Dual” that allows two apparently dissimilar systems to produce an analogous result. The Higgs field and superconductivity are dual, in that the Higgs field gives mass to electrons, and superconductivity gives mass to photons.
The SPP produces monopole flux lines in the same way that the monopole quarks produce monopole flux lines and the associated monopole flux carriers, the gluons. The electrostatic and magnetic field are dual. It so happens that SPP also produce gluons because of this electrostatic and magnetic duality.
SPPs produce a screening of the strong force through the projection of monopole based gluons into the nucleus that results in quark deconfinement. Under this mechanism, mesons are produced from protons and neutrons as the monopole flux line that connect quakes together weaken and eventually fail.
Dual superconductivity is a promising mechanism for quark confinement. [Y.Nambu (1974). G.’t Hooft, (1975). S.Mandelstam, (1976) A.M. Polyakov (1975)]
For the theory and associated math see:
Link in preivous post is not functional, so here is the correction.
Click to access QCD-TNT-III_Shibata.pdf
Non-Abelian dual Meissner effect in SU(3) YangMills
theory and confinement/deconfinement phase
transition at a finite temperature
Computing research center, High Energy Research
The Klimov poster (Figure 9 and Table 1) shows mass spectrograph data “Before and After”. According to Table 1 the initial electrodes were composed of 99.9% Ni while the resulting dust contained only 14.7% Ni. So where did all those other elements come from?
Those elements could result from LENR. IMHO they were produced by plasma ablation of the reaction vessel which appears to be made of glass. That would explain the huge (50%) amount of Si present. However, my opinion does not matter given that there is a well respected way to resolve scientific issues.
The way to settle such questions is to invite other researchers to duplicate Klimov’s results. You may recall how Fleischman and Pons lost their credibility. Let’s hope Klimov has better luck.
If Klimov is converting nickel into silicon in a LENR, the reaction would be strongly endothermic. Who would want a LENR that absorbs energy?
There is a strange lack of interest in the experimental results that Holmlid is reporting. Specifically, Holmlid is reporting the production of Kaons in his experiments.
The production of Kaons in Holmlid’s experiments is almost impossible to believe. But Holmlid is also seeing muons which are a decay product of Kaons. But at least Holmlid’s data is consistently mind boggling.
A Kaon is weird stuff because it is not nuclear matter, it is strange matter. The Kaon is not of this world and is produced by extremely unusual conditions. One of its production methods is through the interaction of cosmic rays with the upper atmosphere of the earth. The extreme energy that the cosmic ray imparts to the atoms of the air produces a quark gluon soup. This collection of unconfined quarks that condense out of the huge burst of energy and their strong force carriers: gluons produce a zoo of all sorts of wild out of this world exotic matter. One of those condensates is the Kaon. Another method of production is the collision of a pair of protons on a particle accelerator like CERN.
But according to standard model theory, when normal matter decays, strange matter is produced from the up and down quarks. According to theory, normal matter is meta-stable and the true baseline state of matter is strange.
This quark matter is more stable than nuclear matter, i.e. that the true ground state of matter is quark matter. The idea that this could happen is the “strange matter hypothesis” of Bodmer and Witten. In this definition, the critical pressure is zero. The nuclei that we see in the matter around us, which are droplets of nuclear matter, are actually metastable, and given enough time (or the right external stimulus) would decay into droplets of strange matter, i.e. strangelets.
If the “strange matter hypothesis” is true then nuclear matter is metastable against decaying into strange matter. The lifetime for spontaneous decay is very long, so we do not see this decay process happening around us. However, under this hypothesis there should be strange matter in the universe: i.e. strangelets.
LENR may now produce just the proper sort of external stimulus to transform normal matter to strange matter. In LENR experiments done so far, this strange matter has broken down into normal matter again. But could there be a condition when a critical point is reached when strange matter begins to proliferate onto itself in a positive feedback loop?
The question that involves LENR is if the production of strange matter becomes prolific enough, color superconductivity can set in producing strange matter aggregation.
The guys at CERN are looking for this strange transition to strangelets but they are keeping it secret to avoid legal complications. They have already faced a lawsuit claiming that CENR could destroy the earth through the prolific production of strange matter.
CERN does have a detector up and running to look for strangelets called Castor.
CASTOR calorimeter (standing for “Centauro And Strange Object Research”) is an electromagnetic (EM) and hadronic (HAD) calorimeter of the CMS experiment at CERN. It is based on plates made out of tungsten and quartz layers, positioned around the beam pipe in the very forward region of the CMS (at 14.385 m from the interaction point), covering the pseudo-rapidity range 5.1 — 6.55. It is used in collider physics, proton-proton collisions and heavy ion collisions, for example lead collisions. It is designed to search for strangelets and centauro events, kinds of exotic matter in the baryon dense, very forward phase region in lead (Pb) collisions at the particle accelerator LHC, CERN near Geneva.
When LENR breaks down matter into quark/gluon plasma, a possible strange matter aggregation process might take hold. Could this be how all the absolutely pure Ni62 was produced in the Lugano test? Does MFMP need to field a CASTOR calorimeter in their upcoming tests?
While I love weird science, nuclear reactions (like chemical reactions) may be exothermic or endothermic. Converting nickel into silicon is endothermic so where is the energy coming from?
When nickel reacts with a neutron to produce copper energy is released:
Here is a reaction that could convert nickel to silicon:
Ni58 + γ = Si28 +Si30
Let’s calculate the energy of the gamma. Given that I served on the Duke Radiation Safety Committee for many years I respect the lethal nature of gamma radiation. Note that all the isotopes involved are stable so gamma radiation is the primary safety issue:
Ni58 = 57.9353462 Daltons
Si28 + Si30 = 27.976926 + 29.9737702 = 57.9506962 Daltons
The difference in mass is 0.01535 Daltons which is 2.24 X 10^-29 kilograms. Applying Albert Einstein’s E = mc^2 you will find that the gamma must supply 2.02 X 10^-12 Joules or 12.6 MeV.
Thanks to the HIGS (High Intensity Gamma Source) at TUNL (Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory) you can explore reactions involving polarized gamma rays up to 170 MeV:
My office was on the ground floor of this building until I retired. Take a look at the video that shows how Inverse Compton Scattering powers the world’s brightest gamma ray source. This is the process that may power GRBs (Gamma Ray Bursters). GRBs are the most luminous events in the universe.
Nicola Scafetta had an office immediately above mine while Robert G. Brown was in the next building. My golfing buddy (Edward Bilpuch) told me how the Thorium cycle could power our industrial civilization for more than 100,000 years:
You have to love Duke physicists when it comes to challenging the notion that CO2 causes “Catastrophic Global Warming”.
The thorium cycle where U232 protects the U233 through multiple mechanisms such as gamma, alpha, airborne nanoparticle levitation. disintegration of the pit, and so on is removed by LENR based isotope processing.
Such processing can reduce the half life of U232 from 69 years to 6 microseconds. LENR has a preference for stabilizing even Z isotopes: hence U232 is stabilized faster that U233.
U233 can then be used in a gun style bomb like U235.
Kirk Sorensen is doing a disservice to mankind by spreading this thorium technology as an energy source. Thorium is now very dangerous.
If you were to ask Edward Bilpuch what made the thorium fuel cycle safe from proliferation, he would tell you that U232 protectes U233 from misuse. With LENR, this is no longer true. All mining and use of thorium should be outlawed as a danger to humanity. Furthermore, all use of uranium and thorium must now be banned with the advent of LENR technology. and its ability to stabilize radioactive material.
Um, both the USA and India have already made U233 bombs decades ago. The Th power reactors do not make that worse.
Also, for about 40 years my front tooth was a cap with uranium enamel on it to get the color match right. Paranoia about mining and using uranium is a bit daft…
FWIW, I can make bombs out of many “common household ingredients”. One such is why I am partly deaf, so this isn’t a hypothetical. Similarly poisons abound (mushroom soup anyone? Or perhaps botulinum peaches? I once had a job destroying cans of botulism infected cans of peaches at a local cannery… it is VERY easy to grow…)
Once you let fear drive your decision process you are pwned and thrall to evil idiots…
So, per nuke bombs, I’m pretty sure I’ve worked out a back door process to Special Nuclear Material. I think the Indians and Pakistanis have too (my idea came from looking at the India program…) so shutting down the nuclear power industry will gain nothing. (India DID make a ‘power reactor Pu bomb’ just to prove the path works… but the bulk of their SNM came via pool type ‘research’ designs early on, then CANDU types later. None of that understanding will go away, nor will any “ban” stop Iran from mining their own ore or anyone with seawater access doing ion exchange extraction. Nice dream though…
Yes, real cold fusion will drive economics to where they shut down on their own.. but that just means mandated bans are a waste of effort (read time and money). But make no mistake:
There is NOTHING you or I can do to prevent a determined country or major non-state organization from getting a nuclear weapon if they really want one. It is 1940s technology so 75 years old… they were using vacuum tubes and slide rules then… it isn’t hard to do.
BTW, “mining” Th monzanite consists of going to any of thousands of beaches, rivers or hills in India or even the USA in the Carolinas and Florida and picking up sand… good luck with that whole banning beaches thing… Also, most Th mined today is a waste product from Rare Earth mining. Ban that, you get no rare earth magnets, so no computer disks, no efficient compact motors, no…
During the Manhattan project, two kinds of bombs were built, one that was so simple to build there was no need to test it and one that was real hard to get to work. They had to test that real hard to get to work bomb. But U235 is very hard to acquire, you need thousands of centrifuges to produce it. U235 means hard to get, but easy to use. plutonium is easy to get but hard to use.
Now with transmutation of elements and isotopes, With U233 and U235, they are both easy to get and easy to use.
Click to access LochakGlowenergyn.pdf
For us, it is important that the transformation can also take place outside the plasma channel. This is a rather “unpleasant surprise,” because, probably, within several years, when the low-temperature transmutation will be studied in more detail, it would be rather easy to devise a facile and inexpensive process to enrich uranium. In view of the growth of terrorism all over the world, this outcome seems deplorable.
One of the reasons that LENR may have been so harshly suppressed is its impact on the nuclear power game. LeClair, who can make transuranic elements from water has be very badly suppressed by the government.
Not wanting to spill too many beans… but… U233 has always been “easy to make and easy to use”. Just run regular U through a reactor (most any sort I’ll leave the ideal neutron speed vague) and then chemically haul out the Pa and wait… That INDIA did it a few decades ago kind of is an existence proof of not too hard….
So again: Nothing Has Changed with cold fusion… Maybe a tiny bit easier… or maybe not really very much different….
IMHO this is why in the ’60s and ’70s the USA was so hell bent on suppression of the CANDU reactors. and pushing the world into a rather crappy LWR / BWR method. They knew.
So I’m not disputing any point you made at all. Just pointing out there is another path to easy “boom stuff” that has existed for 50 years, and will continue to exist whatever else happens…
“Kirk Sorensen is doing a disservice to mankind by spreading this thorium technology as an energy source. Thorium is now very dangerous.”
The Thorium Fuel Cycle is similar to LENR/LANR. Lots of fine presentations but nothing that anyone can use to heat their homes or power their cars.
When it comes to banning dangerous technologies I am with our beloved leader (Chiefio). You can dream but it won’t happen until their are no “Evil Bastards” left. The Iranian mullahs think they can wipe out Israel once they have enough nuclear weapons. Who knows what Kim Jong-il plans to do with North Korea’s nukes. These folks are not going to respect “Bans” imposed by the UN or anyone else.
As Scott Adams said (Dilbert comic strip) said:
“Stupidity is like radioactivity. It can be used for good or evil. But you don`t want to get any on you.”
New technology can be used for good or evil, so we should strive to ensure that the good outweighs the evil.
“If you were to ask Edward Bilpuch what made the thorium fuel cycle safe from proliferation, he would tell you that U232 protects U233 from misuse. With LENR, this is no longer true.”
My field is quantum electro-optics so I had never heard of the Thorium cycle until Ed explained it to me. He told me that U233 was a great fissile material but the U232 “contaminant” produces energetic gamma rays that can be detected from a distance and also destroy electronics based on semi-conductors. At the Duke university Free Electron Laser Laboratory we were well aware of the sensitivity of modern electronics to gamma rays which explains why we used Vidicon cameras for monitoring high radiation areas rather than CCD cameras which fail after a few days.
Many thanks for that Duchene paper make perfect sense to me unlike the rambling nonsense from Lochak et al.
While I doubt that we will agree on much I am really impressed by your approach based as it is on reason rather than emotion.
Our civilization depends on the fruits of the “Industrial Revolution”. In my opinion the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages (good versus evil outcomes). Count me among the Cornucopians rather than the Malthusians.
One of the most important issues is the availability of cheap energy. I was brought upon a farm in south Wales with no electricity. We pumped water by hand and enjoyed a hot bath at least once per month whether we needed it or not. Our food was cooked on an anthracite stove and our lighting was by kerosene lamps.
Given that I know what it is like to live without electricity I want to spread the blessings of cheap electric power to every dusty hamlet in the third world. With that in mind I have been visiting electrical generating plants:
If LENR can deliver heat or electric power to the third world I will embrace it. Just tell me where there is a LENR/LANR power plant I can visit.
The thorium reactor is really a plutonium reactor since enrichment levels (U233 and/or U235) must be kept under 5% as an anti-proliferation measure. Most of the uranium in the thorium reactor is U238(95%), where excess neutrons produces plutonium in large amounts and Neptunium, a dangerous hard to confine water soluble nuclear waste get into the water supply that is bomb capable. The thorium reactor produces lots of plutonium as nuclear waste. It is essentially a plutonium reactor. Kirk Sorensen tells you about the up sides of the thorium reactor but not the very many down sides.
By the way, thorium is controlled by the NRC and must be licensed by the government before it can be used in research only. In other words, it is illegal to have unregulated thorium in your position.
I’ll be sure to ask all the folks on the Florida beaches where their Thorium License is kept… Oh, and you might want to buy some of your own (no license needed) as a 2% Th welding rod:
There are licenses and then there are licenses… and then there are license free products and use domains…
BTW, your characterizing the Thorium cycle as a “plutonium reactor” is a bit, er, “economical with the truth”… There’s a need to get the thing started with some other fissile isotope, like U235 or Pu239, but once you have the cycle going, U233 is all you need for your neutron source. Every write up I’ve seen has a rapid transition to U233 in the design. THE fuel is Th. Not Pu. Not U235. Not U238. Th gets turned into U233 that then fissions, turning more Th into more U233.
Per the wiki on the fuel cycle (bold mine):
“The long-term (on the order of roughly 103 to 106 years) radiological hazard of conventional uranium-based used nuclear fuel is dominated by plutonium and other minor actinides, after which long-lived fission products become significant contributors again. A single neutron capture in 238U is sufficient to produce transuranic elements, whereas five captures are generally necessary to do so from 232Th. 98–99% of thorium-cycle fuel nuclei would fission at either 233U or 235U, so fewer long-lived transuranics are produced. Because of this, thorium is a potentially attractive alternative to uranium in mixed oxide (MOX) fuels to minimize the generation of transuranics and maximize the destruction of plutonium.”
There is a company presently making Th fuel bundles for use in conventional LWR for exactly this reason. Lower levels of waste products.
Please note: I am not one of those folks who promote the Th reactor as a giant leap forward. IMHO it is “just another reactor” with some good bits and some not so good. So I’m not coming at this with any “agenda” beyond “what actually happens inside one”. MSR can be made with Th or with U and the choice of MSR, LWR, BWR, CANDU, Th/U/Pu etc etc ought to be left up to the plant designer and buyer/operator. I just care about describing it accurately. Will LENR replace them all? Maybe someday, but not for decades (or maybe more… sunk cost and all…)
So please, be a bit more complete in describing what actually happens and a bit less, er, “promotional”…
(I don’t really care what someone believes or advocates for, but do request that they be strict adherents to the truth about how things work… I believe strongly in the value of “keeping a tidy mind” and constantly needing to toss out incorrect trash gets tedious…)
“The bottom line is this.Thorium reactors still produce high-level radioactive waste. They still pose problems and opportunities for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. They still present opportunities for catastrophic accident scenarios–as potential targets of terrorist or military attack, for example. Proponents of thorium reactors argue that all of these risks are somewhat reduced in comparison with the conventional plutonium breeder concept. Whether this is true or not, the fundamental problems associated with nuclear power have by no means been eliminated.”
Click to access 6300-comparison-fuel-cycles.pdf
“Overall, the conclusion is reached that the thorium fuel cycle at best has only limited
relevance to the UK as a possible alternative plutonium disposition strategy and as a
possible strategic option in the very long term for any follow-up reactor construction
programme after LWR new build. Nevertheless, it is important to recognise that worldwide
there remains interest in thorium fuel cycles and as this is not likely to diminish in
the near future. It may therefore be judicious for the UK to maintain a low level of
engagement in thorium fuel cycle R&D by involvement in international collaborative
research activities. This will enable the UK to keep up with developments, comment from
a position of knowledge and to some extent influence the direction of research.
Participation will also ensure that the UK is more ready to respond if changes in
technology or market forces bring the thorium fuel cycle more to the fore. ”
“I don’t really care what someone believes or advocates for, but do request that they be strict adherents to the truth about how things work… I believe strongly in the value of “keeping a tidy mind” and constantly needing to toss out incorrect trash gets tedious…)”
Response: E.M.Smith you has partaken in deep measure the sweet wine of thorium propaganda
The government could not figure out how to destroy their U233 stockpile so even after 50 years it hangs like an albatross around their necks.
“The United States has created a problem called uranium-233, a material suitable for the core of a nuclear weapon and among the most dangerous materials on the planet. If as little as 19 pounds of uranium-233 fell into the wrong hands, it could make an explosion that could destroy all of downtown Washington, D.C. or another city. As noted in The New York Times, this report documents surprising U.S. government mismanagement of the material.”
The statement about “toss out incorrect trash” was a generic statement about the work involved in “keeping a tidy mind” and not particularly aimed at Thorium issues.
But, per Thorium: No, I’ve not drunk anyone’s propaganda.
Though you seem to have done so. That U233 ‘slam’ is just saying in essence “U233 is about like Pu for making bombs and we have some.” Hardly a surprise. I say it often. It isn’t an “albatross” for the simple reason that at any time we wanted to, we could blend it into MOX fuel rods and use it for reactor fuel. That Government is too stupid, slothful and lazy to bother is hardly the fault of U233, now is it… (Or we could just sell it to India who have a Th program underway and would be happy to take it for start up of their Th fuel cycle.)
FWIW, one could write the same scare story about Pu – where we have tons of it from the START treaty being blended into MOX to “get rid of it” – or about U-235 which we also have. Though the size of the lump goes up to something like 33 lbs instead of 19. It’s just that kind of “trash” article that I find a pain. Full of emotional sop, while ignoring technical reality.
Frankly, I find the Thorium advocates tedious and over zealous too. It is a good reactor fuel, but no panacea. I’ve gone out of my way to toss in their faces that the USA and India both made U233 bombs and that chemical separation of the Pa is not that hard, and avoids any need for enrichment or isotopic separation. U233 is, to paraphrase a memory from a bomb guy long ago, “about as good as Plutonium for making bombs” and per THE best bomb designer we’ve ever had (made both our largest and smallest ones…) “There is good plutonium for making bombs, and less good, but there is no bad plutonium for making bombs.” Given that the Indians also made a bomb from “power reactor Pu”, I think that makes it rather clear it is doable.
I just don’t buy the propaganda that Th is horrible, either.
Th is slightly better than U in terms of reactor waste products. IF you happen to have a mountain of the stuff (like India does) and not much U, then it makes sense to use Th. If you don’t, well, U is common and the fuel cycle well established.
The other thing that irks me is the way the Th promoters keep pushing Th MSR as though the MSR and Th were synonymous. They are orthogonal. Th can be (and has been) used as fuel in LWRs and U can be (and has been) used in MSRs. Conflating MSR with Th is “untidy”. I call them on that, too.
So no, this is a propaganda free zone inside my head. Years ago I read about the fuel cycles and reactor designs myself, from articles that are as Engineering oriented as possible to find, and preferably older source documents about the earlier tests done. Things that are as boring as hell and aimed at fellow Engineers and guys with Ph.Ds. planning to make one of the things. I also have a very high “bullshit filter” setting at all times…
So simply put, my understanding of MSR and Th fuel cycle pre-dates the recent hype about Th. (I first started looking in depth back in the ’80s or so). My fundamental “attitude” toward the fuel cycles is based on the economics and technology of use, not any political or vested interest. I am agnostic between the various fuels, but do recognize what each has as advantages and disadvantages.
For U the advantages are relatively low proliferation risk and a well known, commercially available, fuel cycle. Also a few thousand years of fuel before we need to go to seawater extraction. (Though Japan might go there first just because they have sea water and no U mines…) The disadvantages are that the fuel cycle as practiced today is horridly inefficient and makes mountains of highly radioactive “spent” fuel that can be a big risk. It is also easy with some reactor designs (CANDU) to make “boom stuff”.
For Th the advantages are relative abundance, lower (but far from zero…) transuranics production, In SOME reactor designs, modest improvement in proliferation resistance. Unfortunately, in some other designs, it is just as easy as pie to make “boom stuff” either via a CANDU with a discreet fast cycle fuel channel or with online extraction of Pa and separation. There also is, as of now, no significant experience, licencing, and commercial operation of a Th fuel cycle, so you get to “roll your own”…. and argue with the regulators all over again.
Note that at no time did I mention MSR in the list of advantages / disadvantages. Conflating MSR advantages with Th / U fuel cycles is a fault, IMHO. Yes, the Th MSR (in particular, the one using F salts) has some particular operational advantages. So do all the other reactor designs. ALL have some advantages and some disadvantages. That’s what Engineers are for, to balance those out and pick the best solution for a given problem set.
Now I find it terribly hard to see where you find any “propaganda” in simple statements about the abundance of U vs Th in the crust, the low cost of Th, the tendency for the decay chain to end at U233 or at most U235, that then gets fissioned, so less transuranics form in the first place, or for the fact that by variation of reactor design you can make “boom stuff” fairly easily from either of them, or make both hard to use via being way too radioactive. Oh, and insisting that MSR advantages be kept distinct from fuel cycle advantages / disadvantages since either fuel can go in either reactor type.
I’m just not hopping on your particular (propaganda?) advocacy of LENR as an immediate change of All Things Nuclear. It is, at best, an emergent technology that might have significant impact in a decade or two if it works at all (which is not fully in evidence yet).
And yes, everyone hates me because I piss on all their exuberant unwarranted enthusiasm equally… Comes from too many decades as Manager In Charge reading Yet Another P.O. request for some damn fool thing or another, I guess…
So I’ll be enthusiastic about LENR when I can buy one and the Operations Manual is online for download. I’ll be enthusiastic about a Th MSR when one is powering my computers. I’ll be enthusiastic about U when the NRC stops being an obstruction and lets us build things designed in this millennium. So it goes. For now, I’m just vaguely curious about LENR and MSR Th.
Oh, and none of my position is exactly fringe or unknown…
From that Th fuel cycle wiki (bold mine):
So that “albatross” of U233 could just be dumped into a MSR (using 1960s technology levels…) if anyone wanted to make one. It’s called “fuel”… Thus the article is full of “trash” hype.
Similarly, we note that the MSR program was trashed when the guy who liked it got dumped. (I bet there’s a great political story behind that… likely, IMHO, involving someone noticing the Pa extraction path to Boom Stuff… and him not catching the clue fast enough.) MSR was dumped not for technical reasons, the reactor ran, but for organizational political reasons.
And then essentially the same position I take, stated by MIT: Both work. Both are fine. There’s a little advantage on the waste side for Th, but not enough to overcome the U fuel cycle being already approved and available. Big regulatory hill to make a new fuel cycle approved, modest gains, leads to “nice idea, come back later” at the P.O. window…
That’s not propaganda, that’s jaundiced reality.
It has been 10 years since I tracted nuclear power development in India. It was time for an update. I took a minute to verify your assertion that India is well served by going with thorium based nuclear power. India has be working on thorium for forever now and with all of thorium’s purported advantages what could be the problem with the Indian program?
From FEBRUARY 9, 2016
“India’s aspirations of developing domestic thorium-powered reactors — a technology that would remove India’s dependence on fuel imports altogether — have technical feasibility issues and remain a far-off dream. In the end, capacity overall will increase, but nuclear energy is destined to play a minor role in filling the country’s growing energy appetite.”
E.M.Smith: “I just don’t buy the propaganda that Th is horrible, either.”
Let’s look at the big picture. After 20 years of development in India, Thorium power is still just a dream. Maybe, thorium power is not as easily done as you think and assert. Maybe all those ideas about technical detail, what is trash and what isn’t, need to be reassessed?
Thorium was also used in a mixed fuel system in the Ft. St. Vrain Nuclear power plant HTGR.
The fuel include both uranium and thorium so it partially bred new reactor fuel as it ran.
Something sounds rotten. Why didn’t the government burn that ton of U233 in this Fort St. Vrain gas-cooled nuclear power plant. Getting rid of that U233 (no breeding required) would save the taxpayers 1 $billion a year in storage and security costs. Can those nuclear enegineers be that dumb or is there some complication involved that they won’t tell us about.
Are you just being obstreperous to be a PITA?
Fort St. Vrain was run in the ’70s. When the USA was making that U233. Then the whole nuclear power program went on hiatus for 30-40 years and only really came back in the 2000s.
Remember those little things called Three Mile Island and Chernobyl? Kinda put a dent in enthusiasm for all things nuclear. (Blown way out of proportion, IMHO). Are you blind to history and timing?
You also consistently see this as “engineers be that dumb” and not as “government and politicians be that dumb”. It is NOT a technical issue to use Th in a reactor. It works fine in LWR and CANDU today. Want to build a whole new reactor design, for any fuel, you will have new issues.
HTGCRs do have technical things that make them a pain to operate. One is the use of extremely hot Helium. That stuff just does not want to stay in a pipe. At the High Temperatures in a High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor, metals have reduced working life and “they learned” a lot about what alloys worked well, and what didn’t.
Eventually the Germans made a HTGCR using Th, but then got their panties in a bunch post Chernobyl and threw it away (but only after driving the cost through the roof with constantly changing regulatory requirements). They, too, had some gas pumping issues with lifetime of parts, but the plant ran for over a year making electricity and selling it.
But do realize that is a HTGCR issue, and NOT a Th issue. It’s the hot gas, not Th, that causes problems. Similarly, if you want to design an All New Breeder reactor, as India did, you are taking on reactor design work, and a learning curve to develop your native industry. The USA clearly had no problem breeding U233 (since you keep railing about our tons of it…), so it isn’t the Th that’s the issue for India in their desire to “home grow” a breeder industry. The USA made, and ran, a MSR. That China (and a half dozen others) are going to reinvent that tech doesn’t mean it failed. WHEN, and it is a when, they run into some ‘learning curve’ issues, that is THEIR issue, not the Thorium.
Please note: Thorium is in use in reactors now. It works. Fine.
There are 2 existing types that are quite Th friendly. The CANDU (heavy water) design is very fuel flexible. That design was how India got started (and headed into the bomb path… but they also used “research” reactors for some of that…) Then there is the LIghtbridge company that makes fuel bundles for LWRs. They have fuel bundles in long duration burnup trials in a reactor in Russia. Oh, and Norway has done this too.
Can you say “Existence Proof?”
So is it prone to “issues” when you launch a whole new type of reactor into a world built around LWR and some PWR or BWR designs? Well, yes. Finding out what He at 1000 C+ does to various metals is not something in the CRC handbook (or wasn’t before we started making HTGCRs). Making a “DIY” breeder reactor is hard, for any fuel, but especially so when the USA is leaning on you for having “proliferated” nuke bombs. That alone set India back a ways. Then, post Chernobyl, U prices pretty much collapsed. Hard to justify making a whole new fuel cycle when the world is awash in cheap U and ready sellers. Again, NOT a technical issue.
So yes, IF you want to do R&D into HTGCR, MSR, or DIY Th Breeders, it is going to have some learning curve for the guys doing it. The USA already has done it, but we don’t share that well in the nuclear arena… (Though it looks like on MSR we are sharing with China now…) BUT, if you just want to use Th as fuel, build yourself a CANDU type (or buy one from Canada) and go for it. Or just swap out your fuel rods at the next change… (IFF you can get regulators to wake up and change requirements).
Note in particular those last three lines. “In Operation”. That’s about 10 or 11 reactors by my count IN INDIA.
So it’s not like India have hit a technological wall and walked away…
That chart, BTW, does NOT include the LWR bundles in use in Russia or Norway. Those are not “Thorium reactors”, just regular old LWRs with Thorium fuel in them…
It just isn’t hard to use Th in a reactor. Even our exiting ones.
It IS hard to design whole new reactors, for any fuel, and especially if they push into rarely explored areas like MSR and HTGCR.
At the time Ft. St. Vrain was a working reactor I worked for the the office of emergency management in Colorado and helped write and conduct emergency response drills for the reactor.
It’s shutdown was a political/economic decision not a safety decision. The reactor worked just fine but had a couple learning curve issues. The two that I remember was they had great difficulty keeping moisture out of the systems, and the reactor in the name of safety, had an over sensitive scram system which caused a couple shutdowns that were unnecessary but very expensive because of all the hassle involved in getting it back on line. After Chernobyl the local regulatory folks and the media were making it extremely difficult for the plant to be run. It was a graphite moderated core but local media could not get it through their head and effectively communicate to the public that is was a very different design and much much safer than Chernobyl. That and the local anti-nuclear protest efforts (some of which were driven by nuclear weapons facility at Rocky Flats), simply made it too high profile and too much of a pain in the behind to deal with, and PSC made an economic decision and decided to cut their losses and to mothball the reactor and convert it to natural gas to make use of the physical generation equipment. Last I recall it still had fuel elements in a cooling pool.
It was a well run plant over all from what I recall, but as noted, the first ever commercial HTGR plant in the US. It was a spin off design of the Gulf Atomic experimental Peach Bottom HTGR.
If those chronic teething issues were sorted out, I would have no problem with it going live again but that is not going to happen. Nuclear energy has become an extremely expensive way to generate energy entirely due to over regulation. Our health department how ever never impressed me, we constantly had to teach health physicists how to properly monitor for contamination and how to properly report exposures. Their Phd’s kept getting in the way during training and they would not follow proper procedures during drills and training. Some of them could not be bothered to read the response plan and understand their roll in the plan.
Like many in the environmental movement they also had no concept of reasonable, just because you can detect something at a 1 part per billion does not mean it is necessary to control its emission down to that same level. Every time technology made monitoring more sensitive they wanted to clamp down the exposure limits to some value near the new detection threshold. Public paranoia after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island made it nearly impossible to have rational discussions about where limits should be and proper emergency actions that made sense with the real health risks and inherent risks of doing things like evacuation.
Some of them never could get their head around the fact that they would cause more risk of injury with an evacuation than they would to just have people go inside and turn on the TV. This was when the whole idea of “Shelter in place” first showed up in emergency management planning because in many cases, the evacuation effort is more dangerous than the treat you are trying to protect people from.
Its not productive to discussed past history that will be made obsolete in less than a year. All that work and money and people will be consigned to the dustbin of history. LENR will make fission and fusion obsolete. Let us hope that those old fission light water reactors hold together just a little while longer until we get the LENR production plants in place and running at capacity.
“The thorium reactor produces lots of plutonium as nuclear waste.”
Yes, the LFTR produces plutonium but over 90% of it is Pu238 which is far more expensive than gold. One of the major benefits of LFTRs is their potential for producing Pu238:
LFTRS and LENRs are vaporware. All your arguments are as useless as Bishop Usher’s speculation about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. I am waiting for someone to build a plant that can deliver energy at an affordable price.
Please note that my comments will “terse” and specific from here on.
“Nuclear energy has become an extremely expensive way to generate energy entirely due to over regulation.”
When I visited the Oconee nuclear station I was shocked to find how labor intensive nuclear power has become in the USA. The plant employs ~1,400 people compared to 250 for the much larger Martin county power plant in Florida.
Even so I concluded that “Old Nukes” produce electricity at less than $0.03 per kVAh. My calculations were quite crude given that Duke Power did not help me. In my opinion nuclear power would be affordable even if government regulations tripled the number of feather bedded staff:
So where did I go wrong?
The one hidden cost I did not see is the reserve funds for decommissioning the plant when it finally retires. In many cases that includes security and oversight for decades as the infrastructure is too “hot” radiologically to take apart shortly after decommissioning. There are also probably hidden costs for long term monitoring of radiation workers and records. I suspect there are also substantial liability insurance reserves/ and premiums needed in case they have a Fermi 1 (Detroit), TMI (Pennsylvania) or Fukushima (Japan) class incident. You also have off site expenses like maintaining warning systems and 911 call systems for near by residents.
The simple fact the name of the facility includes the word nuclear probably doubles the costs of some equipment. A simple Geiger counter with Beta pancake probe costs about $1500 each now plus calibration expenses, then you have dosimeter equipment and records management, all driven by regulations. Plus compliance costs for safety drills and emergency exercises required by license permits, and random NRC dog and pony shows.
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The operating license on Fermi 1 was not renewed in 1972 and decommissioning started. Actual demolition of the building was under way in 2011, so they had a 39+ year period of shutdown and recovery operations along with site security. The original accident occurred in 1966.
I have a copy of that book “we almost lost Detroit” and I disagree with his assessment that it was no big deal, they missed a major emergency but just seconds based on that book. If the operator had been just a bit slower to recognize what was going on it could have gotten completely away from them according to his reconstruction of the accident time line and the rate of power increase due to the fuel elements which failed.
“The one hidden cost I did not see is the reserve funds for decommissioning the plant when it finally retires.”
Given that Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy did not co-operate, my analysis was confined to “Day to Day” operations so the cost of de-commissioning was not included.
However I am sceptical when governments imagine huge costs for decommissioning. In the USA nuclear plants must contribute to an insurance fund according to the Price-Anderson act. This fund was intended to cover costs associated with the operation of nuclear power plants such as nuclear accidents. Currently the fund has substantial reserves.
When it comes to decommissioning the simplest approach is to bury the problem. All you have to do is concrete over all access to the CRUD (Chernobyl) or whatever radioactive material cannot be easily removed.
Finally there is the cost of handling “Nuclear Waste”. Governments can make this appear to be a costly proposition by inventing futile “Geologic Storage” as in Yucca Mountain. A more practical solution is “On Site” storage in dry casks. At the Oconee station the dry casks occupy about half of a football field. Maintenance involves occasional mowing of the grass between the casks.
In the long run the “Nuclear Waste” in these casks will be burned in Generation IV nuclear reactors, producing 100-200 times more electricity than the original U235 reactors produced. Thus this material is not a “Problem”…………….it is “Stored Fuel”.
And the high level “waste” generated heat of decay during storage. A little effort to use it to run a stirling engine powered generator could cover all the electrical needs for the plant site for a long time. Much like the SNAP thermal generators that they use for space probes. That waste heat of decay could be used instead of sucking up energy to cool the water in a cooling pool.
Generating electric power is inherently dangerous. While the general public is terrified of nuclear power it is the safest way to generate electric power:
The statistics need some explanation. Why is the hydro power death rate 0.01 in the USA and 1,400 world wide. The answer is the Banquiao accident:
Why is the nuclear death rate 0.01 in the USA and 90 worldwide? Most of the deaths can be traced to Chernobyl and Fukushima.
The low death rate in the USA is probably a result of having higher safety standards compared to most other countries but it only takes one accident to transform the statistics.
Apparently nothing will be reported soon regarding the Rossi ECAT validation. Rossi has filed suit against Industrial Heat. Industrial Heat says Rossi breached contract agreements and that Rossi’s claims could not be substantiated in 3 years of work attempting to do so. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/industrial-heat-statement-on-meritless-litigation-from-leonardo-corporation-and-andrea-rossi-300248066.html?tc=eml_cleartime
“Why is the nuclear death rate 0.01 in the USA and 90 worldwide? Most of the deaths can be traced to Chernobyl and Fukushima.”
I am really disappointed that Chiefio’s faithful followers failed to call me out for the above BS statement. Nobody died as a result of the nuclear accident at Fukushima. The death toll was caused by Tsunami.
Depends on how you define “deaths due to Fukushima”.
Prompt radiation deaths 0, Plant workers dead due to “disaster conditions” (2) probably due to loss of blood (it was my impression that those deaths early on were attributed to the building explosions not the tsunami) . Elderly folks who died during or as a direct result of evacuations and radiation exclusion zone (45) plus one suicide by an elderly person when faced with evacuation. Plus 2 workers who died of “heart attacks” during emergency response to the reactor accident probably due to psychological stress, heat stress and over exertion in their radiation protective gear.
Someone who dies of a heart attack because he is scared silly by high radiation levels, or enormous loss of face, is just as dead as someone who might have gotten cooked by exceeding mean lethal dose of radiation. Not to mention we only have statistical guesses of how many (if any) early deaths might occur due to radiation exposure. Current estimates are some where between 15 and 1100 with most likely near 130. (those estimates are notoriously uncertain being little more than wild ass guesses but still raises the issue when do you draw the line for a death caused by a radiation release? The first 2 – 4 weeks the first 48 hours, or life time, including early death.
That is why I never paid much attention to the after action death statistics as they are in all disasters a gigantic bag of snakes ranging from refusing to attribute any deaths to ridiculous over estimates of long term deaths.
This was always one of our biggest public relations problems in disaster response. The casualty and death info is never adequate to give solid numbers and too many agendas drive too many assumptions giving guesses of over all impact that can be orders of magnitude too large but the data to refute those assertions is very difficult to find and even harder to get people with opposing agendas to believe.
Thanks for a great comment. While I recognize the deadly nature of gamma radiation the potential exposure at Fukushima was too low to produce measurable negative health effects.
In the case of Chernobyl the levels were much higher so dozens of people perished due to acute radiation doses in excess of the LD50 level (~5 Sieverts). The health consequences are measurable to this day. I have a remarkable friend who still works in Belarus with people suffering from the aftermath of Chernobyl. Over the years she has helped bring hundreds of victims, especially children, to the Duke University Medical Center for treatment:
Fukushima is a different kind of radiation accident. Nobody was exposed to anything approaching 5 Sieverts acute dose. The “Current Estimates” of more than 15 deaths attributable to radiation exposure are indeed questionable, unless you accept the LNT (Linear No Threshold) theory.
I may be getting “Off Topic” by dragging in the issue of “Radiation Hormesis” but maybe Chiefio will take a look at the issue soon. Here is a link to a large scale radiation accident in Taiwan that appears to have had beneficial effects:
Ironically there is a Dr.Sakamoto in Fukushima who routinely exposes his patients to radiation that would be lethal if not spread out over several weeks:
Click to access Sakamoto-2012_ANSconf-June23.pdf
The LNT and hormesis radiation models agree closely at high doses but differ a low doses:
Yes that radiation model is important. One of the reasons the nuclear health folks over regulate. There is substantial evidence the low level exposure to radiation actually improves health (perhaps by keeping the immune system and tissue repair functions operating efficiently. The linear risk model is broken and the data clearly shows it is not a good model, but try to tell people who think radiation is the work of the devil that. Fear of radiation is only slightly more scientific than fear of witchcraft and curses, and waving dead chickens and chanting are probably equally useful protective measures for low level exposures.
As I mentioned elsewhere just because you can detect it does not mean it is a danger. I live at high altitude, and just a few miles from the Schwartzwalder mine.You can pick up rocks in that area that will absolute light up a Geiger counter many times more radioactive than the trace levels of contamination emitted by Fukushima but go completely unnoticed by locals.
When I worked for the state I worked with radioactive materials to calibrate radiological instruments and teach radiological monitoring. Because of where I live I receive about 2x the typical background radiation exposure both from soils and cosmic rays due to the high altitude, yet we have no statistically detectable shift in incidence of cancer here in Colorado. In fact the western states (you know the ones where they mined uranium and have significantly higher natural radioactive exposure actually have some of the lowest cancer rates in the country.)
The linear model only approaches usability at high acute doses near LD50 and above, at low background levels it is complete nonsense, and an objective look at the data clearly shows it.
The real risk is probably closer to the trace D in your graph above.
I thought it was well known that radiation hormesis was how it worked? After that apartment building in Mexico? made with steel with cobalt-60? in it was busy radiating the occupants… who had LOWER cancer rates than their neighbors…
I’m not sure I have much to add to that…
As per “calling you out” on the Fukushima statement:
You said “Most of the deaths”. That is accurate. It may only be a couple of people killed in the response to the disaster, but, well, they are “most”…
Three Mile Island? Zero.
Other minor historical core melts etc.? Zero.
“most” being relative, to is “most” compared to zero… At least, that’s how I read it.
That Co60 accident in Mexico was not studied as intensively as the one in Taiwan. In Taiwan the incidence of hard cancers and leukaemia fell as the gamma ray dose increased!
I plan to retire to Llano Grande in Colombia at ~7,000 feet, roughly the altitude of the Schwartzwalder mine. According to some actuarial tables I have, this should shorten my lifespan by several months owing to increased radiation exposure but in my opinion the slight increase in radiation is to be a benefit than a hazard.
At Ramsar in Iran, background radiation can amount to ~0.05 Sieverts per year which is the maximum allowed for “Radiation Workers” in North Carolina yet there is no evidence of negative health effects.
When running for office in 2002 I tried to counter the anti-nuclear hysteria of my opponent (Eleanor Kinnaird). It should be no surprise that nuclear hysteria was embraced by the voters.
Th has already been used. MANY times. That India decided to do more U doesn’t change that (and was likely driven by cheap as dirt U prices and ready availability and maybe their need for bombs…) India has CANDU type reactors (heavy water). The CANDU type can eat your choice of U, Th, MOX, whatever. There is zero technical barrier to using Th as reactor fuel.
Germany did it. The USA did it. India did it (though not for commercial power, to make U233 for their U233 bomb). Oh, and Russia has done it, via a Virginia commercial operation, back in 2011:
The fuel bundles were in reactors, making power. DONE DEAL. No, I have no idea what the eventual outcome was in terms of getting the fuel cycle commercialized.
So please, get it through your “defensive filters”: THORIUM HAS ALREADY BEEN IN USE IN REACTORS.
Gas reactors. Pebble reactors. LWR power reactors. etc. etc.
It is the cost of building an entirely new fuel system and getting mind share onto it, not a problem with the Th fuel itself. Just like getting folks into electric cars takes a whole lot of new “gas” stations to charge at, and why Propane and CNG cars never caught on big (despite CNG being way cheaper to run).
From that above wik (bold mine)i:
Note: ARE capable. Not ‘with unknown work’… The reactors already exist. Just stuff Th in them if you want to use it. (Details of fuel management omitted as it is in the operational weeds for all of U, Th, and MOX.)
As China mines kilotons of Rare Earths, it gets kilotons of Thorium “waste” piling up. So they have a decent reason to bother with “another fuel cycle” as the fuel is free (byproduct waste) and this disposes of it… They’ll be selling their MSR soon enough. (Until then, you can use a CANDU or LWR with Lightbridge fuel bundles).
That’s a big disingenuous. In fact, it was working OK making power with no more than the usual teething issues for a new reactor tech (some parts in the hot gas exchanger tending to break). What really killed it was a German revolt against all things nuclear and the use of government to drive costs out of sight.
So gee, India sure looks to be happy with their Thorium development plan. Not seeing the word “scrapped” anywhere…
An absolutely normal path. Criticality is achieved on a fissile fuel, then Th to U233 that is used for subsequent fuelings. And yes, they had delays. So exactly what major construction projects do NOT have delays?
Once the first breeder is running, they bypass that plutonium bottleneck as they can make all the U233 they want for that next dozen reactors.
Note: in an existing nuclear reactor. So in 2012 Norway gave it a go with some fuel bundles. This is why getting it clearly in mind that Th is disjoint from the MSR is so important. Thorium works today right now in our present crop of reactors. Just using U bundles fits with the existing fuel cycle facilities and regulatory environment. It is NOT a technical issue.
Now for India, wanting to make a big Th Breeder all on their own, yes, that’s a technological leap for them, and a big budget item for a poor country. For Germany, wanting to play with exotic HTGCR designs, they too were “pushing a reactor envelop”. Then had their political attitudes get in the way of the economic sense. Neither of those is the FUEL that’s the issue.
So you can run Th today if you like, in CANDU and LWR (and PWR if you get fuel bundles fabricated). Such fuel bundles have been built, and used, and worked.
You can run Th in a HTGCR if you build one. The USA did once. The Germans did, then through it away for no good reason.
You can run Th in a MSR if you do a bit of research first. The USA ran a MSR, but it was a long time ago. Others are “doing it now”, building all over the globe.
Or you can just wait a little while and buy one from China… Or eventually India.
Do remember that when India set off their nukes, the USA got pissy at them and things like buying U became harder for them to do. That was a major slowdown of their nuclear program, until the USA backed off a little on the ‘sanctions’ for them having made a bomb. Program delays later, when they could again buy U easily, had a LOT more to do with the collapse of U prices so it had a price advantage; and much less to do with the technology.
So can you please let go of the notion that it is hard to use Th in a reactor? It just isn’t.
Economically easier to use U in a world that is geared to run U? You bet.