Hot and Cold Fusion at MIT

This is an action initiated by Contributor Gregory Goble, poet and clean energy advocate. He felt pity for the hot fusioneers who have lost their largesse due to budget cuts, and who might now consider taking help from their poor ole cousins in the cold fusion community who have the ability to save their programs by providing clean, affordable power to probe plasma science. Ironic, huh?

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We are biting our fingernails waiting for commercialization of cold fusion and the hot fusion folks are sweating out their own issues. It’s going to be a long summer.

While a lattice-assisted nuclear reactive (LANR/cold fusion) device is operating at MIT with zero funding, the MIT hot fusion budget has been eliminated (shut down) and hot fusion energy generation research may soon end worldwide. Ironically, Tokamak reactors may be much less costly to operate if powered by low-energy nuclear reaction LENR generated power. Presently the power to create a Tokamak nuclear reaction is magnitudes greater in costs with today’s energy technologies than if supplied by cold fusion generated electricity.

Primary utility power for the MIT Alcator C-Mod is provided by a 24-MVA peak power, 13.8-kV line. In total, storage and conversion systems have been designed to supply up to 500 MJ at up to 400 MVA to the experiment. Electrical costs are $5,002,000, which is approximately 5% of the run budget. [source]

Alcator C-Mod MIT Budgets and Schedule (2009 – 2013)
Incremental costs for 1 run week (at 14 ± 3 weeks) Cost: $2,008,000

Costs per run (in thousands):
Electricity $11
Specialty gases primarily B2D6 $2
Liquid Helium cryopump, DNB $9
Overtime technicians $13
Liquid Nitrogen coil & machine cooling $47
Maintenance inspections, power systems, klystrons, ICRF tubes, diagnostics, data, vacuum, instrumentation $124
Total per run $208


As you can see the hot fusion folks still believe fusion only takes place at extremely high temperatures in a plasma and seem to be unaware of fusion taking place in low temperature vibrational environments. Science is discovering nuclear active environments NAE can occur in a condensed matter.

Here is where we “turn substance into accident“.

This is a medieval term which means “to give new quality to substance; a loose and ironic use of the terms of scholastic philosophy.” –from the glossary of Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer translated by A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt Bantam Books.

Hot and cold fusion folks can work together to advance science by using cold fusion/LANR/LENR to power hot fusion experiments.

If you live in a district where your Representative in on the House Energy and Water Subcommittee FY2013 Appropriations bill, then message the following note to your representative. (You need to put in a zip code matching the Representatives district to use the email form).

If you do not live in a district where your Representative is on the House Energy and Water Subcommittee FY2013 Appropriations bill, then message the following note to: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers – Attention Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Members here

Energy and Water Subcommittee Members

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey email
Jerry Lewis, California email
Michael K. Simpson, Idaho email
Denny Rehberg, Montana email
Rodney Alexander, Louisiana email
Steve Womack, Arkansas email
Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi email

Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana email
Ed Pastor, Arizona email
Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania email
John W. Olver, Massachusetts email

ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES Concerning the FY2013 Appropriations bill pg. 105

“The Department is instead directed to continue operations at the Alcator C-Mod facility and to fund continued research… ” –by funding LENR to help hot fusion.

Honorable Subcommittee Members,
The MIT Tokamak reactor is a project that advances engineering and science. Both construction and operational energy costs can be reduced by utilizing cold fusion/LENR energy devices just now emerging into the marketplace. Blacklight Power has a technology, recently validated by academic and industry experts that could provide cost-reductive electricity for research with high-energy requirements.

NASA plans utilization of condensed matter nuclear reaction science engineered into its next generation of spacecraft. Here are two announcements by NASA to utilize Cold Fusion/LANR/LENR energy devices to replace plutonium for spacecraft power and a NASA presentation of the science and theory behind this science.

Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, the Realism and the Outlook by Dennis Bushnell NASA
Abundant Clean/Green Energy by Joseph Zawodny NASA
LENR at GRC from NASA Glenn Research Center .pdf

The following is a list of four companies developing new commercial products based on LENR:

Include these advanced energy solutions as relief to your budget, energy, and environmental concerns. Funding LENR research brings benefits far beyond science exploration; we will be developing the ultra-clean energy that can power our future for millenia.

Thank you for this consideration,

The following is publicly posted fund raising material from MIT and ITER – Help Save Hot Fusion. It describes conventional models of fusion based on high-energy collisions in a hot plasma.

This does not describe cold fusion/LANR/LENR which hot fusioneers do not believe possible.

Intro Fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process by which light nuclei fuse together to create a single, heavier nucleus and release energy. Given the correct conditions (such as those found in plasma), nuclei of light elements can smash into each other with enough energy to undergo fusion. When this occurs, the products of the fusion reaction have a smaller total mass than the total mass of the reactants. The mass difference is converted to energy as determined by Einstein’s famous formula, E=mc2. Here, m is the mass difference and c is the speed of light. Even though the mass difference is very small, the speed of light is extremely large (about 670,000,000 miles per hour), so the amount of energy released is also very large. [source]

What is a Tokamak?
Since we have now established what nuclear fusion is, and its potential as an attractive source of energy, the next obvious question is: How do we create fusion in a laboratory? This is where tokamaks come in. In order for nuclear fusion to occur, the nuclei inside of the plasma must first be extremely hot, like in a star. For example, in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak we routinely create plasmas which reach temperatures of 90,000,000 degrees Celsius, about 5 times hotter than the center of the Sun. [source]

The President’s 2013 Budget Proposal shuts down Alcator C-Mod, an essential laboratory for clean energy research at MIT.

Does the proposed budget only cut Alcator C-Mod?
No. Almost all domestic programs under the Department of Energy’s Office of (Hot) Fusion Energy Sciences (OFES) received cuts under the president’s FY13 proposed budget, although the shutting down of Alcator C-Mod is by far the most severe and irreversible. Proposed cuts also target the DIII-D tokamak in California (-11.9%), plasma physics theory (-14.4%), the Advanced Design program (-62.9%), and general plasma science (-21.6%), among many others. [source]

What has happened?
The Presidential budget request for 2013 was announced on Monday, February 13, 
2012. In that request, C-Mod, an essential laboratory in the U.S. and World
Fusion Energy Program, is threatened with termination. C-Mod is a world-class
laboratory housed at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and dedicated to educating students. As the only high field, compact high performance divertor tokamak, it is unique in the world. In the coming decade, vitally important research, including many critical ITER physics, research and development tasks, can only be accomplished on C-Mod. Although the budget for the fusion science part of the Department of Energy remained nearly constant at 400 million dollars, most US fusion labs face significant cuts because funding for the construction of ITER was increased by 45 million dollars. This money was taken out of C-Mod and other existing experiments. View the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) director’s presentation about the budget here. [source]

ITER Faces Massive Budget Cuts
Due to the many challenges of fusion energy—just look at the size of the investment in ITER—this is a project that could only be attempted at an international level. However, let’s always remember that (hot) fusion technology remains in competition with other technological approaches for energy generation. We therefore need to implement and stop losing time. We must bear in mind that we have been entrusted with public funds, which gives us an enormous responsibility towards the citizens within the ITER Members.

Since the European Union has agreed to earmark funds for ITER through 2020 at the level of EUR 6.6 billion (of which EUR 2.3 billion is for 2012-2013), we have concerns regarding the schedule slippages that have occurred over the past several months. Slippages do not contribute to the positive image of the project; they also risk undermining the political support for ITER if they are not corrected soon. The next six months will therefore be crucial. [source]

C-Mod Funding Restored in Proposal from House Appropriations Subcommittee
The House Energy and Water Subcommittee released their FY2013 Appropriations bill. This appropriations recommendation includes specific language restoring funding to the Alcator C-Mod project:
The [President’s budget] request proposes to shut down the Alcator C-Mod facility and provides only enough funding for decommissioning and existing graduate students. The Department is instead directed to continue operations at the Alcator C-Mod facility and to fund continued research, operations, and upgrades across the Office of Science’s domestic fusion enterprise. 
House of Representatives Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2013, pg. 105

The domestic fusion budget (inclusive of C-Mod) is almost completely restored to FY2012 levels (the President’s Budget Request cuts ~$48.3 million, the House Appropriations recommendation only cuts of $0.5 million). ITER, the international fusion reactor which the US is collaborating on, also receives increased funding, $73 million above the President’s Budget Request. These increases overcome the issues of trying to fund both the domestic US fusion program and ITER on a flat budget. [source]

13 Replies to “Hot and Cold Fusion at MIT”

    1. The idea of fusion as a reilable, infinite energy source is grand, but it is just a dream. The reality is that two difficulties must be overcome: first, a magnetic bottle cannot be continuously fed raw material, nor have products removed; second, materials of construction disintegrate or melt at fusion temperatures. There seem to be insurmountable difficulties in finding materials of construction that will not melt or evaporate at the very high temperatures obtained in a fusion reaction. Magnetic pinch bottles were used [in the 1980’s], and perhaps still are, to squeeze plasma until it begins the fusion process. Even if that fusion process is someday sustainable (they were thrilled at achieving fusion temperature for a fraction of a second), melt-down is a very real problem.There were two fundamental problems to overcome, the first being how to sustain the fusion reaction, the second how to keep the thing from melting. Sustaining the fusion reaction required a magnetic bottle with an inlet for fresh fuel, and an outlet for the reaction products. The nature of a magnetic bottle does not allow for inlets or outlets, at least at that time. There may have been advances since then, I do not know.Then, finding a way to do something useful with the heat without melting the reactor is a bit of a problem. The materials science professors and researchers were having quite a bit of difficulty with that one. It had something to do with the energy of inter-atomic bonding, under which everything they tried disintegrated at those temperatures.It is a very good thing that the sun is so very far away from Earth.Therefore, unless some amazing breakthroughs in magnetic bottles and heat-resistant materials have occurred, or will occur, fusion is off the list of energy providers. Roger E. Sowell, May 18, 2009So, does anyone have answers to those fundamental problems? Have materials scientists invented Indestructium? How does one add material and take away products from a magnetic bottle while fusion occurs?

      1. Christopher,

        I’m not really sure how it all works. Yes, to have fusion return energy in an environment that hot may be too hot for us to handle; much easier in cold fusion.

  1. It is wonderful that while the scientific establishment keeps Cold Fusion hidden from the media, governments and the population, small Cold Fusion websites have to do the job for everyone.
    It is not I think the media or governments who are at fault for the unholy silence, but their relying on science alone for the Truth, which will never come from an fraternity, that cannot face their religious, reductionist only beliefs, being shown as the completely irrational Dogma that they are.
    It is surly time to remove the fossilised high priests, who from their pulpits dictate their god given opinions, that outrank any Facts or Evidence.
    Set the young brilliant scientists, who hopefully are not polluted by Dogma, free, to do the work of science — The investigation with vigour of any unknown phenomenon in the natural World and not just those allowed by their closed-minded religion.

    1. bill (04:53:28) : If it’s safe, If it’s controllable it will be good. If it ever hnaepps – it has been a long time coming. But will it arrive in time?It is safer than your car engine, and if it were not for the stringiness of the governments involved it would have been here already. IMO there are two things wrong with ITER.1)The aforementioned stinginess. You cannot make omelet without breaking eggs2)The organization’s framework that comes because of 1).Instead choosing a world team of the best scientists and fund them to hire and oversee the best engineers and scientists, parsimony has created an organization with much less than necessary personnel for such an ambitious project, the rest being supplied by the laboratories and universities of the involved countries on a volunteer basis. This means that not the best people are at the crucial and non crucial jobs. Thus things take longer by a factor of pi, as we used to say.ITER could have already been ready with better funding.CERN was successfully launched back in the 1950s on the excellence principle: the directors were financed by a fixed amount from each country and results were expected. Laboratories and universities contributed by doing experiments, not by building the machine as is happening at ITER and even now at CERN, on the ubiquitous parsimony principle. A false economy on such projects. I have not read this anywhere, but I am sure that the recent ( last autumn) accident and consequent delay in the LHC construction at CERN was due to this Parsimony Principle.

  2. Hilarious suggestion. But not off mark provided we see some 1MW e-cats sell into the corporate or government research field. Then again, if we have viable LENR energy even before understanding its source – do we want to throw any more money down the hot fusion black hole???

    1. GreenWin,

      I agree the irony is a bit hilarious and also a bit sad. While Tokamak is not a viable fusion energy source; magnetic field control of plasma is a pretty neat trick.

      As Mr. Rogers said, “Won’t you be my neighbor”. Cold fusion and plasma control are the magic behind the next generation of NASA spacecraft.

      I imagine new (and some old) researchers on both sides of the fence would be happy to shake hands and work together.

      The past is past, all will be healed, and the future is soon revealed. Nice thought, huh.

      1. Very well put Greg. You are right – where there is technology crossover – plasma control and LENR source – there is good reason to mend fence. And the past is indeed past. Where fence mending becomes particularly healing is in owning past error, and rebuilding foundations to prevent repetition. Step One – a real, free press.

        We are entering a new era where Open Source and Intellectual Property must work side by side. And we need to avoid small, self-interested cliques of “experts” dictating technological direction. The emergence of LENR from the “experts” scrap heap demonstrates well the cost of these failures.

        “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. ” Feynman

        An immediate challenge for the (Schwinger’s term) hot fusioneers would be conversion of LENR plasma beta decay directly to electric current. This, for energy production – but also applicable to spacecraft propulsion.

  3. Just a math geek who likes word problems like quantum, but a thought crossed my mind, and I hadn’t seen it here. This article poses the reverse question to mine: Instead of asking can LENR proide the necessary power for the tokamak might the plasma–now I know there’s a difference between hot plasma and “cool plasma”, might not the toka-folks spin up some cheap, not-so-hot plasma to throw at the Pd plates on a LENR cell? It would seem that the protons would slow down enough to populate the lattice instead of vaporizing it, and I’m sure that the charged stream could be finely targeted to an NAE–heck, it may create some NAE’s. Just thinking sloppily….

    1. Bill, I dont’ know alot about this topic, so I can’t help you but to say that I think when I interviewed George Miley, I think said he had that idea back in 89 when he first heard about F&P’s announcement, to load the palladium using a plasma (cause he was a hot fusion guy). I think he was using thin-films so it didn’t work right, and he tried other approaches….

      The think about cold fusion is you don’t need all that hardware, or electrical power, like hot fusion needs. I do not believe hot fusion will not be our future energy source, but it can be a tool for exploring the universe, and as it appears, the LENR/LANR/cold fusion technology can help them. Ironic, huh?

    2. it had become a cult, a solar-worshipping reiiglous and technological sect capable of gaining huge funds and support but would never be able to deliver anything relevant to the mass of humanity. That was 30 years ago, and little has changed.Please, oh please, all you commentators with technical fixes, reflect on the elements of beauty, grace, community and spirit that really mark out humanity as special and then on what sustainability really means because if we don’t sustain those elements of our humanity, what is survival really worth. Life in the developed’ world is not beautiful nor sustainable for at least one-third of its members, and two-thirds of the developing world’ will never benefit from the current development’ model and simply see their own community and beauty destroyed in the process.The answers are not simply technical. And much of the technology proposed perpetuates elitist survivalism.I currently have few allies among the environmentalists I have worked with for over three decades because they have bought into the global warming’ bollocks but they did so because, at first, they genuinely believed humanity was imperilled. Later, a kind of corporate-creep took over, and they lost their critical faculties and have been taken over by zealots who as one commentator rightly observed, have little real contact with the living world and its incredible diversity nor do they represent communities and the aspirations of those who have little material wealth.But is does not serve anyone’s cause to belittle, to name call, to impugn integrity, and do indulge in naive descriptions of social sectors such as lefties’ and green nazis’ any more than when the AGW lobby denigrates deniers’ and sceptics’.

  4. I just posted this on my facebook timeline:
    “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, the Realism and the Outlook” by Dennis Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

    Along with this comment:
    Great news! NASA Announces Carbon Warming Demise
    Google: ecat, defkalion-energy, blacklightpower, brilliouinenergy, and cold fusion now .org to enter the universe of the cold fusion marketplace. Study these and share with your friends. LOVE LOVE Please copy this comment as you send this post VIRAL THANKS!!
    p.s.To send this post VIRAL share this on your friend’s timelines and copy this comment.

    I then shared it by posting it on each of my friend’s timelines and copying the comment.

    People enjoy hearing good news!

  5. This money on hot fusion is almost sickening. If the physicists are so convinced it can be done, let private companies pay for it. Just as LENR developers are forced to do. It would be ironic if one these small companies from Brilliouin, Blacklight Power, Defkalion, or Rossi or others, succeed decades before the ITER crowd does. The emperor has no clothes. The situation is almost hilarious if it weren’t for all the wasted money and time.

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