Cold Fusion Heats Up: Fusion Energy and LENR Update
The world faces a grim future if we do not immediately rein in consumption of fossil fuels. Risks include rising sea levels, more frequent extreme temperatures, flooding, drought and conflicts among human societies. An eventual sea level rise of 6 meters now seems pretty much assured. Additionally, July 2015 is now officially the hottest single month in recorded history.
In spite of these truly sobering developments, some are seeing rays of hope. Prices of solar photovoltaic panels have dropped considerably. Observers predicted in 2000 that wind-generated power worldwide would reach 30 GWatts by 2010; it exceeded 200 GWatts, and by 2014 it was 370 GWatts. These developments have led some, such as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, to be cautiously optimistic.
Nonetheless, there is still an enormous gap between current carbon consumption and where we need to be (some argue that we must zero out carbon emissions altogether, and soon). While solar photovoltaic and wind systems are a great boon for green energy, nonetheless they still are reliant on the whims of weather and geography. And as for battery systems, in spite of advances such as those reported by Elon Musk, they are far from being a practical means for utility-scale storage of electrical energy.
Against this backdrop, some have been taking another look at fusion energy, the energy that powers the sun. Fusion, unlike fission reactions used in conventional nuclear reactors, need not emit dangerous radiation, nor do they produce radioactive byproducts.
Scientists have been feverishly working for decades to develop a practical way to contain this energy, which traditionally is thought to mean that we must confine some hydrogen (or deuterium) fuel, either in a “magnetic bottle” or by inertial confinement, then heat it to millions of degrees Celsius. Despite the expenditure, over sixty years, —> Read More