NYT: Funding for Fusion in Question

Thanks to Joe Shea for pointing out a New York Times article published today which discusses the future of a giant laser used in the US National Nuclear Security Administration’s fusion project. Funding for the laser runs out today, and more funds will need to be allocated by Congress in order to keep the project going.

The problem is that the project’s goal of producing controlled fusion that would provide a new source of cheap and abundant energy by creating a ‘tiny star’ on earth has so far failed. The laser, located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, is supposed to be able to create fusion by targeting tiny beads of hydrogen fuel, setting off a controllable fusion reaction. So far, this has not happened, and in order to get more funds, the laser team is going to have to send a report to Congress explaining why there has been no success so far, and why more funding is justifed.

Officers at the project were interviewed for the article, and offered some comments:

“It’s like having a cure for cancer by a certain date,” said Penrose C. Albright, the laboratory’s director. “I understand why people want to have milestones. But when you’re dealing with science and Mother Nature, all you really can do is agree on whether you’re on the right path . . . ”

“Contrary to what some people say, this has been a spectacular success,” said Edward Moses, the laser’s director. Even so, he added, “science on schedule is a hard thing to do”

A more sober assessment was made by Stephen Bodner, a former director of a laser project at the Naval Research Laboratory:

The question is whether you continue to pour money into it or start over,I think they’re in real trouble and that continuing the funding at the current level makes no sense

According to the article the laser project has so far cost $5 billion. Readers here may wonder what even a tiny fraction of that price tag might be able to do for the development of cold fusion technology which seems to be far less complex, and able to deliver results here and now. Perhaps over time there will be more interest from the scientific community and politicians — and hopefully also the New York Times.

  • Barry

    “…would provide a new source of cheap and abundant energy.” Even if they could achieve abundance, it would be by no means cheap.

    • 1: Yes its not a machine you could buy and have in your tool shed!
      We would still be dependent on governments and global corporations
      2: Someone pointed out that this machine is also weapon research since the lasers could be used as a weapon. (Im not sure if this is true, but it makes sense to me that)

      So they will probably get more money! 🙁

      • The data gathered from the shots are used to check the results of computer simulations of those shots. If the results match then the code can be used to simulate the detonation of atomic weapons. In other words at the present time the project largely supports atomic weapon research.

  • jedslater

    Imagine if all that money went into LENR research!

  • Alan DeAngelis

    What bothers me about most of the hot fusion people is that they’re such poor sports. They rationalize their jealousy to themselves as “being responsible” and feel the need to disparage anyone who has a more subtle and imaginative approach to fusion. I (and most people) had a great deal of respect for them and still would have respect for them (like the respect people have for George Miley) if they hadn’t behaved the way they did in 1989. They cooked their own goose.

    • GreenWin

      And now the goose is cooked, the meek are going to eat it.

  • My dear friends I cannot sit here and read these post and not say something I would like to bring it to everyone’s attention that the fusion work that has been done in California and other places has gained a lot of knowledge although they have not completed the things that were important for their goals of the science that has been learn thus far it has been genuine and great about what can be and what can not be as far as creating a star using hydrogen molecules, these men and women have worked hard and long for their science and it must be understood that they are not going to say or tell about everything that there doing or that they have learned it is not wise to talk unkindly about these people.
    Yes there has been a few people in the past who have talked about the people who are doing work in cold fusion and yes these people were unkind as well when they should have stood back and taken a hard look at the science and what is actually there so these people did not take the high ground and because of that it made some hard feelings. I suggested everyone takes the high ground and stops talking unkindly about other people and their science and start working together for the common goal of learning what is truly important which is the science itself and coming to a complete understanding of what is taking place in some of these experiments.
    It is important to understand as well you only waste money in hindsight the money that has been spent so far to learn in the sciences no one knows not only what those expenses will be but how far can it go there for it is not waste it is always true that in hindsight you wish you could have done something better a different way perhaps but nevertheless it is very difficult to turn back the clock so it is important to look forward and to keep your eyes focused on what is in front of you to make the best of the knowledge you learn so that all of these experiments can become a success.
    Mr. Rossi I understand that people have said things about your technology that was unkind you claimed to be a God fearing man I would suggest you take the high ground and allow your work to prove itself and nothing else. Do not waste time worrying about other people and what they’re doing worry about your own work.
    I would like to add that I know a few of these people that work in these areas of science with the gov’t and private institutions and I must say the work they’re doing is exemplary and for all of you people out there that truly do not understand this you must understand that the work that is being done in these institutions there is far more going on than any of you could realize at this time.
    Again please be kind to these people they work on their projects as hard as you work on yours.
    Warmest regards to all

    • machenation

      Hi, thanks for the info.
      Although, I am thinking that the TOKAMAK design was a commie plot, ask
      if you can, Solzhenitsyn.
      Best regards.

    • clovis

      hey, David is this a threat

      (And it must be understood that they are not going to say or tell about everything that their doing or that they have learned it is not wise to talk unkindly about these people.)
      what your people needs do is,catch the l.e.n.r. train before it leaves the station, and the rest of the world is waving you good by.
      as Dr. rossie says don’t be THE NIAGARA FALLS OF STUPIDITIES

    • Andrew Macleod

      The science is important, almost everyone here I assume would agree. The real problem I have with “hot” fusion is so much money and credit is given to it when on the other hand no money and no credit Is given to cold fusion. It’s like have two children, the older gets all the new toys, clothes and is praised at every achievement while the younger gets all the hand-me-downs and used toys and no matter what he/she does is never recognized for their accomplishments. Forever standing in the shadow of the older. Science needs to address the issue and view the two as different instead of one competing with the other. Maybe hot fusion will work when cold fusion is understood….

    • jacob

      thanks David,a lot of us know a lot of hard and honest work is going on and we appreciate it all.

    • Warthog

      The only problem with your little screed is that in addition to “….working on their projects as hard as you work on yours….” they also indulged in extra-curricular activity to stifle any and all positive reportage or financial support of cold fusion, a technology which has ALREADY surpassed, on a shoestring budget, milestones that the HF (hot fusion) community has failed to reach in fifty years and with hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars spent.

      Their behavior as scientists has been totally unconscionable.

      • Tony76

        Agreed Warthog.
        One can agree with David that civility and humility at all times is a good thing. However, the message that criticism and discrimination is out of bounds is pure political correctness, the enemy of civilization.
        David must also consider the harm done by corporate politicking in science to human development and progress, including the relief of suffering in the world. No one is criticizing the scientists at the chalk face.

        • georgehants

          Tony76, you say —
          “No one is criticizing the scientists at the chalk face.”
          Is science some kind of democracy or just a religious dictatorship.
          As with life in general people get roughly what they ask for.
          If ordinary people stood up for a fair society then the rich and powerful would soon be removed as all pointless finance and money, other than a simple reward system, would be removed.
          Everybody in that new system could retire at say age 50.
          Every scientist from the lowest to the highest has a responsibility to put it’s house in order.
          Science is meant to be for the people not a club where “qualified” “opinion experts” can wallow in self-importance, dictating beliefs and policy to the working plebs of science.
          With Cold Fusion and many other subjects it is up to the ordinary scientist to react and rebel against the establishment, when Truth is being ignored and overridden with Dogma for whatever reasons.
          Or are you saying all scientists are just ineffectual “yes men”, there just to bow down to the whims and irrationality of the high priests.

  • G-Man

    Rossi’s new post seems a little suspicious to me… how does his English improve so much in such short order… or maybe this has been translated by someone else and posted. Hmmm I believe in the P.F.E. by the way, so no need to trash on me.

    • Hampus

      Maybe he has someone that write for him now, he can’t do all on his own.

    • Barry

      You’re right G-man, doesn’t sound like him.

  • georgehants

    From Defkalion Page —-
    Glad to hear that a leader in this field has moved to our city.
    In the vein of Independent Testing, we are group of teachers and students at a Vancouver, B.C. area Secondary School who are well on the way to fire up their replication of the ‘Athanor’, based on the work released by Ugo Abundo and the L. Pirelli. We should be ready for early tests by the end of this October (2012), but the calorimetry work needed to release high quality data will take much more time. We intend to release information, with the caveat that the quality of research work needed to address the skeptics and definitely show excess heat production is a very slow, challenging and expensive process. It is very possible we will simply confirm the law of conservation of energy.
    To Defkalion, in order to inspire our students to work harder and longer, would a tour of your facility be possible for roughly 12 Grade 12 students and 4 Teachers? The students are all taking Physics 12 & Chem 12, and the teachers are Physics, Chemistry and Robotics instructors. We are the reigning World Champions in an international Robotics League, and wish to keep raising the bar to engage our students and change the world.
    Failing a tour, would it be possible to have a talk by an Engineer or Scientist at lunch time or after school, possibly on safety issues around hydrogen, problems in measurement and calorimetry?
    Let us know.

    @ HappyRocker
    We would be glad to help you and your students offering an educational visit to our labs. Our PR department will be in contact with you to arrange and prepare a visit.

    • Peter_Roe

      Bought forward from the previous thread:

      I have been consistantly saying for many months that this would be the next stage in the disinfo campaign, as soon as it became plain that denial and ridicule weren’t going to cut it any longer.

      The intention will be to both frighten gullible people so that they bleat for protection from the scary inventors, and to prepare the ground for an ‘incident’ that will allow officialdom to try to swallow up CF into the same area that fission occupies, and so take control of the technology on behalf of their sponsors.

      Confirmation of this path would be if/when the MSM break their silence with scare stories about CF on a widespread basis.

      • Peter_Roe

        Sorry – wrong place. I’d intended this comment to follow Georgehants’ post below (3:24pm).

        Admin – any chance you could move the comment please, and delete this one?

    • daniel maris

      George – High school kids? Sounds like Gary Wright to me…LOL

      • vbasic

        “The sun has a core pressure of 1.65 × 109 tons/in sq.”
        They can do it in an H bomb, but its time to give up the idea it can be done in a realistic containable manner for controlled hot fusion. Because not only do high temps need to be achieved, but those high pressures. That gravity gives fusion its juice, not just heat.
        So here is where LENR makes sense. All the elements on the periodic table here on earth are compressed hydrogen from the stars. First, in regular stars then in red giants up to iron. Then, in supernovas the elements above including the ones right above iron, such as Cobalt and Nickel. Since the goal is seeking materials where there is compression and pushes free hydrogen together, the compression is right there. Plus, those metals seem to attract hydrogen to the voids within. LENR makes more sense from even an astronomical point of view as well as the physics than controlled hot fusion.

        • vbasic

          “The sun has a core pressure of 1.65 × 109 tons/in sq.” Not. Yikes. I left out the power sign. It’s 1.65 x 10 ^9 . Thats 1.65 x (10 to the
          ninth power} from following website. Alot more than 109 tons per square inch.

          http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1997/MarinaTreybick.shtml ninth power) f

        • Kim G. Patterson

          Trying to emulate the fusion reaction
          of the sun.

          They do not even know why the sun’s
          Magnetic poles change position every
          11 years.

          Give me a break!!!!


    • edog

      That is a very interesting post George!
      I hope they get some good results from their Anathor set up… I wonder if they are communicating directly with Pirelli or Mr Abundo?
      I would think so if they are chatting with Defikalion! I hope they get their tour and some pictures and a bit of a report!

  • Omega Z

    Hot Fusion has been of interest for 60 years.
    I believe Hot Fusion is feasible. In the year 2100 plus…

    The Big Push & Mega-Bucks spending started when the Cold War Ended.
    With Major reductions in Nuclear arsenals & the research that accompanies it, your suddenly faced with 1000’s of physicists out of a job. People with a unique expertise with no where to go.

    Some who may go to work for rogue Nations building & proliferating Nuclear Weapons. I recall reading of the concern of this happening at the time.

    It’s My Opinion that the Developed Nations agreed to the Major Push of Hot Fusion Projects & the shared costs to implement it. Knowing full well that it was a Century long process. A Quick Fix for what was considered a Dire Situation. Unemployed physicists. Something that could be sold to the Public as an Energy Independence Solution. Providing little public resistance to the Funding at the time. Especially when it’s promoted as always just 20 years away. Cheap, Clean, For everyone???

    In the Governments Process of implementing this program, it has been akin to building a house before the foundation has been laid. But then, The Intent was always to keep these people Working. Always Hoping to gain some Scientific Knowledge to justify it’s continuation. Even if just a tiny bit.

    I can’t verify these as Facts. Just Statements I’ve read over time made by a few Hot Fusion researchers.

    Hot Fusion will never be Cheap because of the costs to build the facilities & rebuild them every half dozen years or so. The Process is very detrimental to the facilities & equipment used. Science is many decades away from alleviating this problem.

    Another stated that even if Cheap, It would never provide power to most of the World. Their are only about a Dozen locations in the World that are Isolated & Remote Enough where these facilities could be safely Built & Operated.

    Yeah, That 1 makes you scratch your head. Just How Dangerous & Risky are these Hot Fusion Systems they envision. Considering today we have Nuclear Power Plants built next to cities. What have we NOT Been Told.

    To them, What we’re Not told doesn’t matter. It would only be detrimental to the project at hand. Besides, (Kick The Can) That will be 5 decades maybe more down the road. Most of them & us will be gone. The next Generation can worry about it.

    Incidentally, I can agree with their quick fix considering their concerns, had it been followed with re-purposing these researchers over time. But with any Government project or agency, it soon develops into a self preserving system. These are now your Primary opponents against Cold Fusion. It a matter of self preservation.

    • GreenWin

      Well done Omega. Yes, many institutional scientists and politicians know this is a physicist welfare program. But why do we put good minds to work on a hopeless technology? Because it does not threaten the oil cartels. That is going to change. Soon.

    • freethinker

      They are the primary opponents on the scientific arena. Down in the dirt it must still be big oil that constitutes the primary opponent. Those two together constitutes a formidable foe, with almost limitless resources, cleuth, and very deep insight into any scientific argument made, able to spin it anyway the like. It does not take excessive imagination to realize that putting lenr as no.1 energy source in our society will be one tough battle.

      • Omega Z


        I have to disagree. By the time LENR becomes fully integrated into society the Oil companies would have already been seeing dwindling profits. Due to dwindling supplies & prices so high that few would buy it. By that time without LENR, Wind & solar would actually be considered cheap. The Only exception would be NG.

        The Oil companies know this. Which is why it appears the Oil companies are actually involved in there own LENR research. Most of the Big Boys have already been connected to LENR.

        In the end, all they have to do is buy in. Just as the Big boys bought into Facebook before it went public. OK, Bad Example. Most of them didn’t do as well as they had hoped. But you get my point.

        They can get in long before the public can As Private investors. Corporations don’t care so much about what they sell as long as they make a profit. In fact many have their own products & not a single manufacture or production plant. It’s all farmed out.

    • Peter_Roe

      The irony of the present denial situation among physicists is that studying the ‘cold fusion’ phenomenon(a) might well lead to understandings that could facilitate some kind of hot fusion – if anyone still wanted it!

  • georgehants

    From THe Scientist.
    October 2012
    Science and Democracy
    Researchers and conscientious citizens must unite against the partisan rancor in American politics and restore the role of scientific information in policymaking.
    Scientists are used to debating with one another about the finer points of new research. But increasingly, they find themselves battling their televisions and computer screens, which transmit ever-more-heated rhetoric from politicians, pundits, and other public figures who misinterpret, misrepresent, and malign scientific results.
    This rising tide of spin is the most visible outcome of the growing and troubling disconnect between scientists and much of the rest of society.
    That disconnect has its roots in the growing power of ideological extremes across the US political system. Congress is as polarized now as it was in the days of Reconstruction, and even elected officials at the state and local levels have come down with hyperpartisan fever. Our fractured media landscape makes it easier for politicians to speak directly to their most fervent supporters while ignoring the great majority of Americans, who want sound decision making and compromise rather than rancor.
    It’s easy to bemoan this sorry state of affairs. Many of us are content to pretend this is somebody else’s problem. But that is a mistake. If scientists and conscientious citizens disengage, these problems will only get worse.

    • georgehants

      From The Guardian.
      Pharmaceuticals industry
      The drugs don’t work: a modern medical scandal
      The doctors prescribing the drugs don’t know they don’t do what they’re meant to. Nor do their patients. The manufacturers know full well, but they’re not telling.

      • Peter_Roe

        Oh no, they’re onto us! Quick – pass the smoke grenades!

  • barty

    Haiko Lietz, an author of the german magazine “telopolis”, has published a new report about the events of the last half year!


    “Heise” is one of the biggest and famous german publisher’s of computer and science magazines with a very well visited online news platform.
    In great britan “heise” is known als “the-h”: http://www.h-online.com/

    • Peter_Roe

      The article seems to have been prompted by Adolf and Inge Schneider and Gerd Neumann (German distributors group), the latter being quoted. Very useful free publicity for them. Leitz seems to have accepted the story pretty much as it must have been presented, presumably by the licencees. Either the Editor was on holiday, or the writ of the US PTB is rather feeble in Germany.

  • georgehants

    From Cold Fusion Now , Ruby Carat
    In June 2012, I went to interview Dr. Melvin Miles on his career investigating cold fusion electrolytic cells as both a Professor and a Navy researcher, now retired.
    I didn’t know I’d get two interviews that day.
    We met in the office of Dr. Iraj Parchamazad, Chairman of the Chemistry Department at the University of LaVerne, in LaVerne, California, who is also studying low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) using an unusual environment on the nano-scale: zeolites.
    I was prepared for Dr. Miles‘ interview, and made two movies about him; one, discussing the early years of cold fusion and Why Cold Fusion Was Rejected and two, Dr. Miles talking about how his cell is put together and showing his calorimeter that measures highly-accurate temperature changes in How to Make a Calorimeter, both of which you can view here.
    But, I wasn’t prepared for the discussion on how zeolite crystals host tiny particles of palladium in their unusual geometry, and make anomalous heat when exposed to deuterium gas.
    Well, after over five hours of discussion, I knew a whole lot more about this new style of room-temperature, gas-loaded, zero input energy heat production from an expert in that particular application.
    In this video, you too can see how LENR research is conducted in one U.S. university lab, complete with all the financial struggles that have characterized the study of new energy for two decades, and learn how scientists are finding new ways to generate useful heat energy that reveals yet another path to ultra-clean, energy-dense, and abundant power for the world.