Another Forbes Article of Cold Fusion

Forbes columnist Mark Gibbs has followed up his October 20th article about the recent Defkalion GT reports with a new article entitled ‘Cold Fusion a Year Later’. It’s a year now since Andrea Rossi carried out his semi-public test on the 1 MW plant in Bologna, and in this column Gibbs discusses how after, a year on, he still is not convinced that cold fusion is going to be able to be a practical energy source.

In the piece Gibbs references an article by Kirk L. Shanahan of the Savannah River National Laboratory, titled “A Realistic Examination of Cold Fusion Claims 24 Years Later which is an in-depth critical review of the evidence for and against CF.

Gibbs, like many, is still not convinced, but he is one of very few journalists from well-known media outlets who is taking an active look at the topic, and not dismissing it out of hand. I am sure that he will continue to follow developments and report as progress takes place. While I am more positive and optimistic about the prospects for CF/LENR/E-Cat (etc.) than Gibbs seems to be, I’m glad he is reporting and helping to give this important technological field the attention it deserves.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Oh, stop it. Energetic particles emanate from Francesco Piantelli’s nickel rods when they’re placed in a cloud chamber. Is that a chemical reaction? LENR is far more reproducible than transistor manufacturing was in its infancy.
    Deuterium was first discovered by Harold Urey in 1931. So, it was light hydrogen (not heavy hydrogen) and palladium that they were working with in the 1920s.

    • Jim


      While I appreciate concerns about the proof of “LENR on steroids”, I tend to take the view that if we can squeeze a transistor from the size of a pencil eraser to something you can’t see with the naked eye, I’m pretty comfortable that *because* Celani and others have demonstrated that there is a real LENR energy release with positive COP, it can be harvested up to commercial scales.

      What was the efficiency of the original solar cell? How much improvement has occurred? Who first envisioned making gasoline-like fuels using algae? What was their original efficiency?

      People LIKE energy, and will withhold no ingenuity in attempting to capture and utilize it.

  • While such mainstram media as Forbes and others have reported
    on DGT the Canadian media has been completely silent.

    The local media influenced by the politics of tar sands for
    which they feed a steady diet of how the future looks in
    their own image.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Instead of diesel powered fans, perhaps Rossi should have employed a geisha with a fan to disperse the half megawatt of heat.

  • GreenWin

    A little background on Kirk L. Shanahan: a software programmer for Westinghouse Savannah River Company since at least 1989 (when cold fusion introduced.) Westinghouse Savannah River Company (WSRC) WSRC is a consortium of four major companies: Westinghouse, Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel, and BNFL.

    Shanahan is heavily invested in DOE weapons programs at WSRC, and a big supporter of laser driven inertial confinement theory of fusion – like the NIF. The failure of inertial confinement and success of cold fusion experiments has unleashed a torrent of Josh Cude/yugo/popeye diatribes.

    Shanahan is something of a ghost as there is little or no background for him outside his employment by the Westinghouse nuclear weapons programs.

    • Methusela

      The first time Krivit has done something useful, an I can’t post a link to it! :/

      Responsibility of Scientific Skepticism
      Critical and honest scientific skepticism is essential to the scientific method and to the advancement of scientific progress. Pathological skepticism, however, is used to suppress and discredit competitive ideas, be they ideological, technological or scientific.
      In his comments, Shanahan employs a three-pronged attack. He chooses to ignore the preponderance of reliable scientific evidence for nuclear effects in LENR that has accumulated in the past 21 years. He applies highly selective criteria to cherry-pick certain experimental data with potential deficiencies which are vulnerable to attack. He uses these as distractions to cast doubt on the entire large body3,4,5 of credible LENR data that lies outside the very limited subset on which he focuses his narrow lens.
      Science asks but does not require its participants to accept or reject claims; the choice of accepting or rejecting reported results, given accurate information and meaningful analysis, is personal to each individual. Similarly, demand for proof or claim of proof is not a scientific requirement for either skeptic or claimant. Every participant in science has a personal responsibility to directly examine reported claims and data and come to his/her own independent conclusions about its truth and utility.
      Our review of LENR was intended to provide readers with a much-needed update to the field. Thus, this response to Shanahan will make no attempt to argue any absolute proof or disproof of LENR claims. That important judgment is the responsibility, as always, of readers.

  • Roger Bird

    I sort of agree with Mark Gibbs. I think that Celani and many others have demonstrated that LENR is real. But LENR-on-steroid is still at 65% certainty for me, and LENR as a commercial product is certainly uncertain.

    • Celani have proven high density (especially if you know that it is a surface effect), which make E-cat and Defkalion claims easy to accept.

      If LENr is real, and no boubt it is, why should have any difficulties to accept it works…
      Are you the same when someone claim a thermo electric generator, and photovoltaic cell, a chemical reactor…

      There is a pathologic reasoning aroud LENR. People refuse to use logic because the consequence are so inconvenient.

      • Roger Bird

        Please, Alain, I know that current Rossi level performance will happen sometime, hopefully in the next 5 years, but he has speeding ahead of everyone else and he has not demonstrated it for over a years, with lots of talk and promises. It is the unfulfilled promises and hot air that makes me skeptical that he is moving so fast.

  • Babble

    Logically, there is nothing to be gained by most people by being pro LENR. If it is a real, high COP energy source, it is devastating to many vested interests. If it turns out to flop, being positive about it is also devastating. Other than a blog and some neutral or negative articles, there is no reason to expect positive reviews. We must wait for the proof to get out (assuming it is there).

    • Alan DeAngelis

      The mainstream media and the marbled institutions have to portray Fleishmann and Pons as Bevis and Butthead type characters or else they would have to admit that they set back the progress of LENR for nearly a quarter of a century.

  • zvibenyosef

    There is now more than enough evidence for the anomalous heat effect first reported by Pons and Fleischamnn in their historic ill fated press conference.
    Since that press conference in 1989 there have tremendous advances in the fields of nanotechnology and materials science. I am convinced if we would devote even a fraction of the money which is now being wasted on hot fusion, we would have a viable energy alternative in short order, maybe 3 to 5 years.
    Meanwhile solitary but passionate researchers soldier on trying to build an entirely new energy technology in the face of unremitting opposition from the established hot fusion science community, and the captains of the energy industry.
    I firmly believe Rossi is on to something, however the recent pullout of a group of Swedish Investors, after a failed test shows he is having problems with controlling the reaction in a way which would make it a viable energy source. I am convinced these obstacles could be overcome with more research. The other players Defkalion, Celani and Mike McKubre though not reporting results as impressive as Rossi, all reliably demonstrate a COP above 3 with their respective devices. So far no hot fusion experiment has been able to demonstrate a COP greater then 1.

  • Thomas W. Blasingame

    As a designer of steam-electric locomotives, we are always interested in
    new and different means of steam generation. A 4500 HP (3.2 MW) locomotive or rail mobile electric generating plant would be an ideal
    place to test and tweak a small steam generating device of this type.
    We would be happy to work with anyone that would like to provide the
    necessary information as to size and operating characteristics to allow
    us to prepare preliminary layouts of such an application. A 1 MW device
    would be applicable for use with our rotary steam-expander engines also.

  • jacob

    Mark Gibbs is getting paid by Forbes,he has to be careful about publishing his opinions ,his personal view could differ from his printed version to keep his job.