US Dept of Energy Provides $150 million in Funding for Small Nuclear Reactors

William Pentland of Forbes is reporting that the US Departmennt of Energy has signed an agreement with Babcock and Wilcox for around $150 million in funding for the development of B & W’s modular small nuclear reactors run by its mPower subsidiary that provide about 180 MW of electical generation that can run for four years without refueling.

National Geographic reported this month that the Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest public utility in the United States has partnered with Babcock and Wilcox to provide small modular plants to provide the first plant of its kind in the world.

National Geographic states:

SMRs have added safety features that would keep water circulating through a reactor core in the event of power loss, preventing a nuclear meltdown for weeks.

And there are other protections. The two reactors planned at the Clinch River site will be buried underground with a protective slab of concrete on top. This would make them safe from something like an airplane impact, Mowry says.

Others in the industry say SMRs will also be easier to maintain than existing nuclear plants.

Of course any nuclear fission plants, however much new models are improved over older ones, are going to have to deal with radioactive fuels and waste, and require expensive systems to maintain safety.

This news makes me wonder if there would there be any reason for the DOE or Babcock and Wilcox, for that matter, to be investing so much in conventional nuclear plants if they were aware and convinced of the utility and reality of LENR. Andrea Rossi still maintains that all energy sources will be integrated even when his technology is on the market. Will there still be a place for fission if cold fusion/LENR comes online?

  • Hampus

    Great idea! more fission reactors. Why waste money on that dangerous stuff when we got LENR?? the US department if energy most know about LENR, they most have visited NASAs lab and seen it worked.

    To even think that this will be a good idea is insane. Humans make mistakes, just look at what happened in Fukushima. They made a mistake, when the batteries and the generator did not kick in they forgot to manually turn on the cooling system. Thats what humans do, they do mistakes when they are pressured.

    Just think what could happen if we had thousands of small fission plants shattered all over the world, plants that have even less security then todays huge nuclear complexes. think how easy it would be for a terrorist group to infiltrate one of these and start a meltdown.

    • Kim

      The moral compass of man is money.

      You get what you pay for.


    • Iggy Dalrymple

      I’m sure LENR will replace nukes, natgas, hydro, wind, solar, coal, and geothermal…..but 1st it must be demonstrated that it can economically produce electricity. Rossi said today, “Eventually”.

  • fortyniner

    Anyone who is fretting because they are currently many miles from a nuclear reactor can now rest easy in the knowledge that they’ll soon be right on top of one, wherever they live. Not only that but every country road will be filled with high level radioactive waste trucks covering thousands of miles with their deadly cargo.

    Never underestimate the nuclear lobby and it’s ‘influence’ on politicians. The race is now on to secure as many stitched-up contracts as possible for their lethal junk, before the news of LENR hits the world in general and the floor falls out from under fission.

  • Veblin

    Preventing a nuclear meltdown for weeks. What could be better than that?

    • Fibb


  • Roger Bird

    I doubt that this step has anything to do with LENR becoming a competitive threat. If anything, I see it as a mistake or lack of communication. One part of the human race doesn’t know what another part of the human race knows.

    There are ways to deal with nuclear waste; there is a TED talk devoted to it. According to the presenters calculations, current fission waste could power the world using their technique for the next 70 years. Fission waste still has a lot of energy in it. I heard that Bill Gates is looking into it. I sure hope so. It is really a very simple design that even I could have come up with. But there is something about simple designs that only geniuses can see.

    • fortyniner
      • GreenWin

        Interesting. It seems Stone is correct in as much as the TerraPower Traveling Wave Reactor burns most all spent fuels – supposedly to elimination of all radioactivity.

        So much useful knowledge has been monopolized under phony claims of security. State security is appropriate in its place – not to benefit a few, well placed private companies who operate technological monopolies.

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          Greenwin, you don’t think the “big boys” are suppressing Bill Gates, do you?

    • freethinker


      this is pure crazy.

      With a very distributed production of energy based on nuclear fission, the risk is increased enormously that radioactive rest products (I assume there would be, unless the devices somehow land on some stable, non toxic, isotope) would be intercepted by malicious individuals.

      Even if it were to be securely handled – nothing stolen – there is still the handling of the waste material, presumably storage of radioactive isotopes with half lives in the ranges 0-100,000 years. Back to square one.

      Ofcourse everything nowadays can be made “so much better” due to the technical evolution. Well, true, but it does not diminish the risk of nuclear disasters. A single point failure would now be spread out over a large area, with an increased risk of accident.

      No. 😀

      It is amazing how anybody may even suggest this avenue (unless it is only money speaking) when there are other options, some – until recently – not even possible to file patents on or even get a grant to do research on.

      “Anyone who is fretting because they are currently many miles from a nuclear reactor can now rest easy in the knowledge that they’ll soon be right on top of one”

      I have been close to one. I do not want one on my doorstep. Not when LENR is about to go big. 😀

      • Iggy Dalrymple

        LENR will be a great leap forward from nuclear power, but nuclear power has the safest record of all forms of energy. Oil, wind, solar, and hydro all produce more human fatalities per unit of energy produced than nuclear. The perceived dangers of nuclear are totally manufactured in Hollywood.

        90% of the press has focused on the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, while 10% was focused on the 20,000 plus killed by the tsunami. Not one person died from the nuclear accident and none are predicted (except by conspiracists and fear-mongers).

        • daniel maris

          I very much doubt wind and solar produce more deaths than nuclear? What are you including/excluding? If you are including things like people falling off turbines, then you have to include such deaths at nuclear power stations.

          • Roger Bird

            I kind of tripped over that one also.

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            That would be roof top solar. Installers fall and also get electrocuted. All the great hydro-dams have dead workers entombed in the concrete. Eventually all dams will fail, unless they’re dismantled 1st. When they fail, sometimes thousands die downstream. Windmills are a lot higher than roof-top solar, guaranteeing that workers will die. Windmills are hazardous to aviation, wild fowl, and balloonists. Have you met gigantic windmill blades on the highway?

            Of course no source of energy will be 100% safe. If LENR ever produces electric power, there’s a good chance it’ll involve steam. Steam boiler explosions have killed many times more people than all the nukes in history (including Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The father of my mother’s best friend died in a boiler explosion.

            Conventional energy deaths don’t capture the public’s imagination(no Hitchcock music).

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            How Deadly Is Your Kilowatt?
            Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)

            Coal – global average 170,000 (50% global electricity)

            Coal – China 280,000 (75% China’s electricity)

            Coal – U.S. 15,000 (44% U.S. electricity)

            Oil 36,000 (36% of energy, 8% of electricity)

            Natural Gas 4,000 (20% global electricity)

            Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)

            Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)

            Wind 150 (~ 1% global electricity)

            Hydro – global average 1,400 (15% global electricity)

            Nuclear – global average 90 (17% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)

          • Omega Z


            Hydro dams-Entombed in cocrete is a myth.

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            In 1957 I briefly worked on the construction of the Barnhart Island Power Plant on the St Lawrence Seaway, at the time the world’s largest hydro power-plant. During the 5 days that I worked, 3 men died in 3 separate accidents.

            I’m too young to have worked on Hoover Dam or Grand Coolie.

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            Over 100 workers died during the construction of 3 Gorges Dam.

            149 workers died building Itaipú Dam, plus 80 gawkers died trying to get a last glimpse of the natural falls when an overcrowded bridge collapsed.

          • AlainCo

            “Conventional energy deaths don’t capture the public’s imagination(no Hitchcock music).”

            real risk are ignored… only anecdotical death are of interest.

            Patrick Edlinger (top climber) died … falling in the stairs…

            BTW problem with alcohol may be the real cause. people could save millions of death by reducing alcoholism and alcohol at work/road.
            All public fear about health and accidents are mostly anecdotal.
            Even car accident, yet noticeable, are not the worst cause… home is more dangerous.

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            Texting while walking or driving kills far more people than nukes.

            Communism has the record for killing the most people but “The Religion of Peace” is rapidly closing the gap.

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            Weekly Jihad Report
            Jun 08 – Jun 14
            Jihad Attacks:

            Allahu Akbars*:

            Dead Bodies:

            Critically Injured:
            21,085 killed since 9/11/01

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            So, daniel, you think that statisticians count deaths from falling off windmills but don’t count deaths from falling off nuke plants?

        • Robyn Wyrick

          But Iggy, to be fair, we know of two important reasons we have not seen deaths directly attributed to Fukishima:

          1 – radiation damage is cumulative over time, and so the number of cancer deaths that can be attributed to any one cause with certainty is very low. We may learn, in fifteen or twenty years, that the rate of cancer is greater by x or y percent, but it wouldn’t be apparent quickly.

          2 – The danger zone around Fukishima has been evacuated. Upwards of 200,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and businesses. It could be centuries before those areas are habitable again.

          But more to the point: perceived dangers of nuclear are hardly manufactured. Radioactive, nuclear waste is a major, and long lasting threat. It requires enormous resources to keep safe. The few reported calamities are a direct result of the fact that some people know how dangerous it is, and put enormous resources around it.

          I think all energy generation has its risks and down sides, but it is not fair or accurate to dismiss those risks of nuclear fission based solely on the body count.

          • Roger Bird

            Excellent presentation, Robin.

            Let us look at Chernobyl. The short story is that it is not pretty, but not the end of the world as many hysterians would have us believe. The animals that inhabit the immediate area are not drooling zombie-mutants. They look completely normal. But, there has been a large increase in thyroid cancers in the area of 1000 miles radius, etc.

            The radioactivity in Fukashima is being dispersed in the ocean, which does a good job of dispersing. The radioactivity came from the Earth to begin with, so if it is not deadly before it is mined, how can it be deadly when it is well-dispersed?

            But fortunately this is an academic and moot issue, isn’t it?

  • Shane D.

    Nuclear waste?… well the more the better for Global Energy Corporations (GEC) LENR based, SPAWAR developed, “GeNie reactor” to use as fuel:

    16 months ago GEC made a big splash with their presentation to power Guams energy needs with their genie:

    Guess the whole thing never went through. Anyone know the rest of the story?

    I know last fall they re-did their website. Real slick, then it went “under contruction” shortly thereafter and stayed that way since.

    How does such a well grounded company, with such powerful connections just seem to disappear after making such a startling bid like that?

    • fortyniner

      ‘National security’? As you say, its very strange that this company seems to have gone so quiet. They also appear to have removed any detailed references to their core technology – a microwave-driven neutron-producing ‘cold fusion’ reactor.

      The ‘news’ page contains quite a few good cold fusion links.

  • hempenearth

    So I guess there are some mad insurance companies willing to insure these things……right, thats what the failed bankers are doing.

    • Mop

      Isn’t it always on the government to act as a guarantor and pay in the worst case? I don’t think there’s an insurance company offering a deal for a good enough price to make nuclear power plants a worthwhile investment, so no nuclear power plant is insured for the worst case. For Fukushima, the power company and government are intertwined and paying together to relocate the people and whatever compensation for their lost property they get.

      • hempenearth

        Thanks Mop, only one tiny research reactor up here in Oz. The public don’t want to bear the risk.

        • Roger Bird

          And where would Oz be? If you are referring to Australia, that would be “down here in Oz”.

          • hempenearth

            Depends on your persepective Roger, yes Australia

          • Jim

            “Depends on your persepective”

            Words to live by…

  • captain

    Can the Black knight on his White horse refuse an offer coming from the govt? Absolutely not, he he he!
    It’s only a matter of time, cause next step will see B&W offering e-cat energy to the govt! Or not? He he he.

  • AB

    Off topic. A paper which I found interesting because it challenges some widely held beliefs about GMO crops.

    These results suggest that yield benefits (or limitations) over time are due to breeding and not GM, as reported by others (Gurian-Sherman 2009), because W. Europe has benefitted from the same, or marginally greater, yield increases without GM.

    Despite the claims that GM might be needed to feed the world, we found no yield benefit when the United States was compared to W. Europe, other economically developed countries of the same latitude which do not grow GM crops.

    The short-term reduction in insecticide use reported in the period of Bt crop adoption appears to have been part of a trend enjoyed also in countries not adopting GM crops (Figure 3). Thus, reductions attributed to GM crops (Fedoroff 2012) are in question.

    GM crops have maintained or increased US pesticide use relative to equally advanced competitors.

    The choice of GM-biotechnology packages in the US agroecosystem has been the stark contrast with W. European patterns of biotechnology use. Notwithstanding claims to the contrary (e.g. Derbyshire 2011), there is no evidence that GM biotechnology is superior to other biotechnologies

    The paper also makes the argument that GMO leads to low genetic diversity of crops, thereby amplifying the magnitude of eventual crop epidemics.

    • BillyGiuseppe Rosencrantz

      I don’t trust new-age religionists such as tree-huggers, GMO haters, and global warmists. They lie and call anyone that doesn’t agree ugly names. They will burn down your business. They will conspire to have you fired from your job. They’ll hack your computer. They’ll try to ruin your life. They are overly emotional and hang on every new spooky prediction. NewAge religionists are a collective mob and their mobster leaders are masters at mob psychology.

      NewAge religionists are are manipulated and herded by their gurus.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the NewAge religionists sicced on LENR.

      • Barry

        Not to mention how paranoid they are.

      • Roger Bird

        I thought the science on GMOs being bad was quite good. (pro) GMO theory is based upon old science, which was that one gene made one protein. New developments in genetics around 2004 have up-ended that idea; many genes make many proteins. Given that wrongness, I think that GMO science is flawed. There are a lot of studies showing that GMO products are dangerous and nutrient deficient. One study showed that there was no increase in productivity. Just because your enemy is against something does not necessarily make it good.

        As far as the other two items that you mentioned, I love trees, and the best way to make more trees is to fertilize them with more CO2. (:->)

        • Omega Z

          My concern of GMO is when going outside the plants own Genetic material. Otherwise, it’s mostly a fast track of cross polination technics that’s been used forever.

          Note that plants go through their own GM process all by themselves.

          • Roger Bird

            Not quite. I don’t fully understand it, but it goes something like this. With natural genetic modification, the changes take place at the ends of the genes or the ends of the chromosomes or something like that. With artificial genetic modification, the change can take place anywhere in the gene or chromosome. Sorry I don’t understand that part very well.

            The other thing is that that darling Monsanto (sarcasm) genetically modified some grain genes to contain or create (don’t know which) a pesticide called Round-Up. That is my understanding. So every time that you eat that grain you eat a deliberately placed pesticide. I don’t think that that will qualify as organic. (deliberate under statement)

            There should always be the good sense to compare what you are eating with the Theory of Evolution. And this should be done thoughtfully, and not like following some cartoon of how things were 12,000 years ago. Otherwise we get into these absurdly unnatural and dangerous areas.

          • like on LENR there are huge lies around GMO.
            Monsanto GM don’t produce glyphosate, but resist to glyphosate. Commercially it is like selling printers for cheap and selling patented ink cartridge.

            about natural and artificial GM, there are huge lies.
            the main difference is that Human GM are controlled, and natural one have no allowance.

            the worst is selected crops, since you have no control on what is inserted (randomly) by evolution.

            anyway experience is that any species may be annoyance, whatever it is, and the more there is species, the better it is since the ecosystem is more resilient.

            today the only health risk is caused by organic food, for century old known reasons (e-coli, datura, LSD, botulism), and for more recent denied reason : plants produce phytosanitary products when not protected by humans, not outside but inside- 1000x more inside than what stay at the surface.

            the problem is that monsanto have a justified bad image, and that NGO have unjustified good image, while they lie much more. they are the new inquisition.

            LENR like GMO risk to be burned by witch hunters.

          • Omega Z


            Right ball park. Wrong product.

            Round up is a herbicide. Applied by wick applicator. A meer touch to a weed kills it.

            Corn naturally produces a pesticide. It was slightly enhanced decades ago through selective breeding/Cross pollinating. But was still lacking.

            The GMO: I don’t recall whether they enhanced the expression of that gene or added genetic material from another species to enhance that ability.

            It’s when you go outside the existing species that risks increase exponentially. You may unknowingly add some unknowns with drastic consequences.
            At this point you need extreme oversight which is where I become concerned. It may effect other crops as well.

            One additional note: This is primarily Livestock feed. Not meant for human consumption. A different type of corn is grown for human consumption. The Risk is Human consumable crops could inadvertently be cross pollinated with this feed stock. Once out of the Lab, containment becomes hap hazardous.

            Two diffrent types of corn planted side by side & a good wind=???

          • Roger Bird

            Omega Z, I am OK with make a hard and mandatory prison time rule “no GMOing with gene bits from outside of the species”.

            And feeding an animal food that is not natural to them produces gravely inferior meat and milk. And I do mean “gravely”.

    • Sandy

      We will soon be able to build millions of greenhouses heated by E-Cats. So there will be no need for genetically modified crops that are resistant to glyphosate-based herbicides. This is a very good thing because this is what genetically modified crops do to your guts…

      Viewer discretion advised!

      • Omega Z


        Such answers are not so simple.
        Greenhosue crops carry their own difficulties @ problems. Nutritional deficiencies Etc.
        As does desalinization.

        Simple answer are usually quite complex @ need much considration before we impliment them.

        If we’re not careful we just change one problem for new ones. Maybe worse then before.

        Even LENR wil create it’s own problems to be delt with.
        One would be quite niave to think otherwise.

      • AlainCo

        the pig experiment is a bigger version of the mouse Seralini fraud.
        They used bad statistics to justify their claims.
        By the way like Seralini they badly treat their animal and clearly have no respect for their pain. This experiment is a shame, about statistics and animal respect.

        Nature have done GMO (exploiting virus) since long, and Wheat, Corn is such a result…

        Glyphosate resistance was a monopoly problem, but it seems the patent is expiring, so soon Monsanto will have to say glyphosate is bad, so they can sell new release.
        Corps no more fights the green, they exploit them.

        GMO are not fantastic, yet sometime useful, nor neither are they awful. Not much difference from any species.
        One species over 1000 will became a problem for farming, whether it is natural, selected, mutated, GMO, foreign, medieval, … no way to predict it, no specific method to blame, just bad luck and novelty are enough.
        GMO are better tested than organic, this mean that factually they have killed nobody, unlike the organic food that have killed nearly a hundred people, and will kill more when the kidney failure cannot be compensated by medicine.
        Currently in france, after the organic e-coli tragedy, we have a rampant Datura (hallucinatory parasite in wheat) epidemic.
        There is also an epidemic of anemia linked to vegetarian practices.
        Organic celery harvester suffer from alergias because of the huge increase of furanocoumarins (family of psoralen, cancerigen) production because of insects aggressions that trigger natural insecticides. (I notice that Wikipedia talk of healing capacities of Celery, but not of the proven health risk… once again lobbies on Wikipedia manipulate the truth).

        sorry to break your illusion, but like on LENR , we are manipulated by media and lobbies, while the data are public.

        no conspiracy (no secret), but clear manipulation.

        all is public, all is public.

  • Andrew Macleod

    Could a 1MW ECat be considered a small modular nuclear reactor?

  • GreenWin

    This looks to me like B&W and partners TVA, Bechtel, and others desperately putting a happy face on their dying industry. The Arxiv E-CAT HT report is out and has rattled their cages. Closer reading of Pentland’s article reveals;

    “B&W signed a contract with TVA to build up to four units at Clinch River, with design certification and construction permit application to be submitted to NRC in 2015.”

    The big monkey wrench is the U.S. Circuit Court has issued a moratorium on all new fission plant permits:

    “U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit dated Jun. 8, 2012 which stated that the way that the NRC deals with nuclear waste issues in its review process for new or existing nuclear power plants is unacceptable.”

    Even these SMRs produce large amounts of radioactive waste. And with the Court’s ban on issuing any new permits – this announcement is pure BLUSTER. A game face stapled to a befuddled head called “fission energy.”

    This is all arriving on the heels of large cuts in personnel at federal laboratories and to all U.S. hot fusion programs. DOE, B&W and partner the giant, Bechtel will fight to keep their global fission business. But the inevitable cannot be avoided – LENR is coming, and the sooner they get on board with it, the easier their survival will be.

    The one upside here; DOE is now accepting of the distributed and district concept of energy production. This is the very model that LENR will use in building district plants for medical centers, hospitals and educational facilities.

    • Kim

      Great perspective.
      Insightful and current.


    • Joe Shea

      The greater question is why the DOE didn’t do this for LENR, instead of nuclear stuff that will always present a danger to people living within a hundred miles. B&W and Bechtel between them have all kinds of former high-ranking officials who still have tremendous influence on deals like this one. If you can’t get them out of the way, it’s going to be hard to get LENR the recognition it needs and deserves.

      • Roger Bird

        They didn’t do it for LENR because either they haven’t heard of LENR yet or they don’t believe LENR yet. If someone in the DOE has heard about LENR, he or she may not yet believe in LENR yet. If someone in the DOE believes in LENR, then telling the next DOE employee may be detrimental to their career and so they haven’t mentioned it yet. If it is not detrimental to their career, they may have mentioned it. But mentioning it does not mean that the next employee will believe it. And so on. The DOE is made up of human being all of whom have to go through the same convincing process as the rest of us. Words on a screen (the May 3rd Party Report) won’t be as convincing as units being sold at Home Depot or headlines about Sweden going LENR or the USA Partner coming out and announcing that they are powering a 100 Mw electrical generator with LENR.

        • Ben

          Or, another reason the DoE didn’t support LENR reactors is that probably a lot of people who work there are former industry people who stick with what they know, and do what they can to provide money and permits to the people they still know in their former industries.

        • Vangelis

          DoD knows even before 2009 so do DoE!!
          Here’s an unclassified defense Analysis Report on LENR from the DIA:

          • Roger Bird

            Wow! Very impressive. More than 3 less than 4 years ago.

          • GreenWin

            Thanks Vangelis, love your music. This is the report kirvit gets all wet-eyed about.

    • Pedro

      Let’s assume Babcock is the Rossi partner and the DOE is looking for the development of small nuclear reactors and is putting up 765M$ over a period of 5 years… do you think B&W would not want to be part of that EVEN if they are also working on LENR? These large companies are no one-trick ponies… they have a lot of different developments going on in parallel. They got awarded 150M$ as an initial funding, are claiming they should get 226M$ and expect 765M$ funding over a period of 5 years. (See their SEC-filing from april 15, 2013).

  • Barry

    The winning presenter at the Future Energy event at MIT was a nuclear group presenting small nuclear (fission) reactors. A couple of points to ponder.

    They use low enriched nuclear fuel rather than highly enriched. Low enriched uranium cannot be made into nuclear bombs (so they told me).

    The only practical application was for the military so they could set up in a foreign country an be self sufficient. The group at MIT was definitely targeting the idea for military application.

    The impracticality in powering our neighborhoods is it is less expensive to run a diesel generator, safer too. I wonder if the funding is because it is of military interest.

  • buffalo

    hey listen,dont get me wrong but enriched uranium is an enormously energy-dense material and will stick around for some time.uranium ore is now lets talk about a comparison between cost/benefit ratio on enriched uranium or thorium versus cost/benefit of Ni-H2 anomalous heat because therein lies the key to successful implementation of the latter.(lets exclude the quotia of nuke reactors that the government must have for plutonium synthesis).

  • Roger Bird

    Here is the future (hopefully) of nuclear energy, assuming that LENR doesn’t work.

    If PEOPLE will decide to do this, a lot of problems will be solved. But the problem, as is almost ALWAYS the case, is PEOPLE.

    But LENR seems increasingly likely, so this technology of WAMSR would be used mostly for getting rid of nuclear waste.

  • Roger Bird

    Responding to Iggy’s Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr):

    Notice that China’s rate is 18.67 times higher than the USA. And you thought that the USA was evil. (Don’t bother adjusting for a difference in population. The rate is based upon energy produced, not population.) This means that an infinitely precious coal miner in China is 18.67 times more likely to DIE while trying to support his family than is an infinitely precious coal miner in the USA. I guess the Worker’s Paradise is more like a purgatory.

  • Robyn Wyrick

    Admin, you say “if they were aware and convinced of the utility and reality of LENR”.

    I honestly don’t think the awareness part is an “if”.

    I think even mainstream reviewers are aware; note Al Gore’s comments about “very interesting” things happening with Cold Fusion. If he knows about it, everyone with any influence in the energy industry knows about it.

    Now, whether they’re convinced of the utility of LENR, that is an if, but I think they’re just as worried about the flood of cheap oil from the tar sands, the rush of natural gas from fracking, the outrageous advances in materials sciences that are producing groundbreaking advances in solar and battery technologies, and on and on.

    I think, with Wired, Forbes, and others reporting on the E-Cat, and with positive reports coming from Toyota, Shell, NASA, NI, DARPA, and the like, I think it is beyond credulity to imagine that energy strategists aren’t looking over their shoulders at Rossi.

    • Roger Bird

      Didn’t Al Gore just make that comment a week or so ago. If so, energy strategists probably just heard about it yesterday, because I doubt if they watched Al’s video. So, then they decide to look further into on Monday. Then they read the Forbes articles. Then they ask their nuclear physicist friends, and the nuclear physicist tells them “don’t worry about it, it is all bunk.” End of convincing. But the impression is still in their heads, so the next time they hear about it, they say, “Hmmm, perhaps my nuclear physicist friend is mistaken.” Conviction take a long time, just as it did with us. It took me 19 months, at least with the E-Cat. But this conviction time span is sure to shorten as more convincing evidence manifests.

    • AlainCo

      Working near finance during the Securitization launch, I am afraid that once a truth have been settled, and all dissenters covered with mud, even objective evidence of LENr reality (for a businessman, the behavior of NI, EPRI,Toyota, is more important than a report) cannot be accepted.

      In corporate organizations, information is gathered and filtered by subordinates and brought up to the top managers who give it to the boss.
      No subordinate will dare to create a chapter on cold fusion in a report…

      I imagine that Truchard himself have been clear to Concezzi that LENR was an option, since long. So Concezzi dare to work on it.

      that problem is the key of group delusion. Truth have to be accepted publicly by the boss, before information can reach him.

      Fish get rotten by the head.

      • Roger Bird

        You make a lot of sense, Froggie, even for someone who can’t speak English worth a dang. (:->)

  • Karl

    Slightly off topic but it certainly relates to how in particular Governments let them be led by main stream science and media and continue to mishandle and misuse the discoveries of anomaly energy effect by bury heads in the sand. In the meantime there is a continuous discussion of investment in dirty energy solutions in spite of recent Fukusima such as pointed out here.

    I think the co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak have a very important and strong point when he point out the duty of the elected representatives in this case about E. Snowden:

    “Speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN he said he was not the kind of person to “just take sides in the world – ‘I’m always against anything government, any three letter agency,’ or ‘I’m for them’.”
    But he added: “Read the facts: it’s government of, by and for the people. We own the government; we are the ones who pay for it and then we discover something that our money is being used for – that just can’t be, that level of crime.””

  • Omega Z

    Found on JONP

    renatoestri June 20th, 2013 at 10:53 AM
    Dear Andrea,
    the MSNBC Class TV program of June,13 titled “ECAT – The future energy ? – Cold fusion landed in Sweden”, for those interested who don’t understand italian, is now available in version with english subtitles at this link:

    • David


    • Roger Bird

      I suppose it doesn’t help that Renato Estri looks like one of the bad guys in a Bond movie. (:->) Just kidding, really. It was an excellent overview. And I like the fact that they didn’t bother with skeptics. They didn’t put anyone down, even the patent offices. They just presented the facts in a very informative way. It was a good review even for me. And the interviewer was very good, not at all shallow like American interviewers.

  • Gerrit

    I found an article over at the japanese WIRED posted 2 days ago about the ecat 3rd party validation.

    interesting how slowly this news propagates.

    edit: I just noticed that this is a translation from the italian Wired story.

  • Pedro

    Today I Read an article about the european Court having ruled that people that sell electricity from their solar panels back to the electricity company have to be considered business-owners and therefore they have to handle VAT (sales tax). This means they can reclaim the VAT they paid for the solar panels, but they have to charge VAT on the electricity they sell to the grid (which means they have to hand off 20% of the income to the tax people). If implemented that way, it will be a hudge break on solar, if only for the administrative burden that it would bring.
    Likely, there will be a simplefied process agreed to make sure that the 20% share of the governement is not spilled on tax inspectors.
    This is the beginning of taxing home-brewed energy.

    • Pedro

      (continued from above) I did some more research and found more detailed articles. Appears a Austrian private person wanted to claim that he should be considered a business and would be able to reclaim VAT on the solar panels he bought. The tax people refused and he went to court and won… now all people that generate excess electricity AND sell that back to the grid repeatedly and over a long period, are to be considered businesses. So home use is not taxed, it’s only if you are in the business of selling a lot of overcapacity.
      details (in dutch):

    • Chris I

      I haven’t gone through the details of this but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for solar. Formally it only means they save VAT, though it also establishes a fact which in principle is already so (at least de facto), that the produced power constitutes an extra income. This ought to be taxable, even as rgings currently stand, unless there was some specific exemption.

      The only setback is these people needing to make the choice vetween the cost of a chartered accountant or the risk of running into fines on anu blunder they might make. Many folks are dealing with the same type of accounting for nilling their customers as freelance workers.

    • Felix Fervens

      VAT is a wet blanket on enterprise. They will likely think up a creative application of this, or the kind of proposed tax to be levied on electric vehicles for not using gasoline, to tax LENR.

      Too bad Tony Soprano died. He would so appreciate government mafia “wetting its beak” at every opportunity.

    • Roger Bird

      But Pedro, it is only a tax on energy sold to someone else, i.e. the utility. If I had an E-Cat in my basement and kept the energy only for myself, it would be much harder to detect than even the marijuana houses that we hear about on the news.

    • Chris I

      Felix & Roger:

      Actually, VAT is in the end a tax on consumption and not on enterprise. You need to understand the way it works. When the purchase is made for the purposes of a productive activity, the VAT on it is deductible from whatever they owe for invoices they issue; in effect it works out to 0 for them.

      Consumers are the ones who pay it all.

      Those who consume what they produce escape it in practice, just as they typically don’t declare the income (in kind) but according to the principles of taxation they should in theory. Nobody does, when they grow their own veg garden for their own table, nor for DIY jobs for their own home. Yet in principle they are consuming goods/services, in theory they’ve “sold to themselves” and the tax office could pounce on it.

      For utility clients with a sell-back contract, I would expect VAT to work out in the same billing, automatically, except for what is only on their side of the metre (i. e. when they are consuming at the same time as producing). Tax offices could well demand that two separate metres be used and all tax paid (both VAT and income).

  • Chris I

    That’s nearly US$ 1M dor each MW. comparable to Rossi’s price. Youìd think they could have struck a deal with him, in order to try his thing out, before going for yet more radioactive waste.

  • credo

    1. These type of awards are years in the making. This decision never remotely took into consideration any LENR developments of the last year.

    2. This is a 180MW reactor which can be combined with up to 9 more to create a 1.8GW reactor. This is hundreds to a thousand times bigger than anything Rossi has demonstrated. They are not even in the same league in terms of power generation.

    LENR as we know it is not currently really aimed or suited for a large centralized power generation plant. Its initial form will be a more decentralized local generation model. This model has the potential to be completely disruptive in terms of power generation over the next many decades, but it will be very piecemeal and slow. There are still lots of people using heating oil to heat their homes for heaven’s sake. Further, LENR will never be the one and only game in town even if it turns out to be a major one. Everyone has more than the one coolest tool in their toolbox yes? Industry is a very good place to start.

    LENR due to its smaller local generation scope will probably not really take off until someone can create an integrated product that generates electricity. On the local level other than our winter heating furnace, almost everything needs electricity. That will open up many many doors. Cheap desalination plants which only require heat, would be another big worldwide market.

    If you are waiting for LENR to dominate the world over night or in a week’s time, you will grow old waiting, all the while it will be making slow steady progress.

    • Hurley

      They have a design for these small underground nuc plants but it will take ten years for a combined license. The nuclear Renaissance was crushed by economics with the fall in energy demand the cost to build. I worked at 12 plants.

      For those of us that believe in LENR, we don’t understand why everyone is not jumping on this. To get companiew to spend $1.5 million for 1MW on a new technology is not easy. Ecomnomics will determine how fast it develops.

      • Omega Z

        Aside from being purely [email protected] at this time, Even when proven beyond doubt, It will still be new @ unproven in industry. Industry will be cautious about deploying it until it builds a track record.

        I don’t see price being a problem as it appears to be competitive in the energy market. I have no doubt that the price will drop drastically over time.

        I would imagine as soon as 1 cusomer talks of ordering a 1000 of them, the price would be about half the 1.5 million.

        New @ unproven will take a while to overcome.

    • Omega Z

      You countered your own argument.
      180Mw combined with 9 others would produce 1.8Gw.

      Their is no limit to how many E-cats you can chain together. Even the size of them will require a smaller foot print.

      The technology works well for distributed energy which has huge benefit. With minamal loses less energy generation will be required.

      And nothing says E-cats can’t be built in larger versions such as 10, 20, 50, or 100Mw units. They have no artificial limits.

  • Felix Fervens

    >Of course any nuclear fission plants, however much new models are improved over older ones, are going to have to deal with radioactive fuels and waste, and require expensive systems to maintain safety.

    Let’s see if this brand of fission remains as un-insurable as the old kind. Certainly they will still need teams of commandos and such to protect the plants and their waste from terrorists.

    Yes, let’s privatize the profits and socialize the risk, a.k.a. economic fascism.

    What will they do with the waste? Leave it on-site virtually forever, like the Fukushima-style plants we now enjoy?

    Even if this weren’t just the bad old kind of nuke, I’d say it should not be subsidized if it is not otherwise economical.

    • Roger Bird

      Nuclear fission waste is not a problem; it is a solution:

      If only people would see the beauty of this solution and do something about it. If they did, of course, then LENR would be slowed down even more.

      • Chris I

        See the beuty? To me, what they say about the waste just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. It clashes with very basic facts and even with common sense.

        Even if their facts were correct, the molten salt would not be essential at all. It would have been so obvious all along to chemically extract all that fissile material from all that waste and recycle it, even in the metallic state, for whichever type of reactor design.

        • Roger Bird

          Your are basing your thinking here “It would have been so obvious all along” on the thinking of people in the nuclear industry. We already know that they and their creativity cannot be trusted. I’ll stick with the WAMSR people, whose thinking seems perfectly logical to me.

  • Roger Bird

    Iggy is our conscience and reality check.

  • Job001

    Aha, so we have the roadmap insight.

    Modular nuclear cost will have less capital and regulatory cost but the monopoly market entry hurdle of regulation will remain to maximize utility profitability. Modular nuclear electricity cost can be decreased to enhance profit and to keep out most LENR local units since it won’t be worth the time, expertise, and capital for most users to compete. At least, LENR will enforce some competitive threat.

  • Anonymole

    Instead of SpaceX, maybe Elon Musk could start EnergyX. I wonder if he could build small safe modular nuclear reactors better and faster than the rest of the bunch?

    And as for waste disposal, I’ve always wondered why waste is not encased in concrete “missiles” and dropped into the subduction zone in the middle of the Pacific (or other deep proven subduction zones). Send the stuff back to be processed by the Earth Recycler.