Rossi Effect 'Too Slow' to be Weaponized

On the Journal of Nuclear Physics, Steven Karels voiced a concern to Andrea Rossi about the possible use of the E-Cat reaction in weapons:

My greatest fear for eCat technology is that a way will be found to weaponize it. Not just put it in a pressure cooker and generate heat until the container explodes.

My greatest fear would be finding that a truly nuclear type explosion would result from using a purified or enriched Nickel isotope (i.e., weapons-grade) or a replacement for Hydrogen and a geometry that would cause a reaction like U-235 in a nuclear weapon detonation. Or some other combination of possible events or controls that could cause a very rapid increase in energy output before the constitient parts melt or are destroyed.

For now, I will continue to believe this is not possible. But someone will eventually make the claim and you (AR) must be able to address it.

Rossi responded:

The Rossi Effect is intrinsecally too slow to be used for that kind of things.

In demonstrations it has taken hours of heating the reactor before the reaction kicks into high gear — so Rossi’s claim is plausible here — but you never know where this technology might go in the future. Even if E-Cat bombs are not made in the future, this technology could certainly be advantageous to militaries which need energy to function. Any way to cut energy costs, and keep their machinery running for longer without the need to refuel will be very desirable.

Also, I think today is the first time that I have heard Rossi use the phrase, the “Rossi Effect”. I wonder if that is the new designation that Rossi and Co. have come up with.

  • Invy

    Without a theory as to how his device works, I can’t see how he could predict it couldn’t be used as a weapon…

    I don’t see a problem with him calling it the Rossi effect as long as it is substantially different than the effect seen by pons and fleischmann… Which I highly doubt, it may very well be a marketing choice as f and p don’t have a good reputation, albeit Rossi is not much better.

    • AlainCo

      we have no theory but a long line of exoeriments.

      what is clear is that the LENr phenomenon can be fast at the microscopic level, it can mel metal , cause craters.
      however even in the fastest triggering known , Defkalion and Mizuno, it is structurally limited by the destruction of the material itself.

      maybe when we understand better LENR triggering one could, like with a nuclear bomb, trigger the reaction in the whole material/surface, and like for the bomb it will produce enough energy to be dangerous, until the material is destroyed…

      who knows. from what we know it will probably allow clean nuclear bomb with huge density.
      The warfare is evolving toward a hugely asymmetric war, not even with terrorist networks, but with individual influenced by social network, inside a population.

      Until recently terrorism was a military warfare managed by professional. 9/11 opened the age of the social network induced terrorism. the London and Madrid, then Boston (and some gunning in military bases) shows that today the assymetry is harder and harder to manage and there is no supervision but just inspiration.

      we had professional terrorist, today we have garage bombers.
      They are less efficient but they don’t respect the rule of the game.
      the rule of professional terrorism is that you should not wound your target too much or it get angry instead of lazily obeying your demands.

      today there are easy scenarios which can kill thousands of people (forget about hollywood plots), and no professional bombers would dare to use it as it would be counter productive. Amateur however may be stupid enough to apply them. that is the great fear of serious counter-terrorist units today. they track facebook more than crypted letters.

      LENR bombs, may, like A-bomb, change the face of the world, and maybe like A-bomb, may induce some awareness to the society, preventing abuse. We cannot prevent tragedy upfront, but afterward we adapt.

    • Chris I

      Actually, the Rossi Effect does differ substantially from the P&F Effect, but it does not substantially differ from the Piantelli Effect.

  • Roger Bird

    No technology is going to change the problem of human evil. Even biofeedback did not solve my anger problem. [And if you disagree with me, I’ll come visit you and burn down your house. . . . . just kidding, really. (:->)] LENR will reduce the suffering that is the result of needs not being fulfilled. It will increase the suffering that is the result of runaway desires. How many times have I said this? If you don’t get it, I’m going to come and burn your house down. . . . . just kidding, really. (:->)

    • Zeddicus Zul Zorander

      “No technology is going to change the problem of human evil”.

      That is also my opinion, Roger. Technology in itself is neutral; you can cure people with radiation, but you can also use it to kill people. It is the choice we make to put it to good or bad use that is causing problems.

      As a human race we need to grow up and recognize we live in a world that is interdependent, unequal, unstable and unsustainable. The e-cat or Hyperion device can help alleviate those characteristics. It may also aggravate the situation.

      I as an individual have no global answer to the problems in general, but I do know that unless we address the problems of the world those problems will remain and most likely hamper our progress as a world society. LENR may be part of the solution.

      On topic:
      There have been explosions before with LENR reactions. The Hyperion reactor for instance, definitely starts up way faster than Rossi, so it would not be unimaginable that someone will find a way for a fast runaway reaction with LENR. So although I hope it cannot be done, I would not be surprised at all if someone manages to turn this into a bomb. But it’ll be just one more device to kill. We already got plenty of those.

  • Jim

    Um, lessee…

    Weapons type = explosion

    Explosions are the result of an uncontrolled chain reaction of micro-energy releases e.g. fissioning uranium or burning dynamite. On the other hand, I haven’t seen or heard of ANY of the theories of LENR reactions that do NOT include the equivalent of a cavity in a metal lattice. Putting the two together I’m having a hard time seeing how one LENR reaction site can be involved in a chain reaction with other LENR reaction sites. But you never know…

    Weapons type = high velocity projectile (rail gun) or directed energy (laser)

    All it takes is electricity, and LENR is effectively a portable power supply…

    Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll ruin an ecosystem.

    • MStone

      I would like to elaborate on the “you never know”

      In my opinion there is a 99.0 probability that you cannot make a weapon, directly, out of LENR.

      but, the “you never know” part. LENR might rewrite the books on quantum field theory or ring theory. It’s kinda like dark mater…we don’t have any physics to explain it. So, known unknowns; unknown unknowns; you, truly, never know.

  • AstralProjectee

    If that is the case then why was there a cold fusion explosion where one person got killed and the other injured? I think it is possible but it would take time to perfect. Perhaps a very long time. Or perhaps it can only be used in certain types of explosions. Well obviously but. There is a lot we don’t know right now.

  • steve

    This is such a negative argument and I suspect originally conceived to be such, anyone with access to the library or access to the internet can create bombs, poisons, very very deadly weapons from household products… why would anyone suggest the possibility that LENR may be used by terrorists except to try to cause negative arguments?
    This article should be taken to smallest room in the house and flushed with the rest of the excrement. IMHO

  • fortyniner

    I think that it is a reasonable bet that the US military and maybe others are busily experimenting to try to find a way to ‘weaponise’ cold fusion. Sooner or later they will probably succeed, but in a world already too full of every type of thermonuclear weapon including ‘tactical’ devices that may already have been deployed in Syria, yet another type of bomb would make little difference.

    A greater danger may be the extension of the GeNiE technology (CF neutron source) into weaponry, where it might potentially be used to make a bomb from relatively low grade material such as depleted uranium, or an anti-personnel ‘neutron bomb’.

    • georgehants

      Morning Peter, just point out that even in a world of atomic bombs etc. nobody has died, directly from there use since, Japan.
      People since then have still been, as always killing each other wholesale.
      Knives, AK47’s and the diverse use of the derivatives of gunpowder have still managed to kill millions.
      Egypt and many places today show conclusively that it is not the weapons at fault but the mentality of the Human race.
      It was not Hitlers fault for the second world war or the Holocaust but the people who followed him and his ideas.
      Without them he would have been just a raving corporal.
      If I where to suggest that we should because of my above Facts start to teach our young to become more Spiritual, not religious, but less concerned with ourselves and more caring about each-other and the World, then almost nobody will read my comment.
      It is I think correct, as has been said many times not the knife that is dangerous but the man holding it.

      • Roger Bird

        “If I where to suggest that we should because of my above Facts start to teach our young to become more Spiritual, not religious, but less concerned with ourselves and more caring about each-other and the World, then almost nobody will read my comment.” I can testify to that fact. I get very few responses from spiritually oriented postings. I think that we are a bunch of boffins or boffin wanna be’s and we just want to play with our physical toys and don’t really want to look to the subjective and deal with little resentments, fears, regrets, cravings, worries, etc. that come up every now and then that tell us that we have a very large cauldron of uglies running around in our subconscious.

  • andreiko

    All exothermic-reactions can cause an explosion.

    • Robyn Wyrick

      Thank you.

  • Sandy

    Rossi’s reactors will probably be installed in military vehicles and used to produce steam for the auxiliary power systems being developed by Cyclone Power Technologies.

    Cyclone/Rossi systems might eventually be used to provide main power for military vehicles.

  • Karl

    Humans are surely stupid enough to figure out new and successively more and more sophistic ways to kill each other. Its sadly a loosing game for us all.

  • georgehants

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  • Hampus

    We already have enough nuclear bombs to blow up the world 20 times over. whats the point to make more bombs?

    • GreenWin

      Hampus, let’s say we blow all five fingers off one hand. Having extra explosives around means the second hand affords equal opportunity! /sarc

  • theBuckWheat

    Since when did we ever fret that coal should be considered dangerous because it could be “weaponized”, by being the main fuel source at one time for warships? E-cat technology appears to be a wonderful replacement for coal and oil in large power applications like power plants, ship propulsion and railroad locomotives.

    The shameful thing is that the drive to create uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons is what appears to have driven the selection of designs for most civilian nuclear power plants. How else can anyone explain why private industry would deliberately select designs that require active and ongoing management to avoid meltdowns and pressure explosions over designs that could be passive and almost walk-away-safe? And then there is the issue of the safety and processing of the spent fuel.

    It is my hope that we never have another “weaponized” nuclear power plant built, so we don’t have any more potential Fukushimas. Let the first application of E-Cat be to retire these time bombs. In that way at least E-Cat is a wonderful “un-weaponizer”.

  • theBuckWheat

    I am awaiting the liberal (er, now “progressive”) pushback against E-Cat and LENR. It is sure to come, just as it did for fracking.


    Shale gas is Rearden Metal
    By James Delingpole

    For my summer holidays I have been mostly reading Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand has her faults but, boy, was she prescient.

    One of the things she foresaw was the current nonsensical, dishonest,
    canting campaign against shale gas. In Atlas Shrugged it takes the form of Rearden Metal, the miracle technology which is going to transform the US economy if only the progressives will let it. But of course, Rand’s
    fictional progressives don’t want Reardon Metal to succeed any more than
    their modern, real-life equivalents want shale gas to succeed.
    Why not? For the same rag-bag of made-up, disingenuous reasons which
    progressives have used to justify their war on progress since time
    immemorial: it’s unfair, it uses up scarce resources, it might be dangerous. Rand doesn’t actually use the phrase “the precautionary principle.” But this is exactly what she is describing in the book when various vested interests – the corporatists in bed with big government, the politicised
    junk-scientists at the Institute of Science (aka, in our world, the National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society), the unions – try to close down the nascent technology using the flimsiest of excuses.

    Here’s an excerpt from the book. …

    • Thinks4Self

      You are dismissing the big valid reason people have problems with fracking without a single thought. That is the pumping of millions of gallons of secret goo into the ground. Once it is in the ground the pumper has no control over it. If industry doesn’t want to reveal what is in it why shouldn’t people be concerned. Deep well injection of toxic waste has caused many ground water problems and fracking companies are doing very little to alleviate this valid concern.

    • fripw

      You really are clueless on the nature of the progressive movement probably because you get your news from the conservative movement.

      Please educate yourself before drawing such fantastic conclusions.

      Watch the Colbert Report about Fracking from last week. I believe you will agree that there is problem with fracking.

      Conservatives are called conservatives because they believe slow or little change. They believe that a public that is too smart or too wealthy is dangerous for the country and power structure.

      LENR is a major change to the power stucture that exists. All sides will resist it but conservatives will try kill it or control it’s adaptation in a way that they can continue to control the people.

      • theBuckWheat

        Colbert Report? ROFL!

        Yes, I understand liberals (er, now “progressives”, next year what?) perfectly including why you insist theBuckWheat is “conservative”. more ROFL.

    • Babble

      Watch The Politics of Power (MSNBC – Chris Hayes) which is about energy and global warming. The problem with those who call climate change a hoax is they just become silent when proven wrong.
      Check MSNBC for times.

  • groizman

    Google for this article: Engineering the Ni-H Bomb from professor Fran De Aquino,
    Maranhao State University, Physics Department, S.Luis/MA, Brazil

    • Roger Bird

      Can you translate that from boffinese into lazysemismartese?

      • fortyniner

        My reply still in moderation, so I’ll re-post it with slight edit:
        (Admin, please do not ‘pass’ the original as it contains an error on my part).

        The paper suggests that a container full of nickel powder in liquid deuterium (not hydrogen as suggested by the title) is a potential bomb waiting to be set off when ‘activated’ by the natural magnetic field at the surface of the Earth, which oscillates at 7.83Hz (Schumann resonance).

        The ‘device’ is supposedly prevented from detonating by a shell of mu metal which isolates the device from the magnetic field. When the mu metal magnetic lining is destroyed by an explosive charge, this (he suggests) will cause the ‘bomb’ to explode as the nickel is suddenly exposed to the Earth’s magnetic field.

        The maths is convoluted (beyond me) but he first seems to calculate the number of H atoms contained in a m3 of hydrogen loaded nickel and then produces a figure representing the total conversion energy of all the protons in this. He goes on to calculate that by substituting deuterium, the ‘yield’ can be greatly increased, in his example to 20kT.

        Aquino’s justification for publishing this (dis)information:

        “Basically, these bombs are made of Nickel powder (99%), liquid deuterium and Mumetal. These materials can be easily obtained. Due to the simplicity of its construction, these bombs can be built at the very location of the target (For example, inside a house or apartment at the target city.). This means that, in most of cases missiles are not necessary to deliver them, except for launching the Ni-H bomb at the height of explosion (<1Km ‡ ) when necessary. Thus, the Ni-H bomb so far seems to be the simplest atomic bomb ever to be built. It can be made by every nation, in such a way that, peace in the World will be reached in the future due to the equilibrium of forces among nations."

        This is pure scare propaganda with virtually no basis in science, and seems to have been produced as part of a campaign to introduce the 'fear factor' into cold fusion development. A character calling himself 'Chan' was busy doing much the same at the time this 'paper' was produced, with his own claims of similar type.

        Oddly, this kind of psuedoscientific garbage seems to have propagated more widely in the internet than (for example) information about the Elforsk tests.

        • AlainCo

          not a new story, but very dangerous

          It is a long time that I say that the real enemy of LENR, after the physicist (who will be ridiculed thus disarmed), will be the Malthusianists and other “Preacher Of Apocalypse” and “Salesmen of Fear”.

          They will ally temporarily with the economic-rent owner like oil and nuke companies, and with desperate bubble turkeys like renewables supporters.

          they goal is to prevent wealth increase, not to prevent pollution. LENR is their enemy more than oil.

          Today I feel that we are at a new emotional transition in the western world.

          Until recently the Lords of Fear and Guiltiness were getting more and more power without opposition. They put us into a post modernist age, a megalomaniac depression, a desire of “Ancient Age” regression fueled by the egocentric megalomany of thinking that we are responsible of all the evil on earth.

          Politicians, oil companies, churches, (even Osama Bin Laden) were relaying their prediction of doom, in all forms. They gain control of Wikipedia without much visible resistance (not only on Cold fusion… just look at electromagnetic field!)…

          Today, I see some underground resistant, just a little bigger than we are, but not much more, which is fed up with that situation and organize resistance.

          I see some of that mood into the SteamPunk fashion, which is a desperate way to find a futuristic future, in the past… because everybody says it is impossible today.
          Some (in French SciAm) interpret singularity and transhumanism as a way to escape from the guiltiness by abandoning out human body. I see it also , and the media refuse to see so, and a way to escape from post modernist depression fueled by the Malthusianists.

          In French magazine “La Recherche”, very near of the Academic culture (CNRS…), in the “500 years of scientific controversies”, I have been shocked by the post modernist position chosen by the redaction, despite the many evidence I’m aware of. Seralini affair or Fukushima, shales oils, affairs is of the same vein with truck of stupidities loaded into media rooms, and into top scientific journals and popular magazines.

          I see thus , that today the change don’t came from scientists who, like on LENR, swallow the comfortable depressive consensus, which is well funded, well published, well covered by media, and well protected by political forces.

          Anyway in the society, this depression starts to be rejected by other educated layers of the society who have access to direct informations, to professional data. It is even touching the edge of science community .
          The result have been that Malthusian lobbies start to push soviet like science structure (“Citizen science”) not to let citizen free to debate, but to avoid informed people to challenge the official truth supported by self-proclaimed opinion leaders, representatives, and NGO for the Good.
          They nearly obtained recently the criminalization of scientific dissent, but obtained it’s practical interdiction like with LENR, through hate campaign, defunding, resigning lobbying…
          They also obtained, like with LENR, depenalization of fraud if done toward the good.

          anyway, like with LENR, Internet is letting some network of free-mind exchange opinion and data. It will be slow, but LENR may help those challengers to gain support, after the leader of Truth get decredibilized, and people call for a better future and less guiltiness.

    • fortyniner

      This link was posted some time ago and refuted on this blog. The proposition does not make any sense for several reasons, and the motives for publishing it must be open to question.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    The beautiful thing about the E-Cat is that if it gets too hot the lattice melts and the reactions eventually stop.
    On the other hand in a conventional uranium reactor if the core melts you get neutron chain reactions (hell on earth).

    OK, maybe there is a chance that an E-Cat might get out of control but when I was driving to work one day I saw that the car in front of me at a red light was engulfed in flames. Apparently the fuel line underneath the car broke (the guy blasted his horn and the cars in front of him moved so that he could get to a near by parking lot and jump out). The point being is that we can try our best but life can’t be made completely risk free.

  • Felix Fervens

    Most technology is a double-edged sword. While LENR will undoubtedly have military and weapons applications, at the same time it might reduce the kinds of tensions that lead to warfare: shortages of water, food, energy.

    On the other hand, it will radically increase the carrying capacity of the planet for even more population, leading eventually to shortages and tensions, as the capacity reaches a new equilibrium.

    I doubt that domestic E-Cat type products will be convertible into weapons.

    For now, I just want a little indoor space heater for winter in my living room. Is that too much to ask?

    • kanamori

      People have fewer children when they don’t have to worry about them dying, ie when they have better medical care. Europe’s birthrates are lower than mortality rates, in many cases. The US is getting to that point also.

  • Bob Greenyer

    It is fast enough to have drones that fly for six months at a go with high power precision lasers that can destroy cars, boats, planes, trains and civilians.

    But we don’t need to worry as only the NSA will have the capability.

  • Jackson

    this is a strawman arguement.. anything can be used as a weapon.

    Gasoline and Fertalizer (Oklahoma bombing)
    Airplanes and Conspiracy theory (9/11) 🙂
    A propane truck.
    any hazardous waste materials used in the wrong way can be used to kill a mass amount of people.
    my car is a weapon if used that way.

    hell ill pick rossi’s canister up and hit you with it over the head. .tada its weaponized!

    • GreenWin

      Okay, Jackson, but how ’bout those burnt up fingers??

  • Anothercoilgun

    Complete waste of article. Anything can be a weapon. Will to do harm needs no e-cat. Far more off the shelf products that produce greater bang for the buck than a difficult to fabricate low temperature slow e-cat.

    One of his angles looked up toward him as he was creating the very particles of space and said “[the secret name of god] what if physics end up being used as a weapon”. He chuclked a mighty chuckle and said “I got this”.