A Star in a Bottle – Boondoggle (GreenWin)

This text first posted by GreenWin as an answer to Chapman in the Always Open thread.

Chappie, you are sorely mistaken in thinking the hot fusion skam is the result of “collectivist thinking” No. The $250B hot fusion boondoggle is the result of the post WWII nuclear monopoly orchestrated by academia.

The advent of nuclear fission – the most powerful source of energy on earth – gave license to ivory tower academics to build a Big Science gravy train. In particular, MIT’s egocentric Plasma Science and Fusion Center, and Princeton’s Plasma Physics Lab. Both programs were funded by the US Dept. of Energy (another skam) and military with the intent of strictly controlling fission and later fusion technology.

Military, with support of the Executive branch invented fusion “science” with the explosion of the first thermonuclear bomb on November 1, 1952. “Ivy Mike” was a ridiculously complicated Rube Goldberg gadget designed by LENR denier Richard Garwin. When the thing blew up, yielding 10.4 megatons of TNT equiv., our best and brightest believed they had recreated the process fueling our Sun. And so the promise of “unlimited clean fusion energy” was born. To the delight and windfall of fusion academics, Princeton and MIT (CalTech) had a deep pocket funder in the US DoE. Congress approved a huge multi-billion dollar program to fund hot fusion energy and the BOONDOGGLE began in 1952. According to Garwin and his sycophants – in twenty years given enough money we would have clean, unlimited fusion energy.

Well, as skams go, when the deadline is up, skammers shuck and jive and demand MORE time and money. Unhappily, in early 1970s there was no one in Congress educated enough to see the developing hot fusion black hole. Instead of cutting off funding for MIT and Princeton’s failed fusion projects – they gave these skammers MORE time and money. Fusion scientists clicked their heels and promised, within two decades we would all be living with “the clean, unlimited power of the stars.” Amazing what Big Science can do! Meanwhile, two electrochemists at University of Utah announced anomalous heat from what they believed was room temperature nuclear fusion. The hot fusionists saw a gravy train wreck, and quickly declared the two scientists “deluded” and fraudulent. Pot? Kettle? Fast forward: twenty years later, US national labs, LLNL, Sandia, Oakridge, Los Alamos, and scrappy new academics had all climbed aboard the fusion gravy train. Why not? The American taxpayers were easily bamboozled by solipsistic high brows like Garwin, Teller and Lindsky. And after 40 years of failed fusion ignition, our geniuses had a brilliant NEW idea! “Inertial Confinement Fusion” using futuristic laser technology would open the portal to hot fusion! Hurray for humanity!

So, Congress not wanting to admit they’d been bamboozled, approved MORE money for spendthrift DoE to build a huge complex at Lawrence Livermore National lab called “The National Ignition Facility NIF, where once and for all the world’s greatest scientists would deliver, clean, unlimited fusion energy to humanity. Yay? NIF finished construction in early 2000, 5 years behind schedule, and 400% overbudget. So?? It’s just taxpayer money. And America now had the world’s largest laser. Very cool. But, Inertial confinement proved harder than our high brows imagined. Ooops. A sheepish Congress demanded a deadline for NIF ignition – September 2012. Well, with hundreds of our best and brightest under the leadership of a guy named “Moses” (can’t make this sheit up) experiments went forward, each time failing to get better than 1/10 the needed bootstrap heat and compression to cause fusion ignition. We got lots of hems and haws for our billions$$ but after 60 years of Big Science – taxpayers, Congress, humanity got… ZERO useful energy.

But WAIT! The story doesn’t end at NIF. Scientism – worship of the religion of science – disallows failure. So they invented a new even BIGGER boondoggle: International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ITER. Already 400% overbudget and 20 years behind schedule – this giant tokamak* reactor has bamboozled 35 countries into funding the gravy train. Hey, it’s carbon free, so Algore and buddies approve it!!

*” …a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.” Gee.

Is this nightmare the result of “collectivist thinking?” Hell no. It’s the result of a creeping elitism oozing from the ivory towers of academia. The same mentality that drives the unelected bureaucrats at the European Union. They know better than us peons. They are the shepherds, we are their sheep. We can thank LENR deniers like Garwin, APS spokesman Robert Park, John Huizenga, and Steven E. Jones for misinforming Congress and the public about the potential for low temperature nuclear reactions. More info: http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue35/ethics.html


  • Thomas Kaminski


    I believe that the “promise” of fusion, like fission before it was also in part stimulated by the collective guilt we felt having built a bomb first, and in the case of fission, used it in a war. The “Plowshares Program”, where weapons were converted into useful tools to help humanity grew out of this guilt. Most likely, it was a result of clever thinkers figuring how to hoodwink the public to assuage their guilt and get more money for their projects.

    Back in the 70’s I was at Goddard Space Flight Center and heard Teller speak. At that time he was thinking of digging holes and setting off H bombs, creating a thermal well that was then somehow tapped to use the thermal energy. It was, in part, a way to get more money to the DoE labs. In a similar way, NASA proposed flying orbital arrays of solar cells that would then beam microwave energy down to earth where “rectennas” would convert it back to electricity. Supposedly, the orbits could be full sun (twice as good as day/night earthbound arrays) and with twice the solar input due to no atmospheric attenuation. It was just another way to justify more money to NASA and connect to the green, solar industry.

    • Rene

      Yes, like Project PACER. mini nukes dropped once every 8 hours into a huge salt chamber loaded with deuterium gas.


      • Thomas Kaminski

        Wow! It has a name! Thanks for the link.

        • Rene

          In the end the PACER people were working to find a site in a southeastern state, like Louisiana, to water form spherical salt chambers. Instead of using concrete structures, they determined that carving out salt domes was a much better approach because the dome walls would self-heal. Each detonation of a 1KT fission nuke would cause fusion reactions in the deuterium gas, and the resultant high pressure D-steam would be scrubbed of contaminants (a tiny fraction of what one sees in standard fission reactors), and then run through standard turbines to turn generators.

          Their biggest problem was the issue of having a bunch of 1-Kiloton nukes, a bit of a security issue having ready made backpack nukes stacked up. So they had this notion of engineering ‘inherently safe’ high pressure assemble-in-flight nukes. That approach didn’t seem to allay fears sufficiently.

          Here’s a PDF of the project. I have the hardcopy glossy preso docs somewhere in my files.


          • Thomas Kaminski

            If I recall correctly, the concept of a hole through which you suspend/drop a nuke is a bit shaky. I think that Teller in his talk mentioned that a circuitous route was used to dig a tunnel to the place an underground nuke was tested so that the blast would “seal” the tunnel.

            This seems as crazy today as it did to me back in the 70″s.

            Thanks for the reference!

        • sam
  • SG

    Here here.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Maybe this scam is like cancer. It will end when it kills its host.

    • Cancers can morph into other forms to evade the immune system. NIF is a morphed form of the fusion cancer. Ultimately, when the axe really is about to fall, one of the developing plasma-based LENR systems can be deftly substituted for the dead ends, and touted as the final triumph of international big bucks research.

      • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

        Emilio Del Giudice used to say: “Hot fusion is the energy of the future, because it is never going to have a present”.

        • GreenWin

          No materials research. Prolly hang around ECW too much. The history of hot & cold fusion research is openly available to the public.

          “We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in it and cover it up.”
          ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

        • GreenWin


          • Axil Axil

            The issue with fusion is that it produces too many neutrons and not enough heat. The problem with fission is that it produces too much heat and not enough neutrons. The compromise is a fusion/fission hydride.

            I favored the Hans Bethe idea


            Without the hybrid concept, fusion is untenable. It won’t work. But the hybrid would never be acceptable to the U,S, and the world because it is not a light water reactor. Even fusion is locked out of development by the light water reactor folks. The NRC will not permit other reactor types to be developed in competition with light water reactors.

            I know inside stories about the guy named “Moses”, but that is water under the bridge. What a piece of work.

  • Job001

    How funny and how sad, a well written tragic comedy of human greed and bias has been the hot fusion skam and now impossible boondoggle. Boondoggle because they cannot economically beat the wide variety of evolving cheap energy sources.

    The Sisyphusian scientists, confused by hubris, should have picked the LENR molehill rather than the hot fusion mountain challenge to roll their boulder up. They would have easily succeeded long ago.

    ps:Sisyphus was condemned by Greek Gods to roll boulders up mountains and watch them roll back down. The metaphorically mountain is the coulomb barrier which is dramatically reduced or avoided in condensed matter environments.

  • GreenWin

    Agreed Andy, nobody Jive talks better than Big Science. But after 60 years of being ripped off by our “best and brightest” why is it only the UK middle class has given the finger to NWO elitists??

  • Axil Axil

    Not uranium but iron. There is no fusion in the center of the sun and jupiter will prove it.

  • GreenWin

    just checked Roseland, my mailbox is empty, can you do PayPal?

  • GreenWin

    i.e. The “Scientific community” – a monstrous collection of raging narcissists driven by ego and greed – eff the sheep! Big Science is the wolf in shepherd’s clothing. 🙁

  • GreenWin

    I also don’t know what a contraction is…

  • Chapman

    Damn funny! I think I almost saw you smile that time!!! 🙂

  • Pweet

    For some reason, this line from the above article has a disturbingly familiar ring to it;-

    “Well, as skams go, when the deadline is up, skammers shuck and jive and demand MORE time and money.”

    I can’t quite put my finger on why though,… Hmmm,. let me think,..

    • Chapman

      Come on Pweet, play nice. There’s no need to kick over EVERY sandcastle on the beach, is there? Let this one go, OK?

      Something nice is happening around here the last week, and people are actually TALKING again, and discussing things, and joking, and having a good time. You know, you would be welcome to join us! I know that underneath that crusty outer shell there is a real intellect, with valid contributions waiting to be expressed. Why not join the conversation, instead of taking swipes at it?

      Come on in… The water’s fine!


      On the other hand, if you were “winking” at the lyric reference then I applaud your whit! I was just alarmed thinking you were heading for a Rossi insult, but if you weren’t then MY BAD! I jumped to conclusions and did you a disservice, for which I heartily apologize!

    • Omega Z

      If you are implying a familiar ring as to Rossi, You are so very very WRONG.

      Hot Fusion- 5 decades plus in the making and always 20 years in the future. Cost to Tax Payers? MANY 10’s of Billions and MANY 10’s of Billions to come.

      Rossi’s E-cat 5 years in the making. Cost to Tax Payers? ZERO

      Pweet’s comparative skills? ZERO