One of the important things to remember about E-Cat plants is that they will need to be refueled on a regular basis. For whatever reason, after operating for a period of time (Rossi has said between 6 months and a year), the fuel loses its potency an needs to be replaced.
Andrea Rossi has made some comments about this recently on the Journal of Nuclear Physics.
February 24, 2018 at 7:28 PM
We will change the Ecats, not the fuel, in the Customers’ factories. The reactors will be changed by lots, to maintain the the production. The plants will have an excess of reactors corresponding to the lots quantum. The charge will be changed in our closer point of assistance and eventually recycled.
February 24, 2018 at 10:02 PM
Regarding the recharging:
1. Will a Leonardo Corp. employee always have to change the E-Cats, or will it be possible for operators to do so (like we change our printer cartridges when they are depleted)? AR: it will be possible for operators certified by us to do so
2. How long would a complete recharge of a 1MW plant take — (minutes, hours, days)? AR: several days
3. What do you expect to be the cost to refuel a 1 MW plant? AR: low enough
Refueling is going to be a very important aspect of the commercial E-Cat operation. From what Rossi states above I there will be fresh excess reactors already installed in E-Cat plants that can be put in operation while old ones are being changed out, thus no downtime will be experienced by plant users.
For Leonardo Corporation to maintain its trade secrets it is going to want to maintain as much control as possible over its E-Cats, both new and spent reactors. From what Rossi writes here, the recharging will be done by authorized, certified technicians who will presumably be under strict contract to not let E-Cats out of their hands. However, assuming that the E-Cat is a commercial success, if millions of new and spend E-Cats are being circulated, it would be virtually impossible not to let some fall into unauthorized hands, especially given the intense interest that there is bound to be if the technology is demonstrated to work as claimed. Leonardo is surely aware of this issue and that it won’t take long for its secrets to be detected by reverse engineers. Rossi has always stated that only mass production and economy of scale can protect him from the people wanting to copy his technology.