Fusion Discussed on BBC Radio — Cold Fusion Mentioned (Fortyniner)

Thanks to Fortyniner for this report:

Fusion power was discussed on the BBC’s ‘In Our Time’ morning chat show today. Much predictable talking up of hot fusion by three ‘experts’, then (to his credit) host Melvyn Bragg asked “But what about cold fusion?”.

Momentary silence, then some tentative comments about how it had looked hopeful at one time, and a brief mention of how muon catalysed fusion might work, but the tone shifted rapidly downward as the consensus was established, until one ‘expert’ came up with “more like a Fleischmann and Ponzi scheme” – at which point I turned the radio off.

Below is a summary from the BBC, and link to the podcast.

Nuclear Fusion 30 Oct 14

Duration:47 mins

Nuclear fusion is the process that powers stars. In the 1920s physicists predicted that it might be possible to generate huge amounts of energy by fusing atomic nuclei together, a reaction requiring enormous temperatures and pressures. Scientists have achieved fusion in the laboratory and today it is seen as a possible future source of limitless and clean energy. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Philippa Browning, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester; Steve Cowley, Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and Justin Wark, Professor of Physics and fellow of Trinity College at the University of Oxford.