The following post has been submitted by Roland van Nus.
If the short view of the E-Cat focuses on the immediate technical issues and the intermediate view focuses specific industries and enterprises the long view focuses on how the Ecat might bend the arc of nations.
Leonardo Corp. has already revealed aspects of their thinking in the choice of nations that host manufacturing facilities, the USA, Japan and Sweden.
Altering the arc of the USA presents unique challenges in that it is the only one of the three who’s economy and politics are deeply intertwined with the carbon based industries; after all America invented the modern oil and gas business that now wields immense financial clout and, for all our intents and purposes here, owns one of the two political parties. Leonardo has already survived a run in with legal firm Jones Day who richly exist at the very nexus of this clout.
The obvious exception to this general observation is the State of California where the political climate is distinct from the nation as a whole and where the extended fire season is threatening the integrity of the electrical grid in a state that is home to the nation’s tech industry, the entertainment industry and a substantial contingent of the nation’s defense contractors, all of which are dependent upon reliable electrical power.
Japan is in a much more precarious position from an energy perspective; the events at Fukushima exposed the fundamental design flaw in a General Electric reactor design that was chosen for it’s economy, against the advice offered by GE at the time, at the expense of safety. This decision turned out to be catastrophic and has undermined public support for nuclear power generation. Japan has no indigenous O&G reserves and imports all its carbon fuels leaving it at the mercy of the markets and geopolitical considerations of other nations. The potential for the empowerment of Japan through the auspices of the Ecat could be seen as a significant bargaining chip in garnering political support for a national effort to move to a LENR economy once the viability of the technology is demonstrated at scale.
Through a complex of factors and historical developments Sweden presents the most immediate case for the power of LENR to bend the arc of a nation.
Sheer size is a factor as the USA has a population of 325.7 million and Japan has a population of 126.8 million whereas Sweden has a population of 10.2 million while maintaining a GDP per capita slightly higher than that of Japan. Sweden was an early adopter at the dawn of the electrical age and built extensive hydro facilities that provided reliable inexpensive power that propelled their economy for decades.
From 1975 to 1985 a total of 12 nuclear reactors were commissioned in Sweden and provided half the nation’s base load capacity, of these 12 three have already been decommissioned and a further three will be decommissioned over the next 18 months. This turning away from nuclear power was impelled by successive shifts in public opinion following accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, several relatively minor incidences at Swedish reactors, and a final blow from the disaster at Fukushima. Following Three Mile Island a public referendum led to the decision to decommission reactors as they aged, rather than refurbish them, and though the wisdom of this course has repeatedly come into question each subsequent event has further hardened public opposition to nuclear power.
As these plants were decommissioned the decline in base load capacity began to put a drag on the general economy, which is almost entirely concentrated in the southern temperate region of the country, and to offset this over 3,800 wind turbines were installed in the northern part of the country, as dictated by favorable the atmospheric conditions there.
Due to financial constraints facing the network of independent power distributors that comprise the Swedish electrical grid the necessary high tension power lines were delayed and much needed power is still not being delivered to the south of the country, and, understandably, commerce and industry have been notably reluctant to locate to the frozen northern hinterlands.
The situation has deteriorated to the point that Ericsson’s 5G roll out in Stockholm is in doubt, multi billion dollar high tech investments are being delayed and, for the first time since the beginning of electrification, brown outs are occurring in Southern cities during demand spikes.
The energy intense Swedish economy has relied on cheap reliable electrical power to harness a highly educated populace to leading edge technologies for well over a century; currently this model is imperiled.
It seems fitting that Leonardo Corp. honored Sevn Kullander, by naming the latest iteration of the E-Cat after him, in light of the role he played in advancing their cause both theoretically, and materially, by putting the weight of the Physics Department of the world’s second oldest university, at Uppsala, and the reputation and financing of ELFORSK behind running a month long experiment that produced the Lugano Report, the success of which underscored the legitimacy of Rossi’s long quest for a viable LENR technology.
In the long view Leonardo Corp. could bend the arc of a deserving Swedish nation by providing enterprise scale power on location, as needed, as a company priority when that becomes feasible, and by so doing provide the world with an exemplar of what a wealthy high tech carbon and nuclear free future can look like at a national scale.