Cold Fission is Getting Some Lukewarm Attention
(June 14, 2012) Remember all the whoopla about cold fusion in the late 1980s? It promised to provide a cheap, safe and an infinitely abundant form of energy with relatively no dangerous byproducts.
Mainstream science quickly disregarded the concept because the original results could not be replicated consistently and reliably, once again proving the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”
But armed with the knowledge that there are tremendous amounts of potential energy locked into every atom in the known universe, many scientists never stopped believing that if there is a Holy Grail for energy, it lies in some form of nuclear fusion.
One such group of scientists and engineers at the California-based, Global Energy Corporation(GEC) is experimenting with a pilot reactor named GeNiE that produces energy without the drawbacks of conventional nuclear reactors. This new technology with a twist is called Lattice Assisted Nuclear Energy, which fundamentally is a form of cold fusion.
GEC claims that their pilot reactor doesn’t require enriched uranium and by fissioning existing hazardous waste, it doesn’t produce hazardous byproducts. Further, the technology uses (fertile) Uranium 238 and not the (fissile) Uranium 235 of conventional nuclear technology. Uranium 238 is plentiful in nature and in non-radioactive nuclear waste. The use of Unranium 238 also nullifies the weaponization issue.
In addition the company states that fusion and fast fission nuclear reactions do not involve any chain reaction, and as a consequence can be stopped in a straightforward manner without danger of runaway core meltdown.
Presently the company is planning its designs around a modular concept with units possibly as small as 25 MW, that can be “stacked” as demand increases. A conventional nuclear reactor is about 1,000 MW.
This unconventional design has attracted some unconventional clients, like Saipan (population 48,000), the largest island of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, located in the western Pacific.
Last month the Saipan Tribune reported the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation had recommended to Saipan Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, that CUC sign a commitment letter to allow GEC “to shop for financing for a 50-megawatt plant” estimated at $250 million.
Saipan is also in the process of developing a 10-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant project with two companies, Japan-based Saipan Solar System and U.S.-based American Capital Energy Company.
Global Energy Corporation and their collaborators are in the process of designing and building a prototype GeNiE Reactor for commercial applications. According to their website, “while there are numerous product possibilities, GEC is currently focusing on the GeNiE Hybrid Fusion, Fast-Fission Reactor that will use either natural uranium(238) or existing hazardous waste as fuel.”
Description of Theory: Energy Revolution? with Lewis Larsen President of Lattice Energy.