Yesterday I blogged about the huge fusion research reactor project being built by an international consortium in Provence in southern France. As I noted there, the project carries with it huge political and economic implications, if it should prove to be successful. Today, I want to indulge in a bit of my usual high octane speculation. But first, the story:
Now if your read that carefully, they're spending a lot of money to build a proof of concept reactor that, well, isn't a proof of concept reactor:
"Richard Pitts, a British nuclear physicist working on the project, said that even though Iter has a nuclear operator’s licence and will produce about 10 times as much power as it consumes, the Iter machine will still remain a purely experimental reactor, with no electricity generated for the French national grid. 'We’re not building a demonstration industrial reactor. We’re building the first step towards one that does produce electricity for the grid. If we can show that fusion works, a demonstration reactor will be much cheaper to build than Iter,' Dr Pitts said.
Now all this seems a little more than redundant, especially since the cold fusion phenomenon has been theoretically explained in a model that makes sense (the Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reaction, or LANR, model), which would seem to make the whole effort of billions of dollars for a Tokamak magnetic containment model a bit redundant. Dr. Andrea Rossi in Italy has built a LANR reactor and it is, to my knowledge, still functioning and still producing power.... and it's a lot cheaper.
The difference between the two approaches is encapsulated in this statement from the article:
"The plasma will be heated to temperatures as high as 300 million C to force the atomic nuclei close enough together to cause them to fuse into helium, a harmless and inert waste product that could be recycled as an important industrial raw material. Giant electromagnets powerful enough to trap an aircraft carrier will contain the plasma within a spinning vortex held by the magnetic bottle of the tokamak reactor."
Electromagnets powerful enough to capture an aircraft carrier... hot spinning plasma.... the only thing missing here would be the two electrical potentials and DC pulsing...
All this to say that I suspect they'll be taking very careful, quiet measurements after they "go nuclear" of some other things. Plasmas are a wonderfully non-linear medium, and rotating them perhaps means they're thinking of torsion, and a certain Nazi physicist's comments - that would be Dr. Ronald Richter in Argentina, talking secretly to the US Air Force about his controlled fusion experiments for Juan Peron in 1954, about a cellular (lattice) structure in space, and how it might all function as a mechanism of the detection and manipulation of zero point energy.
But even without the wild speculation, it's going to get interesting, and I hope I'm still around when they turn this thing on.
See you on the flip side.