Media Finally “Discovers” NASA LENR Experiments
The mainstream media or at least tech media has finally picked up on the low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or cold fusion work being done at NASA and some of its implications. At least three stories about Joseph Zawodndy’s work at the Langley Research Center in Virginia are floating around online.
Phys Org writer Bill Silberg notes this means that average people could have nuclear reactors in their basements. He writes about the possibilities of LENR-powered water heaters, home heating systems, and electric production in the home. Another version of the story at GizMag and Extreme Tech notes that Zawodny’s process means that the fusion dream might be soon achieved.
This media attention indicates that NASA is serious about LENR and might soon be able to produce some sort of credible evidence to back up these claims. Zawodny would not be talking openly to the media if he couldn’t. The Gizmag piece quotes Zawodny’s boss Dennis Bushnell as saying that 1% of the world’s nickel production could meet the world’s energy needs at a quarter of the cost of coal if LENR is perfected. Bushnell wouldn’t be saying that unless he had something he could use against critics.
So this means that we might expect some sort of LENR surprise from NASA in the near future. Perhaps a public announcement or a big press conference, it might also be at Congress. NASA is among the agencies facing budget cuts because of the fiscal crisis in the United States and it needs to justify all the money it spends on research. A new energy source would be the perfect way to do that.
Unfortunately it’s unclear how far along NASA’s work is. Zawodny said he’s working on the theory, and he’ll leave the actual design of a reactor up to the engineers. That statement indicates that NASA may not be as far along in solving practical problems of LENR as private inventors like Andrea Rossi, Robert Godes or Francesco Cellani.
Still the publicity from a credible source like NASA is good news for LENR. So is the fact that scientists like Bushnell and Zawodny are willing to come out of the closet and talk about their LENR work. Hopefully these reports will inspire imagination and get some people with money to invest looking into LENR.
There’s also an interesting development in the world of small scale hot fusion. Charles Chase at Lockheed Martin’s skunk works – the facility that created the Stealth bomber – has revealed he is working on a small scale hot fusion reactor that could generate up to 100 megawatts. He also claimed the reactor could be ready as early as 2017. The reactors could also be built on a production line. This indicates that big business and the military industrial complex are serious about small scale hot fusion and think it can work.
The growing interest in fusion is good news. Hopefully we’ll see more media stories like this. More importantly they will inspire imaginations and more work on both hot and cold fusion.