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NASA has suggested that household hot water boilers could soon be replaced by small nuclear reactors. They do not refer to nuclear fission reactors, used in traditional power plants; nor nuclear fusion reactors, eagerly researched and regarded as a hugely powerful source of energy for the future; instead they believe that low-energy nuclear reactors (LENR) will be used.
Joseph Zawodny, a senior research analyst with NASA’s Langley Research Centre, spoke of the LENR device and said that “it has the demonstrated ability to produce excess amounts of energy, cleanly, without hazardous ionizing radiation, without producing nasty waste.
The easiest implementation of this would be for the home. You would have a unit that would replace your water heater. And you would have some sort of cycle to derive electrical energy from that.”
Related article: Who will Pay for Nuclear Power Plant Cleanup?
NASA’s LENR device fires a slow moving neutron into the element nickel. Upon absorbing the extra neutron the nickel becomes unstable causing the neutron to split into an electron and proton, and reverting to a stable state.
Bob Silberg, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote that “where it once had an extra neutron, making it an unstable isotope of whatever element it was, it now has an extra proton instead, which makes it a more stable isotope of a different element (copper). This process releases energy which, hypothetically, can be used to generate electricity.”
The LENR reactor would replace the boiler in a house and heat the water directly. An extra system could then be added to use the heat to produce electricity.
Research has also suggested that carbon could be used instead of nickel, and that it would be turned into nitrogen. Zawodny stated, “I don’t know what could possibly be cleaner than that. You’re not sequestering carbon, you’re totally removing carbon from the system.”
By. James Burges of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…