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James Burgess

James Burgess

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…

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What Happens IF Cold Fusion Does Become Reality?

Mark Gibbs recently wrote a very interesting article for Forbes titled “Cold Fusion and Unintended Consequences”, discussing the unintended side effects that could potentially occur if cold fusion really takes off in the way that many hope it will.

We are talking about years into the future, when cold fusion exists as a practical technology that can provide huge amounts of cheap electricity. Devices would cost little and provide populations around the world with abundant energy.

In the future that we are imagining cold fusion devices will the ultimate source of energy and provide nearly all energy to humanity. We are talking about billions of cold fusion machines around the planet; from tiny personal devices, to giant gigawatt scale plants.

With such a large number of devices out there producing energy in all corners of the globe, any negative side effects, no matter how small, become multiplied greatly.

Imagine it cold fusion devices are discovered to produce small amounts of radioactive waste. Due to the exceptionally low price of the energy they would still be highly popular, yet on a large scale that small amount of waste could become a big problem.

Related Article: Rossi's Investors Talk about the Progress of his E-Cat

Gibbs explains that if, on average across all cold fusion devices (from tiny personal units to giant grid-sized plants), radioactive waste was produced on a scale of “1 milligram per device, as a consequence, globally you’ll have just under 2,012 tons of waste per year to deal with, a not inconsiderable amount.” (Current nuclear power plants operating in the world today produce between 2,000 and 2,300 tons of waste a year.)

In the article he also looks at the efficiency of the cold fusion devices, and the potential side effect of huge amounts of excess waste heat produced by the billions of units.

He worries that cheap cold fusion generators will only work on a similar level of efficiency as current machines, such as car engines; typically around 30% efficiency, at the most.

This means that each device will release most of the energy that it produces into its surroundings as waste heat. Then, given the fact that the energy will be so cheap and abundant, energy will be used far more than it is presently used, for example: buildings will never be chilly as it will not cost much to heat them up; people need never suffer the heat as air conditioning units could be run permanently; even such extravagancies as heating the side-walks in winter could become a reality.

Related Article: Obama's Nuclear Power Plans

This mass increase in energy usage will elevate the effect known as ‘urban heat islands’ to such an extent that local ecologies around the cities could be severely altered. Gibbs gives examples of: “more rats, a longer growing season and therefore more plant growth, more pollen and therefore more allergies, greater impact on regional weather systems.” Or, “take an area that historically has had cold night and make them a few degrees warm all year long and in many areas mosquitos will become a bigger problem and diseases like malaria will become a bigger risk.”


And finally there is another negative side effect that could potentially come to bear with the success of cold fusion; that of increased toxic waste in third world countries.

Cheap cold fusions devices would transform poor areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, especially by enabling the purification of water supplies via the simple process of boiling. However desalination by boiling, without extensive engineering, can create large amounts of toxic waste in the form of deposited heavy metals, salts, and minerals.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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  • AlainCo on November 25 2012 said:
    My first remark is to ask why when something new arrive, today people systematically are scared and prepare for the worst... is to day so nice that any change is frightening.

    about UHI is is maybe the only non stupid problem, because LENr migh relocalize energy inside consumption zone. Globally the efficiency will increase because less energy will be wasted in electricity conversion. because normally the home appliance will use LENR to produce heat, instead of electricity.

    about salt, it is plan stupidity, since salts are rejected in the sea, not changing anything to the global composition of sean, since water get back to the sea... water is structurally perfectly recycled. only problem is cleaning water.

    note also that everybody see desalinization, but allowing water cleaning might have even more impact.

    add to LENR the adamantec diamond electrodes electrolysis (http://www.adamantec.com/), and clear water will be easy.

    it will lead to increase of wealth, thus decrease of fecundity as usual and as already started.

    beware of Malthusian propaganda. they have good connections, but it have always failed for clear and well known reasons.

    there have been peak flinstone, peak horse, and there will be a similar peak oil.
  • maryyugo on November 25 2012 said:
    Like I said about the Forbes article, talk about counting your chickens before they hatch!
  • Walker on November 28 2012 said:
    The question of whether LENR is real is to a large extent answered. The EEC, NASA, a host of Universities and Nobel Laureats say it is, so case closed.

    So we then come to what maryyugo points out which essentialy we can characterise as being time to market.

    Rossi's plant is being built at the major power company is due to open in the US in February just three months from now. At a point soon afterwards invited guests and sceptical and non sceptical experts can view it in operation.

    That will be the equivalent of the first Karl Benz's 1886 car in to the point of Fords Model T which went into production in 1908 but became popular in the mid to late 1920s so true time to market for this revolutionary product that destroyed the horse and buggy business ~50 years.

    More recently the first DOS PC 1982 to Windows 95 which was the first seriously useful PC so true time to market for this revolutionary product that destroyed IBMs strangle hold on office computing ~15 years.

    The windows PC also paved the way for the World Wide Web, Time of inception, ~1995 with the Mosaic browser the Dotcom buble began in 1997 just 2 short years afterwards.

    So since we know how long each of those took to take off, we know generaly time to market is shortening in all products. The time to market is in fact decreasing exponetially, Raymond Kurzweil has done the research and statistical analysis on how fast new products reach market.

    The plain fact is if you are a business that uses lots of power you are going to install this as fast as it comes off the production line, because if you do not then your competitors will, whether in China or Eastern Europe, India or South America. That will drive advances very quickly.

    On the matter of potential polution so far some Neutrons have been detected at high output settings, it is also believed with some of the processes that use Hydrogen rather than Dueterium that the Hydride may become saturated with Tritium though at very low levels. E=MC^2 So very little matter is involved.

    Never the less Rossi's Licensees will be exchanging the very small fuel core every six months possibly to prevent this being an issue. With such minute quanties and with the energy this allows meaning space travel becomes cheap, then packing the expended cores off into space in small batches is a simple solution, as is using a hot Tritium reactor to get to Helium.

    So now we come to what this means to the Oil Market:

    Prices for fossil fuels will drop very quickly to begin with as dealers begin to dump exess capacity and producers start running wells less efficiently after getting maximum output in a shortened time frame for sale rather than maximising long term output.

    Long term projects will be dumped much as several energy companies are already doing EON, Siemans, BP etc. Certain high cost sources will be dumped too this will reduce energy capcity, that will stablise prices for a short term until full decline and transfer to increasing LENR sources.

    The massive energy surplus will allow totaly new businesses, so expect a boost in the world economy to dwarf both the steam and computer age booms combined.

    That boom will start in 2013 rising sharply over 5 years and go on for a couple of decades.

    With the ability to pump desalinated water to the deserts and to make industrial high energy farms in the West, most major arrable land in the developed world will go fallow, land prices will drop. Flat Arrable land will become free to build on.
  • Sterling Allan on November 29 2012 said:
    These "cold fusion" devices produce 0.00000 radioactivity that would need to be disposed of. Zero. Nada. Nothing.

    Remember your elementary math. 8 billion time zero = .... 0.
  • Walker on December 04 2012 said:
    The Sensible Rats are leaving the sinking ship everyone take note!

    Major Energy Players are currently divesting them selves of Fosil Fuel as well as Nuclear and Wind and Solar assets: BP, Shell, Siemans, Eon and Conoco to name but a few.

    Do Google Searches on:
    Energy company divest
    "Oil Field" divest
    Also do specific searches on specific companies with the word divest. Eg. Shell Divest.

    These are some examples of what comes up in recent News. If you choose web you get even more plus some interesting backgound.

    Shell has Divested more than 30 major oil fields in the last 12 months!

    That after BP had sold its Russian oil fields too and not a jot of protest about not being able to invest in US oil fields either.

    And they just Shrugged off the supposed 1/2 Billion dollar loss they took selling it

    Even the Oil Parts suppliers are joining the rush to divest.

    I could have filled this page with lists of companies on an energy divestment strategy. Those in the know who have been following LENR know the anouncements are only a few months away at the most. At some point a major media company will crack and let the cat out of the bag and prices in the old energy suppliers will plummet.
  • Carl Kirk on January 02 2013 said:
    I actually find this article hard to believe, listing a string of potential if, buts @ maybe's against cold fusion. What is the alternative, to stick with the pollution, the effect on our atmosphere, the oil spills and the corruption of the oil industry in it's current form? It is happening and we desperately need it. The oil industry will be the death of this planet, by war if not from a environmental point of view. It will be a long time before we recover from the "known" ill effects of the oil industry, if we ever do.

    The way the oil industry has tried to throttle any form of new energy development for decades leaves nothing but shame on many of you.
  • Paul Maher on February 17 2013 said:
    There are many contenders in the energy market place.

    NASA has LENR patents. They call it out in no uncertain terms as being the gateway to a new world.
    "Drain the swamps and flood the fields" is Zawodny's mantra. Who has studied and refined the experiment more that NASA's 2 top scientists in the field, Joseph Zawodny and Dennis Bushnell?

    Cold Fusion 101 is being taught at MIT by an old foe of Pons and Fleischman. Videos of Hagelsteins class have been posted on Youtube

    SRI has aligned itself with Robert Godes of Brillouin Energy and his LENR replacement boiler tubes. Very, very repeatable.

    Sandia National Lab has Focus Fusion machine.

    examine www.coldfusionnow.org for an ever growing list of prime players.

    Please do not sell this technology short, petrochemical industry is another matter.

    I have been led to believe that the oil companies themselves have been selling off owned reserves at an ever increasing rate. Is their any truth to this?

    The world really needs a major shift in the energy paradigm. How else will the third world ever advance without burying us under a pile of carbon?

    come on and take a look at www.coldfusionnow.org

    Hopefully, Paul D. Maher
  • John on October 28 2013 said:
    I have done some research into cold fusion and as far as I have been able to find out though a reliable verifiable source it does not exist (apart from a minor unusable reaction)
    As with all of these claims big on talk short of proof.
    Prove it and I will believe Talk and I don't .

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