More Fantastic Than Rossiâs E-Cat
Out of Cleantech via Al Fin Energy comes a hint of a nuclear fusion company more fantastic than the Rossi E-Cat.Â While the E-Cat is already looking at manufacturing facilities, the newest drama comes from Australia.
Authors of a fresh Kachan report on new, safer, cleaner nuclear technology interviewed dozens of scientists at nuclear research outfits.Â Almost all fusion organizations are either pursuing big, capital-intensive tokamaks or other smaller more innovative reactors. One interviewee in a face-to-face conversation with the Kachan folks in a location abroad, told of a small company heâs involved with that he claims has built a working 1MW fusion reactor the size of a rice cooker.
Now if that is a reality, and comes to fruition, organizations like the international â¬15 billion ($20.4 billion) ITER project, the multi-billion dollar U.S. National Ignition Facility, and smaller fusion companies like General Fusion, Helion Energy, Tri Alpha Energy, EMC2 and most everyone else even smaller like Rossi and BlackLight are in for a gut check.
The as yet unnamed company is now apparently in the process of building a 10MW version that it plans to trial in 2012. Just maybe the firmâs technology will represent a new energy production paradigm.
The report on this companyâs fusion reaction says itâs fuelled by deuterium and tritium at not nearly as high temperature as other efforts. Specifically, the reaction is said not to require the high temperature, high pressure or accelerated particles of othersâ approaches. âThe key is not how many neutron hits you generate, but how you sustain them, how well you can control them.â For a 40-watt power input, the reactor is said to be able to generate a megawatt,â is the quote.
Deuterium Tritium Nuclear Fusion.
The technologyâs inventor has apparently tinkered with his design for 40 years, and self-funded the companyâs early stages, reinvesting income from earlier lucrative inventions. Now, strategic investors are said to include family money, such as a Shanghai real estate baron and decedents of American industrialist John Pitcairn, Jr.Â Whew.Â Here come the scam wonderers.
The inventor has been at the development since the 90s, sworn employees and investors not to let on how successful the research has been, and is said to have retained the former head of Israelâs counter terrorism unit as its chief of security.
The company is said to have already fielded a buyout attempt by General Electric. The inventor apparently didnât want the invention owned by just one corporation, characterizing it as an invention for mankind, apparently.
The company is also said to be secretly working with the Australian Air Force and Navy, and the U.S. Department of Defense, and aims to trial a 10MW version of its reactor in 2012 with an Australian utility.
So where does the credibility hang in all this?
Kachanâs just released new Emerging Nuclear Innovations report running 64 pages summarizes 6 months of looking carefully at the nuclear power industry for companies best placed to usurp big, conventional fission of the type that powers the 432 non-military nuclear reactors that exist worldwide today.
The report also looks at improvements in conventional light water reactors, including boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors, use of thorium as a fuel in molten salt and solid fuel reactors, molten salt reactors, fast neutron reactors, pebble bed reactors and modular reactors.
Mark Halper is the author of the Kachan report referred to above, which is offered for $1,295 to single users.
Dallas Kachan is the author of the Cleantech story linked above.Â Kachan is now managing partner of Kachan & Co., a clean technology research and advisory firm that does business worldwide from San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. Kachan & company staff has been covering, publishing about and helping push along clean technology since 2006.
So â weâre relying on just one person interviewing â just one person.Â This is pretty thin.Â In this case, Kachan says he trusts the source.Â But the interesting thing is the fuels, deuterium and tritium reacting together forming helium â without high pressure and/or temperatures.Â From the progress on and the gaining respectability of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (cold fusion) the idea that someone has worked up a device isnât so wild as just a few years ago.
On the other hand, fusing deuterium and tritium is going to throw off a neutron, there would have to be a form of energy such as heat, and the requisite helium product.Â The helium shouldnât pose any problem, the energy is the goal, but that neutron will need some shielding and the energy will need a harvest and conversion step to electricity most likely.
It seems plausible, even possible with a dose of optimism.Â Probable as a description will have to wait though.Â Yet the potential of the probable begs another question.Â Is someone out there working to somehow catalyze the Boron gas to helium reaction with the grand direct electrons to the grid scenario?
Its looking like the 2010-decade is going to be very interesting and quite exciting.
By. Brian Westenhaus