More Fantastic Than Rossi’s E-Cat

Out of Cleantech via Al Fin Energy comes a hint of a nuclear fusion company more fantastic than the Rossi E-Cat.  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.  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 he’s 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 €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 a for 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 firm’s technology will represent a new energy production paradigm.

The report on this company’s fusion reaction says it’s fueled 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 others’ approaches. “The key is not how many neutron hits you generate, but how you sustain them, how well you can control them.” For a 40-watt power input, the reactor is said to be able to generate a megawatt,” is the quote.

Deuterium Tritium Nuclear Fusion. Click image for the largest view.

The technology’s inventor has apparently tinkered with his design for 40 years, and self-funded the company’s 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.  Whew.  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 Israel’s 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 didn’t 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?

Kachan’s 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.  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 – we’re relying on just one person interviewing – just one person.  This is pretty thin.  In this case, Kachan says he trusts the source.  But the interesting thing is the fuels, deuterium and tritium reacting together forming helium – without high pressure and/or temperatures.  From the progress on and the gaining respectability of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (cold fusion) the idea that someone has worked up a device isn’t 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.  The helium shouldn’t 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.  Probable as a description will have to wait though.  Yet the potential of the probable begs another question.  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.


12 Comments so far

  1. Giovanni Leonardi on November 30, 2011 5:58 AM

    neutron emission generates radioactive products, whether in the shield or not, therefore this technology is less fantastic than Rossi’s E-cat

  2. Aaron Blake on November 30, 2011 8:18 AM

    “This is pretty thin,” sums it up well. Those of us who are doing actual fusion research know how hard it is. There are some basic physical rules that can’t be broken. They can only be overpowered. That’s why fusion is so difficult. At Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, we are very open about our successes and challenges, but we weren’t interviewed by Kachen, and we are getting 100 billion neutrons per shot with deuterium. Claims from people like Rossi and this rice-cooker guy damage the credibility of the whole fusion community. It would be nice if this new technology was real, but don’t hold your breath, or stop looking at real, working technologies.

  3. Brian Westenhaus on November 30, 2011 8:59 PM

    HI AARON!! Glad to hear from you! Let me know if you would like to put up an update here. I’d happily put the real stuff up. If you’re doing an end of year summary under 1,000 words I’ll just post it. — Its because you and Dr. Lerner deserve it. Good work!


  4. rototo on November 30, 2011 8:43 AM

    lol, a secret company has a 1MW nuclear device within a rice cooker and refuses to talk about it. sounds very plausible indeed 😀

  5. Craig Binns on November 30, 2011 12:39 PM

    More fantastic than Rossi? Dear me; Rossi was bad enough, but this is a complete hallucination! Have we given up on Rossi? Perhaps Mario the Tuscan Optimist can post a comment to inform us on this point.

    It was supposed to be Defkalion that was going to make a world changing nuke fusion announcement today, not some incredible character with a rice boiler and an Israeli bodyguard.

    Anyone heard from the Defkalion outfit yet? It’s 8.40 pm in Greece now, and it’ll soon be their bed time.

  6. BFast on November 30, 2011 9:15 PM

    Aaron Blake, “Those of us who are doing actual fusion research know how hard it is.”

    Aaron, please check out
    It would seem that the Ni + H cold reaction has been replicated at least 6 times, using 6 different methodologies. Among the claimants are physicists from the University of Illinois and from SRI. Maybe you hot fusion types should take a pause and check out what cold fusion has to offer.

  7. Joseph E Fasciani on December 1, 2011 2:51 PM

    OK, I liked what I read, although it’s a bit off-the-wall ala Hollywood. I sent it to, so you’ll get a thousand enquiries PDQ. Good night, and good luck!

  8. True Believer on December 1, 2011 4:08 PM

    Some of these fusion guys must be living in another universe (like Fringe). The laws of physics are what they are, and the fusion rice cooker idea is not even real enough for Fringe.


  9. Sarah Palin on December 1, 2011 4:12 PM

    I can see Russian fusion reactors from my backyard. Where are all the true believers? The Earth is 5000 years old, don’t you know!

  10. Jerry Taylor on December 1, 2011 8:06 PM

    5000 years old starting when?

  11. Brian Wang on December 2, 2011 11:23 AM

    I believe the claimants have to be Star Scientific who are working on muon fusion. they claimed to have a breakthrough in pion generation efficiency.

  12. Brian Westenhaus on December 4, 2011 8:57 PM

    Thanks Brian,


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