Low energy nuclear reactor (LENR) technology, and by extension palladium, is attracting the attention of one of the richest men in the world and a pioneer inventor of new technology.
LENR is science’s new approach to the 1990s’ concept of “cold fusion,” which failed spectacularly. However, by learn
|Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson: Bill Gates Speaks at TED2010 about the future of nuclear power|
ing from previous mistakes, and by applying newly developed nano-technology, scientists around the world have since worked on ways of making LENR work.
In a recent visit to Italy, billionaire business man, investor and inventor Bill Gates said that for several years he has been a believer in the idea of LENR, and is a sponsor of companies developing the technology. Gates is not only the Chairman of TerraPower, a company developing a “new class of nuclear reactors using innovative core physics.” He is also a member of the American Energy Innovation Council and supporter of new technologies through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he founded in 2000.
In June of this year, he wrote a blog titled “We need Energy Miracles” to stress the importance of new technologies like LENR.
During his trip to Italy he visited the national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA) where scientists have made significant progress towards a working design for low energy nuclear fusion. The centerpiece of their design is the same as in Mitsubishi’s: palladium.
Creating palladium foil with just the right parameters, and managing stress levels in the material was a key issue, one that the researchers at EMEA were able to resolve several years ago.
Nuclear Energy Times describes the state of LENR development as “laboratory experiments which have the potential to produce nuclear-scale energy and nuclear products but without the harmful effects of conventional nuclear energy.”
A palladium miracle in the making? It will take a while to find out, but LENR certainly has the attention of serious scientists and investors today who believe in its future.
TerraPower is a nuclear reactor design spin-off company of Intellectual Venturesthat is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, in the United States. TerraPower is investigating a class of nuclear fast reactors called the traveling wave reactor(TWR). One of TerraPower's primary investors is Bill Gates. Gates' investment is reportedly in the tens of millions of dollars. Other key investors are Venture-capital firms Charles River Ventures and Khosla Ventures, who reportedly invested $35 million in 2010. TerraPower is led by chief executive officer, John Gilleland, a member of the American Nuclear Society. In December 2011 India's Reliance Industries bought a minority stake through one of its subsidiaries. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani will join the company's board. TerraPower also works with Los Alamos National Laboratorywho hopes this partnership will help strengthen and expand their science and energy programs.
Whereas standard light water reactors such as PWRs or BWRs running worldwide use enriched uranium as fuel and need fuel reloads every few years, TWRs, once started, use depleted uranium instead and are considered to be able to operate for between 40 to 60 years without fuel reloading.
Swedish Electrical Utilities' R & D Company
Measurements on LENR reactor reported – energy release and isotopes
Yesterday (9 oct 2014), astounding results from month-long measurements on a so-called “energy catalyser” were reported. The report, written by researchers from Uppsala University, KTH and the University of Bologna, describes a release of heat that cannot be explained by chemical reactions alone. Isotope changes in the analysed fuel instead indicate that nuclear reactions might have occurred at low temperatures. It implies that we may be facing a new way to extract nuclear energy possibly without ionizing radiation and radioactive waste. The discovery could potentially become very important for the world's energy supply.
The central part of the reactor is a narrow cylinder that is two decimetre long. In the experiments, the reactor operated at temperatures up to about 1 400 degrees Celsius. A net energy release of 1 500 kWh was observed. The thermal energy output was three to four times the electrical energy input. The reactor was filled with 1 gram hydrogen-loaded nickel powder and some additives.
In recent years, Elforsk has followed the development of what has come to be called LENR – Low Energy Nuclear Reactions. Elforsk has published an overview summary of LENR. Elforsk has co-funded the work described in the report in addition to earlier measurements that showed an anomalous excess of energy.
If it is possible to safely operate and control these reactions that are now believed to be nuclear reactions, we may see a fundamental transformation of our energy system. Electricity and heat could then be produced with relatively simple components, facilitating a decentralization of energy supply that could be both inexpensive and part of a solution for global climate change.
More research is needed to understand and explain. Let us engage researchers in trying to validate and then explaining how it works.
Nov 2014 - Bill Gate showing interest.
Dec 2014 - Airbus joins lenr project and research.
More headlines, LENR-FORUM.com