The news coming out of the National Ignition Facility at the Livermore National Laboratory regarding the achievement of fusion from almost 200 lasers blasting a tritium/deuterium (both isotopes of hydrogen) fuel pellet has really caught the attention of the national and international media. A search on Google news today brings up 288 articles from a wide variety of news sources, including some of the largest names in the news media:The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Bloomberg, San Francisco Chronicle, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post and very many more.
The achievement has been described as a milestone, a turning point, a breakthrough, and a big leap because a reaction something akin to the power of the sun has been reproduced here on earth. And certainly, I think what the NIF have achieved is noteworthy — the fusing atoms is a remarkable achievement, and building a system that can create a reaction that can, even for a billionth of a second, produce more energy than is input into it, should certainly be noted.
But after having written for nearly three years about the E-Cat and other LENR system, I can’t help notice the marked difference in media reaction to this ‘hot’ fusion event, than to any ‘cold’ fusion or LENR news we have covered here. To my mind, what has been achieved, for example, by Andrea Rossi is far more newsworthy than what happened at the NIF. Researchers have demonstrated that one of Rossi’s high temperature E-Cat reactors can produce at least 3 times as much energy as it consumes for days at a time, and the E-Cat’s performance has so impressed investors that a new company — Industrial Heat LLC, has been formed by the principals at Cherokee Investment Partners to commercialize this technology to be used in industrial settings.
What is the path to commercialization of the fusion demonstrated at the NIF? It’s unknown if there will ever be a commercial product from hot fusion. Dr. Omar Hurricane who heads up the fusion project there admits that reaching the fusion achievement has been hard, saying “We’re sort of pushing ourselves to the limit to make this happen.”
It must be said that the media reports about the fusion story have not all been full of ecstatic praise for the fusion project. Many of them note that this breakthrough has been a long time coming, and has cost many billions of public money to achieve — and further billions will be needed to keep this NIF and other hot fusion projects going. And they note that it’s not known how long it will take for hot fusion to produce energy that can be used by anyone.
I believe it’s in the public interest to be informed about what is going on in the world of LENR/Cold Fusion, and I think it’s a shame that there is not even a fraction of the media coverage than has been given to hot fusion. We’ve talked at length here on E-Cat World about why that might be the case. I think it boils down to what is considered respectable science by those in high places in media, the scientific community and government. Leaders in the scientific community make decisions about what respectable science is, science that is considered respectable gets public funding, and what gets public funding gets covered by the news media. All this means that research on the fringes of science, like LENR, tends to get ignored or dismissed by those who have influence in the media — and this leads to public ignorance of really significant breakthroughs that could have important implications for society as a whole.
I hope it won’t be too long before the media outlets that have given so much attention to hot fusion start to give the cold variety the attention it deserves.