‘Cold Fusion is Back’ — Transmutation Work of Tohoku University Featured by Nikkei Asian Review

Thanks to Greenwin for sharing this article from the Nikkei Asian Review in the Always Open thread.

An article in the Nikkei Asian Review, an English language Japanese news service, which focuses on business news in Asia looks at the work of the newly formed Condensed Matter Nuclear Reaction Division lab, which opened in April at Tohoku University’s Research Center for Electron Photon Science in connection with Clean Planet Inc. The article, published on July 2 2015, is titled “Cold fusion: A solution for radioactive waste?” and it begins with the statement: “Cold fusion is back. Truth is, the idea of triggering nuclear reactions at relatively low temperatures never really died. Scientists have continued to investigate the theory, though many opt for other names, such as “low-energy nuclear reactions.”

The focus of the lab is on nuclear transmutation from cold fusion processes, which can producing useful energy, as well as making long-term radioactive materials harmless. The goal of the lab is to create a small-scale device that will do both things at once.

The article reports that Tohoku Professor of nuclear physics Jirota Kasagi has been joined by Yasuhiro Iwamura, formerly of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. From the article:

With his arrival, the scope of the research expanded to other nuclear transformations: converting radioactive palladium, which emits beta rays for hundreds of thousands of years, into radiation-free tin; changing radioactive selenium into stable strontium; turning radioactive zirconium into ruthenium; and switching radioactive cesium into praseodymium, which is also radioactive but has an extremely short half-life of 13.6 days.
[…] Tohoku University and Mitsubishi Heavy belong to a group of more than 10 ImPACT participants looking into the feasibility of nuclear transmutation technologies. The main focus of this research is transforming radioactive materials by changing the number of neutrons in the nucleus. This would be done by bombarding the materials with high-speed neutrons, requiring huge accelerator machines. But Kasagi and his colleagues hope to realize simpler transmutation through reactions between radioactive materials and deuterium gas or hydrogen gas.

Here’s a serious effort to use cold fusion deal with a critical problem — especially for Japan — of finding ways to decontaminate radioactive materials. It seems that this is more of a focus at Tohoku than energy production which could certainly be a beneficial byproduct of the transmutation work.

It’s interesting to see the Japanese press giving cold fusion respectful treatment here. Most media reports in western media outlets about LENR/cold fusion seem to emphasize the notion that the subject is virtually taboo among scientists and highly speculative. Not so here — the author seems to see the work at Tohoku University as legitimate and important.

  • GreenWin

    Employees of NNSA and DOE work for the American people. The people are fed up with incompetence handling 60 years nuclear waste. Japan’s government (Clean Planet Inc. & Tohoku University) is investing in the LENR transmutation solution. The U.S. government, i.e. American people own similar patented technology. Apparently Ernie Moniz needs a swift kick in the rear to get the message and keep up with Japan.

  • GreenWin

    Yep fp. The point of kicking a$$ at NNSA is to force their myopic eyes to focus on new remediation technology. This means sending less tax dollars to their crony contractors and investing in tech like LENR that shows (witness Japanese government/Tohoku/Clean Planet) promise of transmutation.

  • modernsteam

    Transmuting radioactive nuclear substances to harmless stable ones can be done by “burning” them in a specially-configured molten salt reactor. Check out the work of Transatomic Power (http://www.transatomicpower.com/).

    • GreenWin

      The nearest date for a working MSR is 2035. By then LENR will have obviated all fission reactors AND helped reduce the 65k tons of radioactive waste the U.S. has no place to store. Waste remediation alone is a multi-billion $ market.

      • Warthog

        The US “does” have a place to store the waste….Yucca Mountain. The only reason waste is NOT being stored there is propaganda and politics. Pretty largely blocked due to the political “clout” of one individual…..Harry Reid.

        • GreenWin

          Wrong. Yucca even if configured to the NNSA standards will be no better
          than the state of the art WIPP in Carlsbad, NM. Closed now due to
          catastrophic failure and deadly radiative exposure to 13 DOE employees.

          “On Valentines night, one of the now suspect 500 waste
          drums from DOE’s LosAlamos National Laboratory (LANL) blast open inside
          DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Casks filled with 3.2 million
          cubic feet of deadly radioactive wastes remain buried at the crippled
          plant. That huge ($4.5B) facility was rendered useless.”

          http://www.dcbureau.org/201406059835/natural-resources-news-service/breaking-bad-nuclear-waste-disaster.html#sthash.fSoFf6kr.dpuf

          The
          solution to radiative waste is not to hide it under a geological “rug” –
          but to utilize new technology capable of transmutation of even the most
          heavy and dangerous elements.

          • Warthog

            Oh, please. Stop with the anti-nuke propaganda. The stuff that was to be stored at Yucca is what would be the OUTPUT of the WIPP. What you are talking about is poorly encapsulated FEEDSTOCK remaining after politics shut down development and further operation of the WIPP.

            Part of the problem is FUD about nuclear technology coming (originally) from KGB-paid shills, and repeated as gospel for fifty years.

            While transmuting the waste into a harmless form is desirable, it is not essential for permanent disposal. A simple way to remove existing waste to from the biosphere is deep ocean disposal in a subduction zone.

            • GreenWin

              Sure it’s anti-nuke. But let’s replace your word “propaganda” with “facts.” You seem to be denying the failures at WIPP and its incompetent waste dealer LANL. Let’s look at the way the Accident Investigation Board views the failure at both DOE facilities:

              “The Accident Investigation Board, appointed by the Department of Energy, has found that:

              – “Managers at LANL were not receptive to bad news and would retaliate in response to reported issues.”

              – “Management didn’t listen when workers at the waste processing
              facility reported witnessing ‘foaming and an orange or yellow colored
              smoke’ coming from drums.'”

              – “One employee also said ‘when workers questioned the logic of using
              organic cat litter, ‘they were told to focus on their area of expertise
              and not to worry about other areas of the procedure.”
              Albuquerque Journal

              And the State of New Mexico has issued $50M in fines to both WIPP and Los Alamos National Lab for catastrophic failure of leadership and safety violations.

              “New Mexico’s congressional delegation said in a joint statement
              “a series of critical failures of leadership at every level led to the
              very serious accident and release that put numerous New Mexicans at
              risk, shuttered WIPP for over a year and (has) already cost taxpayers
              tens of millions of dollars. This report makes clear that the DOE and
              its contractors failed to keep faith with the people of New Mexico.”
              http://nukewatch.org/activemap/NWC-WIPP.html

              IMO the present Secretary of Energy, Ernie Moniz should be held directly responsible for these and other failures in DOE “nuke village” operations.

              • Warthog

                “You seem to be denying the failures at WIPP and its incompetent waste dealer LANL.”

                Nope. The failures certainly happened. But you need to honestly look at the ultimate source of virtually all the problems….the constant cutting of the DOE budgets by the Democrats (at the behest of their liberal and green allies). You simply can’t attract and keep the most talented people when all you can pay is peanuts, and when their efforts are vilified at every turn.

                The TECHNICAL source of the problem was simply that the encapsulation designed for transit and TEMPORARY storage was held past its safe limits by the constant delays caused by budget cuts, lawsuits, and all the rest of the tactics used to destroy the nuclear power industry in the USA.

                Oh, and I don’t think something calling itself “nukewatch.org” constitutes a reliable source.

                • GreenWin

                  Warthog, thanks for the invitation. “You simply can’t attract and keep the most talented people when all you can pay is peanuts…”

                  Had you read into the report from Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, AP Wire News, you would know the American people paid LANL Director Chuck McMillan $1.5M last year. That is 3X the salary paid in 2006 when LANL was still managed by University California.

                  You really think a $1.5M salary is “peanuts?” And where is the “talent?”

                • Warthog

                  Do you actually think that the director of LANL is the guy who runs the WIPP plant??? I’m talking about the engineers and technicians who do the day to day work, up to the guy who actually managed the WIPP plant itself. The director of LANL probably has zero hands-on contact. And at the level of responsibility for the person in charge of the entire LANL facility and all its projects, $1.5 million may well BE peanuts.

                  No matter WHAT technology is ultimately chosen either to transmute or package for long-term storage (even LENR) there will still have to be a plant that collects the radwaste and chemically processes it into a form that can be fed to the “transmutor”.

                  And I fully expect, that even if LENR and transmutation is the final choice, that the green weenies will STILL be demonstrating, filing lawsuits, and publishing blogs like “nukewatch” against it.

                • GreenWin

                  Apparently you think journalist oversight of technology able to cause mass destruction or illness to citizens is wrong. In which case you’re living in the wrong country. Fukushima alone represents the hazard to populations living near nuclear facilities – regardless of “safety measures.”

                  As I have commented before, I hold the guy at the top of an organization responsible for the actions of those he commands. Men of integrity do not pass the buck. Chuck McMillan runs LANL. DOE’s own Accident Investigation Board found management at LANL “unreceptive and retaliatory to bad news.” i.e. They think their sheit don’t stink. Sorry, it does. And Chuck McMillan who is paid $30k a week should accept responsibility for LANL failures.

                  The failures at WIPP and LANL are the tip of the iceberg. IMO only a complete overhaul of DOE and its nuke cabal will end the escalating threat to civilians. But, thanks for the dialog.

                • Warthog

                  RESPONSIBLE environmentalists are advocating for safe deployment of fission….(the Navy seems to know how to do it) not a total knee-jerk “if it is fission, shut it down” like you and your compadres. If LENR doesn’t pan out, we are going to need that technology and that energy VERY badly.

                  And as I said before, I don’t consider your “sources” to be “responsible journalists”, but propagandists. I’ve done enough “back-checking” into sites of this sort to trace them back to far left politics and funding sources.

                  Who YOU hold responsible determines nothing. McMillan is not the guy who turns the valves and makes the plant go (or not)….he just signs those folks paychecks. And the very best of those plant-level employees long ago departed for more secure employment. Hence, those actually doing the work are what shows up in response to the ads.

                • GreenWin

                  Again, had you bothered to read the sources for the nukewatch.org article you would’ve noted journalists from the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, and AP Wire News. The Journal is 135 years old whose staff won 7 Excellence in Journalism awards this year. The Santa Fe New Mexican dates back to 1849 and is a winner of the Inland Press Association’s print award.

                  Associated Press Wire News dates to 1846 and operates 243 news bureaus in 120 countries. AP has been awarded 51 Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in journalism.

                  Rather than whining about the messenger, maybe LANL, WIPP and DOE should get off their bloated a$$ and DO something about the decrepit state of their nuclear cabal. They’ve wasted hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars and have little to show for any of it.

                  “DOE’s own Accident Investigation Board found management at LANL “unreceptive and retaliatory to bad news.” ‘Nuff said.

                • Warthog

                  No, NOT “’nuff said”. The fact that “nukewatch” used some materials from legit news sources does not eliminate their bias. The Left is a past master of mixing legitimate and bogus sources into a melange that fosters their purposes. I’ve back-checked enough similar “references” to understand what goes on.

                  And your terminology itself betrays your own biases…”nuclear cabal” indeed. How about the “green cabal” that wants to shut down ALL fissiion?? Or do you think that it is impossible to do fission safely (despite the example of the nuclear navy, which has an exemplary record).

                • GreenWin

                  Thanks for the dialog Warthog. I’ve made my points.

  • Warthog

    I suggest looking into the Nanor a bit more closely before drawing such a conclusion. Getting a full handle on the NAE (nuclear active environment) will, I believe, deliver a range of scalability currently unimagined.

    I have no problem envisioning a photolithographically produced “forest” of nickel nano-tubes grown onto a surface, fully encapsulated, with alternate “strips” of a metal-hydride forming alloy, also grown on a micro-heater on the same chip within the encapsulation. Control by varying the hydrogen pressure via the adsorption and desorption onto the hydride storage section.

  • Sanjeev

    Exactly my thoughts.
    Although I agree with Omega above, the credit will go to Rossi and it must, but his plans to monopolize it all are just fantasy.
    It depends on what part of the E-Cat will be mass produced. If its just the core (fit it anywhere type, like a microprocessor which can be used in multiple places), then it may survive for a few years (at most). Other industries will spring up building applications around the E-Cat core, and it will be a kind of ecosystem or symbiosis. There will not be much to reverse engineer, and there will be more profit in building and servicing actual products that use the core.
    If full products are mass produced, then they will become obsolete in a very short time. Many will start selling new and improved versions as soon as it hits the market. If its too cheap, some may even offer the basic service for free, while making money on accessories.
    The real situation will be probably more complicated, but I see no scenario of a monopoly.

    • Steven Irizarry

      you must also be aware that rossi isnt the only one making this technology. lattice energy LLC is making it as well. if rossi succeeds i expect an explosion of funding for other LENR projects that will probably render the ECAT obsolete

  • Omega Z

    “industrial heats cold fusion reactor being primitive in the weeks following its release”
    Perhaps, But Rossi will still have done more for the world then you.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Good for the Japanese press. For contrast, this
    is the sort of crap they force feed us in the USA. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/46342612/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/fraud-claims-over-e-cat-cold-fusion-machine-heating/#.VajlA7VKXIs

  • GordonDocherty

    When needs must… or necessity is the mother of all inventions…

  • Gerrit

    see also this previous article from the same journalist. http://asia.nikkei.com/Tech-Science/Tech/Researchers-seek-method-to-clean-nuclear-waste

  • wpj

    The cesium transmutation could be very useful for them; there is a huge amount of this from the Fukushima incident. How they are going to irradiate peoples’ roofs is another matter!

    • Bob Greenyer

      So all we need are swarms of cooperatively operating hot particle seeker/collector bots.

      Fortunately, my brother is just starting to make open his “nano” air vehicle research.

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCuJrZ3wpRjBb_UbDAfSsGg/videos

      Whilst these are designed to harvest energy from vibrations and EM and have solar panels, would be ideal if they had a micro LENR/super capacitor power solution.

  • Axil Axil

    The way to mitigate radioactive waste has been researched and proven. This method makes the waste water soluble by converting the radioactive waste into a water soluble salt. Then adding the waste/water mixture to a solution of gold or silver nanoparticles suspended in water. Next, shine a mid-powered LASER beam in the visible wave length range into the water/waste/nanoparticle solution.

    I have referenced papers here on this site that show how the nanoplasmonic mechanism can change the half-life of U232 the deadliest of all unstable radioactive isotopes from 69 years to 6 microseconds. It also causes thorium to fission.

    See references:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Farxiv.org%2Fpdf%2F1112.6276&ei=nI6UUeG1Fq-N0QGypIAg&usg=AFQjCNFB59F1wkDv-NzeYg5TpnyZV1kpKQ&sig2=fhdWJ_enNKlLA4HboFBTUA&bvm=bv.46471029,d.dmQ

  • GreenWin

    Russia, China, India, Japan, Italy, Norway, Sweden, France etc. – all have officially accepted the humanitarian potential of LENR. There could be no more beneficial application than to neutralize the thousands of tons of radioactive waste accumulated over the past 60 years.

    The fact the U.S. NNSA (assigned the Navy/JWK LENR patent) has not announced a nuclear waste remediation project is unconscionable. We spend hundreds of billions to bury our nuke waste only to have those facilities fail… http://www.cbsnews.com/news/13-exposed-to-radiation-at-nm-nuke-waste-dump/

    We need a new direction. I suggest Lieutenant General Frank G. Klotz, USAF (Ret), order his staff to review the work at Tohuku University and the NNSA-assigned patent granted to Navy/JWK – to fast track a nuclear waste remediation project. We have the answers. We need leaders to ask the questions.

    • GordonDocherty

      When needs must… or necessity is the mother of all inventions…

      Conversely, it’s hardest for those rewarded by the status quo to challenge it… and related to that, the quote from Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

      Japan has a need. China has a need. The world in general has a need. Sadly, those who have plenty, the “1% of the 1%”, don’t – yet. Such issues,though, have a habit of “comin’ a-knockin’ “. The world is a finite entity. Sooner or later, what degrades one degrades all – and there is no Earth Mark 2 to escape to.

      Sustainability is the watchword. LENR is fully in-line with sustainability – for all. A good thing, one would think. Yet still silence around the status quo. The mainstream continues to be willfully blind. Surely it is better to wake up and act now than to sit like “scared rabbits in the headlights”? From the experience of most of us here on this forum, we could be forgiven for thinking the status quo thinks otherwise.

      The world is set to decide policies for the next decade and beyond, on Sustainable Development at the Post-2015 Development Conference in New York in September 2015, and on Climate (and Ocean) Action at the Climate Conference in Paris in November/December 2015.

      Let us pray that LENR is somewhere high on their respective lists and agendas… and, of course, prayer is always helped along with a little action, especially if you talk to someone who needs to know 🙂

    • Bob Greenyer

      If the Navy/JWK or Mitsubishi patent is able to solve this problem – think of all those people that would be out of waste management jobs for LITERALLY 10,000s years!

      It is like putting an end to a multi-millenia gravy train – why don’t you think of the children 😉

    • Frechette

      And how would we reply if Tohuku University said no and not cooperate. Nuke Japan a third time?
      The US hubris is mind boggling.

  • Bob Greenyer

    Nice to see the Mitsubishi work – that took around a decade to be patented – get some chance at commercialisation. Japan needs this.

    • Bob Matulis

      Would be quite ironic.