This text first posted by GreenWin as an answer to Chapman in the Always Open thread.
Chappie, you are sorely mistaken in thinking the hot fusion skam is the result of “collectivist thinking” No. The $250B hot fusion boondoggle is the result of the post WWII nuclear monopoly orchestrated by academia.
The advent of nuclear fission – the most powerful source of energy on earth – gave license to ivory tower academics to build a Big Science gravy train. In particular, MIT’s egocentric Plasma Science and Fusion Center, and Princeton’s Plasma Physics Lab. Both programs were funded by the US Dept. of Energy (another skam) and military with the intent of strictly controlling fission and later fusion technology.
Military, with support of the Executive branch invented fusion “science” with the explosion of the first thermonuclear bomb on November 1, 1952. “Ivy Mike” was a ridiculously complicated Rube Goldberg gadget designed by LENR denier Richard Garwin. When the thing blew up, yielding 10.4 megatons of TNT equiv., our best and brightest believed they had recreated the process fueling our Sun. And so the promise of “unlimited clean fusion energy” was born. To the delight and windfall of fusion academics, Princeton and MIT (CalTech) had a deep pocket funder in the US DoE. Congress approved a huge multi-billion dollar program to fund hot fusion energy and the BOONDOGGLE began in 1952. According to Garwin and his sycophants – in twenty years given enough money we would have clean, unlimited fusion energy.
Well, as skams go, when the deadline is up, skammers shuck and jive and demand MORE time and money. Unhappily, in early 1970s there was no one in Congress educated enough to see the developing hot fusion black hole. Instead of cutting off funding for MIT and Princeton’s failed fusion projects – they gave these skammers MORE time and money. Fusion scientists clicked their heels and promised, within two decades we would all be living with “the clean, unlimited power of the stars.” Amazing what Big Science can do! Meanwhile, two electrochemists at University of Utah announced anomalous heat from what they believed was room temperature nuclear fusion. The hot fusionists saw a gravy train wreck, and quickly declared the two scientists “deluded” and fraudulent. Pot? Kettle? Fast forward: twenty years later, US national labs, LLNL, Sandia, Oakridge, Los Alamos, and scrappy new academics had all climbed aboard the fusion gravy train. Why not? The American taxpayers were easily bamboozled by solipsistic high brows like Garwin, Teller and Lindsky. And after 40 years of failed fusion ignition, our geniuses had a brilliant NEW idea! “Inertial Confinement Fusion” using futuristic laser technology would open the portal to hot fusion! Hurray for humanity!
So, Congress not wanting to admit they’d been bamboozled, approved MORE money for spendthrift DoE to build a huge complex at Lawrence Livermore National lab called “The National Ignition Facility NIF, where once and for all the world’s greatest scientists would deliver, clean, unlimited fusion energy to humanity. Yay? NIF finished construction in early 2000, 5 years behind schedule, and 400% overbudget. So?? It’s just taxpayer money. And America now had the world’s largest laser. Very cool. But, Inertial confinement proved harder than our high brows imagined. Ooops. A sheepish Congress demanded a deadline for NIF ignition – September 2012. Well, with hundreds of our best and brightest under the leadership of a guy named “Moses” (can’t make this sheit up) experiments went forward, each time failing to get better than 1/10 the needed bootstrap heat and compression to cause fusion ignition. We got lots of hems and haws for our billions$$ but after 60 years of Big Science – taxpayers, Congress, humanity got… ZERO useful energy.
But WAIT! The story doesn’t end at NIF. Scientism – worship of the religion of science – disallows failure. So they invented a new even BIGGER boondoggle: International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ITER. Already 400% overbudget and 20 years behind schedule – this giant tokamak* reactor has bamboozled 35 countries into funding the gravy train. Hey, it’s carbon free, so Algore and buddies approve it!!
*” …a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.” Gee.
Is this nightmare the result of “collectivist thinking?” Hell no. It’s the result of a creeping elitism oozing from the ivory towers of academia. The same mentality that drives the unelected bureaucrats at the European Union. They know better than us peons. They are the shepherds, we are their sheep. We can thank LENR deniers like Garwin, APS spokesman Robert Park, John Huizenga, and Steven E. Jones for misinforming Congress and the public about the potential for low temperature nuclear reactions. More info: http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue35/ethics.html