Nuclear fission has a lot of critics, and rightly so ... but all of the
problems of fission derive from trying to control a multi-ton critical
mass of explosively enriched U in a steam pressurized reactor. Even with
that major design problem, the French have demonstrated to the rest of
the World that fission can make economic sense.
Even with Fukushima still smoldering, we must consider that an improved
version of nuclear fission can make great economic sense. This is
especially true for countries without much oil. When the electric car
goes into mass production at lower cost (soon) off-peak recharging is a
feature which makes fission more economically viable in the 'big picture'.
A "new and improved" version of fission means ditching enrichment, going
subcritical, going small and modular and with direct conversion of heat
to electricity. It is easily possible that fission can be made
preferable to hot fusion in every way, and less costly than any other
option including coal and cold fusion, if Pd is required. Surprisingly,
fission is cleaner than fusion when radioactive waste is burned in situ.
However, the major and almost insurmountable problem of small
subcritical natural uranium reactors is this: finding a cheap source of
makeup neutrons. It was once considered impossible.
Enter the virtual neutron - in the form of UDH.
We may be on the verge of a new atomic age... by adopting the lessons
learned from LENR into the existing infrastructure of fission. Assuming
that reports of neutron generating devices based on converting hydrogen
are accurate, we are past the prototype stage and product is being
shipped. Here is a long and confused explanation of the phenomenon to
convert hydrogen into a neutron or something close... which overlooks
UDH and the work of Holmlid and thus is missing the most important insight.
The premise here is that UDH is so similar to a real neutron that it can
be designated as virtual, becoming the needed "cheap source of makeup
neutrons" for subcritical fission. Never mind that we are not sure that
UDH will induce fission as easily as a neutron, but as far back as 1929
Walter Nernst discovered a phenomenon that indicates it will.
The irony cannot be overlooked - the future of affordable and renewable
energy may have shifted one eccentric Italian to another, even more
eccentric Italian. Rossi and Santilli - both now Floridians have a
common heritage in more ways than one.
LOL - this is almost gallows-humor in a way. The trickster rules... or
perhaps, in some dark and mysterious way, we are experiencing the legacy
of the great Fermi... chi lo sa?