Details of the Thermacore runaway in 1996Jones etal--

Also most observers of the LENR scene are unaware of the details of a British 
1956 patent describing what may be a LENR.   Hank Mills has written a good 
summary of the invention on E Cat World I believe. 

It got by me as a reactor designer in the early 1960’s

Bob Cook

From: Jones Beene 
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2016 11:08 AM
Subject: [Vo]:Details of the Thermacore runaway in 1996

Most observers of the LENR/nickel hydride scene are unaware of the details of 
the Thermacore, Inc. runaway reaction back in 1996. 

Unfortunately, this was the last effort that this company made in the field, 
and the main reason that they dropped LENR. The incident echoes other thermal 
runaways, including P&F, Mizuno, Mark Snoswell in Australia and Ahern. However, 
it was far more energetic than any of the prior incidents.

This was to have been an powered experiment but they never had time to apply 
input power. This was was a follow-on to a Phase one grant from USAF (document 
in LENR-CANR library) and was simply intended to be an analysis the absorption 
reaction of a large amount of nickel powder and hydrogen at modest pressure. 
Instead, it was likely the most energetic single event in the history of LENR.

Recently, Brian Ahern has been in contact with Nelson Gernert, the chief 
researcher in the new Thermacore (having gone through two changes of ownership) 
who was also in charge of the runaway. None of this has appeared in print 

Gernert added 2.5 pounds of nickel powder (200 mesh of Ni-200) into a 3 liter 
stainless steel Dewar.  The Dewar weighed 300 pounds. It was a strong pressure 
vessel with a hemispherical volume. Thermacore evacuated the nickel under 
vacuum for several days before adding H2 gas at 2 atmospheres (apparently there 
was no potassium but this detail needs to be verified).

The most amazing thing happened next. The powder immediately and spontaneously 
heated before external power could be added. The Dewar glowed orange (800C) and 
the engineers ran for cover. No external heat had been used and no radiation 
monitors were running. The nickel had sintered into a glob alloyed into the 
vessel and could not be removed.

The (then) owner of Thermacore, Yale Eastman was frightened that an explosion 
was imminent and that someone could be killed. He forbade any further work on 
LENR. The incident was not published. 

The Dewar was no longer safe as a pressure vessel and they junked it. They did 
not measure it for radiation. Superficial thermal analysis - 3 liters of H2 gas 
at 2 atmosphere will have a heat of combustion of 74 kilojoules when combined 
with oxygen (but there was no oxygen in the Dewar).  

Heating a 300 lb Stainless vessel to 800C requires 21 megajoules. That is 
ostensibly 289 times the possible chemical energy!

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