Here is an opinion which almost no one who is not Swedish shares, as of now.
The opinion is that the bottom line for LENR (being relevant for the future)
and for this being the “best” conference in a while, really boils down to one
Nothing else which has happened in almost 30 years of the (occasionally
inspired) research effort starting in 1989 matters very much if indeed the
Holmlid technique for muons is real and we figure out the best use for them.
The Swedes (OK this category should include Iceland and Norway too) who were at
the conference are measuring “something” which they believe are copious levels
of muon production. These particles could be some other mystery particle, but
many specialists think it is muons. No one has ever had a source of ultracheap
muons before so therefore no one realizes what can be done with them – other
than that they are particularly absorbed by a few heavy elements, especially by
the fissile isotope of uranium.
The Swedes realize that there is a basic problem in finding the so-called
“killer app” for ultracheap muons since they do not react easily and in fact
are poorly understood. No one else seems to give this basic problem much
thought since they are not fully aware of how cheaply the muons can be
produced, and unfortunately, Holmlid has suffered recent health problems.
Fortunately for the World, the research has been funded by a startup incubator
group “GU Ventures AB”, the holding company linked to the University of
Gothenburg which is named “UltraFusion Nuclear Power AB”, and which has
actually been in business for several years. The goal is new type of nuclear
reactor. The actual type of reactor chosen will be the “killer app” and it may
not be what you are thinking – which is something like cold fusion, or even hot
There are several avenues to proceed in finding the best application for cheap
muons but the most likely one to be profitable – which is also the least likely
to be enthusiastically talked about – is simply a way to massively enhance
nuclear fission. In effect, it should be possible to substitute muons for free
neutrons, to a large extent and thereby to achieve critical mass in a fuel
which is far, far from critical without said muons operating as a trigger.
Most LENR proponents do not want to talk about fission. Actually they see it as
a deal-killer, so to speak instead of a killer-app … yet consider this. The US
military has designed and produced a small modular reactor for many years,
going back to the USS Nautilus in 1958. The fuel is enriched Uranium and
expensive. However, in mass production with cheap fuel everything changes,
especially when you have a reactor design already in place which is known to
work well and is pf a size which can be of civilian interest.
Which is to say -- if and when a modular, mass-produced, small and inherently
safe fission reactor, with no real proliferation risk - comes along which can
employ unenriched fuel (natural uranium or thorium) and is itself subcritical –
then the World becomes a different place in the context of cheap and abundant
That may not be ideal, as there is still waste to deal with - but unlike hot
fusion or cold fusion, we are not far from finding out the limitations - since
so much of the background technology is already in place and works very well.