Moon Shot Miss – “The New Fire”

On Sunday, September 6, 2015, CNN aired “Moonshots for the 21st Century: A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special” (Premiered December 27, 2014). A CNN promo states: “…a fascinating look at how harnessing the energy of nuclear fusion reactions may create a virtually limitless energy source, unlocking innovations in hypersonic flight, and revealing the power of the mind by mapping the brain.  Will astronauts reach Mars by the 2030s? Will it soon be possible to 3D-print human organs for life-saving transplants?”

The following article is written in the form of an open letter to Fareed/GPS:

To: Fareed and the GPS Team, GPS@CNN.com

Subject: “Moonshots for the 21st Century: A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special” – A Critique

First let me state (IMHO) that the Global Public Square (GPS) is the best show of its kind and I frequently display my brilliance by mentioning it to others. Your topic selection and coverage are timely and comprehensive. Somehow, I missed the earlier airing of the subject show and thank you for airing again.

That said, your ‘Moonshots’ show did not include the current technological breakthrough that will dwarf the significance of those you did mention, combined. In keeping with the analogy, your ‘Moonshots’ missed. Allow me to elaborate…

You did include the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Quoting several points from your piece:

  • “If it's successful, it would be one of mankind's most significant achievements ever.”
  • “A milestone that could change the world.”
  • “…exploiting a huge energy source.”
  • “…it would have a profound impact on our lives.”
  • “…wouldn't produce any carbon emissions.”

I concur. The technology breakthrough I’m writing about is a cousin to the ITER.

The ITER utilizes the brute force of immense, complex machinery and ‘star like’ high temperatures and energies to crush the nuclei of two atoms together to a point where they fuse into a heavier nucleus/atom and release the desired energy. This high temperature/energy fusion technology has become known as ‘hot fusion.’

The cousin does not ‘outwardly’ require or generate these extreme high energy/temperature conditions and has become known as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) or ‘cold fusion.’ While ‘star like’ conditions may exist within the LENR reactor at the point of reaction, the reaction sites are of nano scale and contained within the crystalline lattice of a solid metal. LENR has also been referred to as “the new fire” in that it will supplant our burning of fossil fuels for energy.

My layman’s comparison of the status of the two technologies is provided in the table below:

   

So what’s my point?

TIME: Our continued reliance on fossil fuels is pushing us ever closer, potentially, to a global warming tipping point. Some argue that we are already there. While hot fusion systems such as the ITER may eventually be successful, they will clearly be expensive and will not be available for worldwide usage for decades, if ever.

COST: If the goal is to “…power humanity with fusion for millions of years…” as stated in your “Moonshots” piece, it must be affordable by and for humanity. Humanity is inclusive of many more than those residing in the richest countries. Many are already in desperate straits.

Can humanity afford to wait and see if ITER / hot fusion can solve the problem? My answer is No.

If a fraction of the hot fusion budgets had been directed to LENR research, it would already be providing a major percentage of the energy we consume today.

We (society) should be directing our attention toward the LENR / cold fusion technology and devoting a percentage of our public R&D resources to studying the underlying physics.

What say you?

Thank you for listening.

Sincerely,

John Oman

OmanTek

 

Link to the original Premiere promo: http://www.cnnasiapacific.com/programs/en/program/948/

Link to a CNN site where the show can reportedly be viewed: http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2015/02/11/moonshots-for-the-21st-century-a-fareed-zakaria-gps-special-now-available-exclusively-via-cnngo/

Link to a transcript of the show: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1503/15/fzgps.01.html

Link to Fareed Zakaria’s site: http://fareedzakaria.com/

 

Disclaimer: The above is offered for the purpose of discussion and to encourage others to look into LENR themselves. The statements reflect my impressions, understanding and opinions derived primarily from material found on the intranet.