LENR (aka Cold Fusion) entails the production of industrial-scale excess heat — often times producing energy densities associated with traditional “Hot Fusion”. In traditional hot fusion experiments, the reaction is not yet proven controllable and all sorts of harmful radiation result, which demands all sorts of precautionary measures costing huge sums. In the case of fission reactors, huge amounts of toxic waste with long half-lives have proven catastrophic to our environment. The cold fusion reaction does produce trace elements of nuclear products (such as tritium, neutrons, helium, energetic particles), which indicate that the reaction — in some way — is indeed “nuclear”. But all these products have been found to be largely inconsequential and harmless in this particular context. Neutrons, energetic particles, gammas, and so on, are emitted at very low levels (though well above the “background”) and have trouble escaping the interior of the environment where the reaction takes place. Tritium, while technically classified as “radioactive”, only has a half-life of twelve-years, so storage and disposal would be trivial in comparison to current efforts spent on maintaining huge storehouses of toxic waste produced from fission reactors.
Once fully developed — as a virtually unlimited, clean energy source (no carbon emissions for example) — LENR-CF will open up prior unexplored vistas. It has the capacity to power all sorts of interesting superconducting devices including maglev trains and exotic nano-technologies. It will provide an effective way of desalinating and purifying drinking/irrigation water. And it also holds the potential to remediate/clean-up nuclear waste through controlled transmutation processes.
Dr. Edmund Storms is a former nuclear-chemist who spent his career at Los Alamos National Labs. He is a preeminent researcher in the field of LENR-CF and is considered by many to be the world’s authority on the subject. This conversation largely focuses on the theory of LENR-CF, rather than its cultural and historical context, which we already explored in a past interview from last August.
Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction: A Comprehensive Compilation of Evidence and Explanations about Cold Fusion (World Scientific Publishing Company, 2007)