Rarely does science accomplish the impossible. Rarer still does one of these unexpected and unlikely announcements completely contradict all know scientific facts assumed to support an underlying discipline. When Fleishmann and Pons did exactly that with their announcement of Cold Fusion in 1989, the reaction by the scientists and businesses their revelation threatened was swift, and squarely aimed at destroying the threat their announcement created.
Prior to this announcement, all forms of Nuclear Fusion were assumed to occur at temperatures and pressures only found in our Sun and all other stars. Nuclear weapons utilize controlled explosions to initiate what is basically an uncontrolled fusion event that produces a very short intense burst of nuclear energy. For all physicists in 1989, cold and fusion were the ultimate contradiction of terms.
I am sure that everyone in this country, believed as I did, that the announcement of Cold Fusion was a dramatic breakthrough heralding the advent of a new era for mankind. Everyone was surprised. Every physicist was stunned! This new beginning was quickly and as it turns out deliberately ended with a preemptive, intentionally misleading attack forged by well-respected scientists whose hot nuclear research funding was threatened. Cold Fusion was labeled "Junk Science" by these individuals desperate to prevent the emergence of this usurper to their field. They correctly assumed this advancement would sever hundreds of millions of dollars in hot fusion research funding, they received then and now from government agencies and big energy corporations every year.
It now seems probable that one or more products utilizing the principals originally described as Cold Fusion will be introduced into global markets by the end of this year. This will initially be in the form of small, inexpensive energy generators that output nothing more than simple clean heat. Two companies, Defkalion Green Technologies S.A. and E-CAT (US 2011/0005506) are currently competing to get these heat-producing products onto the market first. Although these companies were previously affiliated, both are now independently developing their own products. Both companies have prototypes undergoing safety certification processes. Both companies' products are initially aimed at heating your home and its hot water. At least six other companies are in startup mode, including: AmpEnergo, Seldon Technologies, (US 2011/0255644) Lattice Energy, Brillouin Energy Corporation, (US 2011/0122984) Energetics Technology and Star Scientific. Given the surge in intellectual property, recent venture capital investments coupled with an increasing internet buzz, it would seem to be a safe bet that there are at least this many stealth start-ups now gearing up to enter the race.
The next goal of all of the companies developing Cold Fusion devices is to couple the ability to generate heat with an efficient electrical generation process. This will allow you to power your home, office, auto, boat, and manufacturing facilities. The key word here is efficient, because turning heat into electricity, directly or indirectly, is currently an inefficient process. This is true even at very large-scale installations such as nuclear power plants utilizing hot fusion processes to produce steam, driving turbines that rotate electrical generators. Scaling this process down further reduces this efficiency for several reasons. We are dealing with lower temperatures and lower pressures from the output of these smaller lower heat-producing devices. There are many conversion devices and technologies currently being developed and some are commercially available now. The interfaces to produce electricity directly from the Hyperion and E-CAT devices have not yet been completely engineered. It will take another 18 to 24 months, but eventually everything requiring power can be converted to run on small Cold Fusion power plants that are completely independent of the current electrical grids.
Click to enlargeBoth the E-CAT and Defkalion's units produce heat from very similar processes. A metal tube containing a pressurized nickel powder is injected with hydrogen gas, also under pressure. This chamber is then heated and a highly efficient exothermic reaction between the nickel and the hydrogen atoms is initiated. For those of you unfamiliar with the term exothermic it simply means the process produce heat. Significantly more heat than can be explained by any chemically identified reaction, leaving only Cold Fusion to explain this energy.
Since the original announcement of its existence, Cold Fusion scientists have endured a chilly, inhospitable reception. Journals for many years refused to publish their scientific papers and the US patent office refused to accept or review any patents that cited Cold Fusion within their claims for the production of energy. The solution was to rebrand their research with a variety of aliases, both to differentiate individual theories regarding how these devices were functioning and provide them with some distance from entrenched, negative attitudes that were carefully and skillfully cultivated by the interest this development threatened.
Cold Fusion now has many names including: Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), Chemically Assisted Nuclear Reactions (CANR), Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reactions (LANR), Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (CMNS) and Lattice Enabled Nuclear Reactions. For the purpose of this article, Cold Fusion will be utilized to refer to them all. The reason for this is simple. I am sure that the individuals whose original intent was to strangle Cold Fusion in its cradle take great pleasure every time someone avoids the name they so successfully poisoned. I am also sure that hearing the words Cold Fusion is a torture of a thousand tiny cuts. These individuals deprived mankind of one of its most important advancements for over twenty years. Let the "Cold Fusion" torture begin!
The projected cost of an E-CAT unit is between $500 and $1,000. The cost of replacing the nickel / hydrogen + catalyst core is $10. Total operating cost after purchasing a unit is around $1.66 a month.
The two units closest to coming to market, Hyperion by Defkalion and E-CAT by the Leonardo Corporation are capable of producing between 1 and 10 kilowatts of energy continuously for six months on a single charge. Most homes in the US are utilizing 50 Kilowatt-hours a day in energy use. You can calculate your own energy usage at the following site: Energy Usage Calculator. The point is these machines will soon be able to easily power all of your home's energy use. Use as much power as you want for as long as you want, all without significant financial cost or any environmental guilt. No guilt because there is no carbon dioxide (CO2) or any other kind of environmentally unfriendly emissions.
None of these small hi-technology startups are publicly traded, but the dramatic nature of the process powering these small yet powerful devices underscores their potential for becoming a disruptive, paradigm changing force in every market imaginable. Andrea Rossi's E-CAT has recently reported here that it has discontinued the relationship with National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATI) and initiated one with Siemens AG (SI) to develop controllers for these units. Siemens also has a line of small steam powered electrical generators that may be modified to work with these units. Before you go to your broker and short oil, keep in mind it will probably be a year before you can purchase any type of device generating energy utilizing Cold Fusion. A year after that you may have access to something directly generating electricity that would be capable of powering a home including your electric car. Total monthly cost still $1.66.
The original smart phones were introduced just a few years ago. Today 1 in 4 of the 5.9 billion cell phones in the market place are smart phones. Cold fusion technology is in fact much simpler to manufacture than an iPhone, (see cutaway of ECAT device above) but will have an exponentially greater impact on our lives than any phone or any other device produced by man thus far.
Given the potential to impact individuals, homes, businesses, politics and economies of the world, the adoption rate will be limited only by the capacity these companies can develop. Demand will certainly outstrip supply for many years to come, even as more and larger companies enter the market to meet this demand of an enslaved, overcharged and energy hungry world. This leaves us with one last important question: is it real? The short answer is yes, but let me provide a couple of examples that underscore this short and succinct pronouncement.
Tens of thousands of experiments have now successfully replicated the production of excess heat in multiple types of devices and apparatuses. Several hundred peer-reviewed articles have been published documenting these accomplishments and provide over 70 theories as to why these devices are producing excess heat. In the last five years more than 100 patents have been issued internationally covering a wide variety of inventions capable of producing excess heat from Cold Fusion devices. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued 20 in the last five years, 13 in just the last year including one to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) (US 2011/0261919) and one to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (US 2011/0255645), both issued in October of 2011.
Several recent NASA statements have underscored their interest. "Experimental evidence suggests Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) technology could be an extremely clean energy source that would revolutionize aerospace," stated Joseph Zawodny, NASA Langley Research Center's lead scientist for the energy technical challenge area. LENR is ideally suited as a power source for aircraft, access to space and in-space propulsion. For aviation, LENR represents such an enormous energy density that fuel consumption would be so low that aircraft could essentially take off and land at the same weight. Another un-named NASA official made the following pronouncement: "We can finally get off this rock cheap!" A NASA Video detailing this advancement can be seen here.
The University of Missouri recently received a $5.5 million donation from Mr. Sidney Kimmel stating that it would utilize these funds to figure out why excess heat has been observed when hydrogen or deuterium interacts with materials such as palladium, nickel or platinum under certain conditions. Mr. Kimmel is also an investor in Energetics Technology, an Israeli company working in this field. Energetics also has offices in Columbia, Missouri.
Even though the evidence, now overwhelming, is leaving little latitude for the interest aligned against this advancement there is still going to be a monumental struggle to keep us addicted and enslaved to oil, uranium and coal. Some scientist have predicted that the disruption will cause a large loss of jobs in the big energy sector producing a negative impact on our economy in the first few years of this transition. If our government's goal is anything other than being the undisputed world leader in this arena then China, Korea and Japan will claim that crown and with it will go both the jobs and the immense wealth that will be generated from this technology. The jobs will be gone one way or the other. The primary difference is if we act now many new jobs can be generated that will stay here. China has a large Cold Fusion program that is secretive and as you can imagine well funded.
Dr. Edmund Storms, one of Cold Fusion's preeminent scientist described to me how this advancement will transform modern warfare and those implications evoke scenes from the original classic movie based on the 1898 novel by Herbert George Wells, "War of the Worlds".
Cold Fusion is not junk science, but a slowly emerging force that will start to improve the lives of all mankind, once and for all and for all time. In many ways the adoption of this new paradigm in energy will be the ultimate revenge of the 99 percenters, generating an Energy-Spring by arming each and every one of us with a nuclear club. Unleashing almost free energy and energy equality for all mankind.
The introduction of the first commercially available products will ignite a media storm in the mainstream press. Markets will initially overreact to this news and this presents the first of many investment opportunities. Uranium stocks will take the first hit. The price of oil has two primary components. Limited supply and growing worldwide demand, but it is the fear that we are running out of this commodity that fuels the never declining price. If you remove the perception that demand will continuously go up in future years a primary pillar-supporting price disappears. Watch the news and be prepared to reposition your portfolio, as the perception of the world's energy sources and resources will have changed forever.
Industries that are heavily invested in the design, maintenance and building of nuclear reactors as well as those mining uranium will see dramatic and sustained declines in their business. This is absolutely a death knell for the hot fusion industry over the long term.
Denison Mines (DNN), Uranium Resources (URRE), Uranium Energy Corporation (UEC), Uranium Participation Corp. (OTCPK:URPTF), Paladin Energy (OTCPK:PALAF), Uranium One Inc. (OTC:SXRZF), Mawson Resources (OTCPK:MWSNF), Mega Uranium (OTCPK:MGAFF), Energy Fuels (EFRFF.PK), Areva SA (OTCPK:ARVCF), Global X Uranium ETF (URA)
Areva (AREVA: PAR) with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (NYSE:MHI) is the world's largest builders of nuclear reactors with forecasts that 150 to 300 nuclear reactors will be built in the world from now (2008) to 2030.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) with Hitachi (HIT) has a close relationship in Nuclear Energy.
Westinghouse had become a 77% owned subsidiary of Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSBF). Westinghouse's Generation III AP1000 reactor can be seen here.
Of course this competition to the oil industry will produce short and long term pressures on their ability to charge basically whatever it pleases. This definitely will not kill the oil industry for many reasons, but will impact both our perception of its supply chain and actual demand over the next several years. Part of this negative pressure will be contingent on the development of effective Cold Fusion propulsion plants for cars, boat, airplanes and trains. Below are the ten largest publically traded oil companies.
You can find a great deal of additional information about Cold Fusion at any of the following websites.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.