An article on CNBC reports that Saudi Arabia has plans to build 16 nuclear reactors in a effort to reduce its consumption of its own oil. According to the World Nuclear Association, one fourth of Saudi Arabia’s oil production is consumed domestically, and 65 per cent of its electricity is generated by oil-burning power stations.
Saudi Arabia is committed to investing more than $80 billion over the next quarter century to building nuclear power plants, and it is calling on the US to give it the right to produce its own nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes.
I would take this as a sign that Saudi Arabia is either not very informed about the potential for LENR playing an important energy generation role in the future, or if they do know about it, not confident that LENR can be a competitive energy source over the next few decades. It is going to take a lot for decision makers to take LENR seriously as an energy source of the future.
According to Andrea Rossi, he is now working with the robots he plans to use for the mass production of E-Cat plants.
At the beginning of February Rossi stated on the Journal of Nuclear Physics that they were “studying the robots” and I asked him on February 3 if they had robots in the lab that they were working with. He said at the time that they did not have them, but they did have “all their characteristics.”
Today I submitted another question and got this response.
February 22, 2018 at 9:03 AM
How is the work with the robotics progressing? Have you started programming them yet? If not, when do you expect to do so?
February 22, 2018 at 10:56 AM
If they have actually started programming the robots, that sounds like good progress. Rossi has said in the past that he is working with ABB robots which are top of the line for industrial applications. Maybe reaching this step is part of the “exponential progress” Rossi has referred to; however I would imagine that it would sill take a lot of time and extensive testing to get the production process perfected. We are still only in February, and I know Rossi’s goal is still to get production going this year, I don’t know if that is realistic, but it would be a remarkable achievement if he does.
I think many readers here have been wondering what Bob has been going on about these last few weeks when he talks about O-day. I am one of them. He has been answering questions in a rather cryptic manner, and rather than trying to make guesses about the many clues that he has posted, I personally prefer that he would be a little less mysterious about it all.
So I was quite pleased when he posted the following slide today in response to a question by George.
Here’s the text:
What is O?
Implosion not explosion technology
Roadioactive isotope remediation
Take ET back home
Unlimited energy at any point in the univers
Particle and light beams
Much, much more
It’s not too often that Andrea Rossi says much about technical aspects of his E-Cat reactors, but here is a little detail from the Journal of Nuclear Physics today.
February 20, 2018 at 7:02 PM
Dr Andrea Rossi,
Do you use a magnetic field to protect the materials of the reactor from the high temperatures reached by the QX?
Thank you if you can answer,
February 21, 2018 at 9:31 AM
I cannot answer in positive or in negative to this question, but it is true that around the plasma a magnetic field is generated
Rossi has said in the past that the QX produces electricity directly, so this could be connected with the magnetic filed mentioned. However a simple magnetic field of in and of itself does not produce an electric current, so there must be something else involved. As usual, we get very few details, but this might be something of interest to the replicators and theoreticians to think about.
Thanks to a reader for sending me a link to this article from Physics World which reports how a team of researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory have observed nuclear excitation by electron capture (NEEC) – where an atomic nucleus becomes excited when it absorbs an electron.
From the Article:
To make their observations, the team produced atoms of the radioactive isotope molybdenum-93 and had them absorb electrons of energy that they believed would cause NEEC. They predicted that if the nucleus did become excited, its sequence of decay products would be different to that of an unexcited nucleus. Determining the decay sequence involved analysing gamma-ray emissions from decay products with differing half-lives. As hoped, their measurements matched up with the theoretical predictions of the unique decay sequence of an excited molybdenum-93 nucleus.
One important consequence of the discovery is that it provides a possible explanation for the abundance of elements such as gold and platinum in the universe. If NEEC were a fairly common process in nature, then certain elements could transform into others after being created in stars. The team’s work could also lead to the development of new technologies that harness the energy of excited nuclei. This, according to Carroll, could lead to power sources with an energy density 100,000 times greater than that in chemical batteries.
The full research report has been published in Naturehere.
Alan Smith of Looking for Heat is now working on a third LION control experiment. He says that the purpose of this one is to bake all the ingredients that are found in the LION reactor to see which effects might be purely thermal, and which might be LENR related.
So this is kind of a shake and bake experiment — pack all the ingredients everything into a quartz tube in some presumably random order, and heat it all up together in the Model T reactor at 800 C, which is apparently the temperature that LION used with his experiments.
The ingredients he is putting inside the tube are: K26 brick dust, magnesium oxide, copper wire fragments, a small fragment of fuel tube with 2 diamonds, zinc plated steel bolts and Cu wrapping, broken quartz, silver leaf, kanthal wire,
“It shows dead flat line once I had settled on the correct voltage which is the first little wiggles in the line.
Also please note that there is an offset in the Xcel figure for temp – it is +400, so just under 400 is actually just under 800”
He says there are about 18 hours to go in the test.
Here are a couple of interesting posts here by Alan Goldwater of the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project regarding a control test which he has recently done with copper wire heated on a fire brick.
Feb 18, 2018:
Here’s a simple precursor test under way. The fire brick is K-26, rated to 1450°C. A small concave area holds 1/2 sheet of Silver leaf, on which a 2-meter coiled length of AWG23 Copper magnet wire is placed. The oven will heat to 1000°C over 60 minutes, and hold for 120 minutes before shutting off. The goal is to see if the copper melting temp (1083°C) will be lowered by the presence of molten silver, and if so, whether it will soak into the porous fire brick. Depending on the result, a longer test may follow.
Feb 18, 2018:
Here’s the result, after about 180 minutes at ~1000°C. The copper wire is oxidized completely: though it retained its shape, it’s brittle and visibly crystallized in the cross-section. The silver is presumably in the black spots on the brick, as silver oxide. No trace of absorption into the brick is visible.
My conclusion is that the strange morphology seen in the LION aftermath is due to something far beyond the normal high-temperature behavior of these metals and refractories. This may be obvious in retrospect, but I like to test assumptions when it’s easy. Carry on!
I thought this was an interesting post by ECW reader Bruno who has attempted an estimate of the cost of a 1MW E-Cat QX industrial plant based on Andrea Rossi’s comment that the return on investment (ROI) would be less than two years.
With current US natural gas prices, the fuel cost is approximately $20/MW-hr for thermal energy (steam etc…). Dr. Rossi is talking about a 2 year ROI.
Let’s assume perfect 24/365 each year for two years, and no labor costs. If he plans to sell HEAT, but not the E-Cats themselves, to hit $20/MW-hr his capital cost would need to be $350,000 (fully installed). In reality, he’d need to offer a lower price than $20/MW-hr (let’s say $17), he’d probably need to take the E-Cats down a few days/year for maintetance (let’s assume 350 productive days/year), plus he might have part time labor costs associated with servicing the installation (let’s say $25,000/yr).
This means that the total installed cost for him would need to be on the order of $235,000 just to break even. I think that he needs to get LEONARDO’s capital cost somewhere below $150,000 (installed) to sell 1 MW of thermal energy profitably. So his cost per 1 MW E-Cat (uninstalled) will probably need to be on the order of $100,000. Of course, the capital cost could be higher if the payback period is stretched beyond 3 years.
Here are a couple of new pieces of information about the E-Cat QX plants from Andrea Rossi on the Journal of Nuclear Physics today.
February 16, 2018 at 12:53 AM
Dr Andrea Rossi,
Which is the max temperature you can reach on a secondary circuit?
February 16, 2018 at 7:17 AM
600 C degrees.
February 15, 2018 at 5:06 PM
Dr Andrea Rossi,
How much long you think will be the payback period of an indistrial Ecat?
February 16, 2018 at 7:18 AM
less than 2 years.
I take temperature on the secondary circuit to mean the temperature on the other side of the heat exchanger from the E-Cat QX reactors themselves, which Rossi has said reach 2600 C. 600 C would be enough heat to be able to provide steam heat at temperatures for the most efficient electricity generation. The production of supercritical steam, where water instantly becomes steam (thus no boiling occurs) requires 570 C.
A payback period of less than two years for an e-cat plant would seem to be an attractive investment option for companies. Andrea Rossi has stated that the cost of a 1 MW plant would be ‘much less’ than the $1.5 million he had priced the early shipping container E-Cat plants at — but so far he has declined to give any specific estimate of cost. Rossi has said that the costs for refueling the E-Cats once per year will be insignificant — so providing the plants work, this could lead to massive savings in future fuel costs for E-Cat users.
Five days ago Andrea Rossi was asked on the Journal of Nuclear Physics what chances he gave for getting the industrial E-Cats on the market in 2018, and his reply was “70 %”. Just yesterday when asked the same question he stated: “Today I think between 80 and 90%.”
I asked him what had changed his level of confidence and he replied:
February 15, 2018 at 8:02 AM
I am progressing at an exponential speed in these days, because issues that needed months to be resolved a couple of months ago now need less time. I give you a model from Dan Brown: to pass from the discovery of fire to the invention of wheel has taken millions years, but to pass from the invention of the wheel to the invention of an internal combustion engine it has taken thousands of years, and so on.
Obviously I can be wrong and find some unforeseen obstacle, by I am optimist: if you are not an optimist guy, you cannot be either an inventor or an enterpreneur, while I am both.
It does sound like the really hard work of inventing, testing and all the other R&D necessary for building an acceptable prototype (for the first product) has been accomplished, and now the focus is on getting ready for production.
Also, Rossi wrote this yesterday when asked where he expected the presentation of the first industrial E-Cat product would take place:
February 14, 2018 at 7:17 PM
As things have developed now, I think the first presentation of the product will be made in the USA.