Thursday, September 24, 2015

On the LENR Front -Quo Vadis Canada

This post sets out to make an earnest case for Canada to actively participate in LENR research, engineering and jobs.

First, let’s look at an energy technology forecast made in November 2009 which was corroborated and reviewed by U.S. technology experts. It stated in part:
“Researchers in this controversial field are now claiming paradigm-shifting results, including generation of large amounts of excess heat... and transmutation of elements... DIA assesses with high confidence that...this disruptive technology could revolutionize energy production and storage... Although much skepticism remains, LENR programs are receiving increased support worldwide, including state sponsorship and funding from major corporations. DIA assesses that Japan and Italy are leaders in the field, although Russia, China, Israel and India are devoting significant resources to this work... The DIA assesses that whoever produces the first commercialized LENR power source could revolutionize energy production and storage...”

Readers will note that the above excerpts from the USA Defense Intelligence Agency’s report were originally published six years ago. Much of government funding and research is military oriented and hence remains secretive. The Canadian government seems content to monitor LENR developments while it pins its energy future on fossil and nuclear fuels.

So far, few North American universities are involved in LENR research. The Chinese, Japanese, as well as small Scandinavian nations are funding such research.
The University of Waterloo with its new Perimiter Institute for Theoretical Physics has jumped on the particle research bandwagon to provide job security for a few phycists. Of particular note is the sharing of the Nobel Prize in Physics by Canadian, Arthur McDonald and Japanese,Takaaki Kakita for their separate work on measuring neutrinos. Unlike LENR, particle research alone is unlikely to generate engineering, manufacturing and service jobs -or make us competitive in global markets.

The private experimenters and corporate teams who are pushing for early LENR commercialization appear to be primarily from Italy, Scandinavia and the USA. France and the UK are still wedded to nuclear and coal -and even Germany, which has abandoned nuclear in favour of the solar/wind combination still relies on coal when it’s cloudy and calm.

What then happened to Canuk ingenuity and invention after the Chalk River research plant of the 1950s, the cobalt cancer treatment initiative of the 1960s and the commissioning of a fleet of Candu nuclear reactors in the 1970s? Research and development can still be sponsored without the Manhattan-style resources of China, Russia and the USA. Surely, engineering and implementing LENR is as important as the deployment of the steam engine, the electricity distribution network and the Internet.

Merely monitoring LENR is not appropriate strategy for any cold country. Energy research laggards and late adapters are likely to shiver in the dark. Suddenly, cheap renewables and LENR put fossil fuels out of reach* because of extraction and transportation costs. Surely, there is no need for new oil pipelines or additional refineries.

Yes, nations who lag in energy research, monitor. But, to survive they have to plan on being early and agressive LENR adapters.

Thanks to big media, confused voters are left to investigate on their own. Be the first to alert influentials in your network to the New Fire -and to early prospects of lower electricity and heating costs.

Follow-up question:
How can local economists lament job prospects by (a) staring through the rear-view mirror without seeing more encouraging prospects through the windshield, and (b) ignoring the tusnamni of cheap energy?

Update August 19, 2015
At $43 a barrel, Syncrude losing $6 a barrel

Update Nov 12, 2015
Finland joins Canada in the race to construct a permanent undergroumd radioactive waste dump.


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