There is quite a bit going on in the world of fusion. Scientific American reported on low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) sort of.

The venerable journal reprinted a Chemical & Engineering News story by Stephen K. Ritter. The story is surprising honest and sober containing neither boosterism, nor mindless hostility. The headline says it all “Cold Fusion Lives: Experiments Create Energy When None Should Exist.”

Ritter reports on Brilliant Light Power’s (BLP) experiments in New Jersey. Noting that Brilliant Light’s founder Randell L. Mills has succeeded in creating energy but cannot explain how he’s doing it. Ritter also points out that Mills has been hard at work since 1991, 25 years and still has not achieved his goal.

He also gives a fairly honest overview of Andrea Rossi and the e-cat mentioning the Industrial Heat Lawsuit. Ritter is not very optimistic but the scientists building the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER); the world’s largest hot fusion device, are.

Hot Fusion Research Heats Up

News stories indicate that the ITER council has speeded up the schedule. The $19.2 billion (€18 billion) device is now supposed to start generating plasma in 2019 and deuterium and tritium in 2027.

The reason for the faster schedule is unclear but fears that competitors; such as MIT Professor Dennis G. Whyte, might achieve fusion first could be driving the council to act. Whyte has claimed that it would possible to build a working hot fusion reactor with off the shelf parts within 10 years. His team recently began generating plasma at MIT.

There are also new reports from Russia’s Alexander Parkhomov who claims that his e-cat knockoff was able to generate over 640 megajewels of excess heat in 40 days of operation, the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project (MFMP) reported. He also claimed the device generated 300 watts of excess power and 180 kilowatt hours of excess heat during the same period.

Not to be outdone our friends at the MFFP are testing a new glowstick LENR device. This device uses about half the power of an older model but generates temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius and 400 wats of output (note they don’t say whether this is heat or power).

It looks as if significant progress is being made in both hot and cold fusion; but we are still far from a breakthrough with either process. At least people are talking about them which can be the first step in changing popular opinion.