Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Among Other Things, Kanye West on Nuclear Energy

kanye_west1_300_4001 Here are some quick hits to roll around the mouth and savor. You don’t even have to spit them out.

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Steve Williams responds to William Tucker’s approval of the scaling back of Yucca Mountain:

If the enviros had any sense at all - and if they feared global warming (um, climate change) as much as they say - they would embrace nuclear power as the globe's, and humanity's, great savior.

Nuclear power is readily available (it costs much more than it should simply because of the legal and environmental maneuvering undertaken to prevent permits for construction of nuclear power plants), is not an emitter of any dangerous pollution at all, and puts solar and wind power to shame because it is so efficient and constant.

And this is from the Victorville Daily Press, in the heart of California’s high desert. Williams has a free market kind of vibe that passes a little too lightly on environmental issues, but we mostly like what he says.

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Uh-oh.

U.S. Navy researchers claimed to have experimentally confirmed cold fusion in a presentation at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting.

We always tread carefully around cold fusion because it seems one of those things that encourages fraud – pathological science is the term, we think - too much a panacea to fully trust – but this comes from the EETimes. After explaining how cold fusion rose and fell in scientific esteem, writer R. Colin Johnson continues:

Now, the Naval researchers claim that the problem was instrumentation, which was not up to the task of detecting such small numbers of neutrons. To sense such small quantities, Mosier-Boss used a special plastic detector called CR-39.

Hmm. This didn’t seem to stop Fleischmann and Pons’ initial results back in the 80s – the problem then was that no one could duplicate their work.

Using co-deposition with nickel and gold wire electrodes, which were inserted into a mixture of palladium chloride and deutrium, the detector was able to capture and track the high-energy neutrons.

We think we’ll put this one on hold until a date yet to be determined. Clearly this isn’t a Hitler diary or a Bigfoot in an icebox, but what it is remains to be seen.

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“The nuclear sector in Europe is definitely undergoing a revival and all the indicators are that the next few years will be a strong time for orders, despite the financial crisis," says Maciej Jeziorski, Research Analyst, Energy & Power Systems, Frost & Sullivan.

Yum. More, please:

"The result is that many of the projects currently planned, proposed or at the pre-proposal stage are likely to be developed further. There are still challenges to overcome such as huge initial costs, getting the planning permission and long lead time for critical components, but overall the prospects for nuclear in the longer-term look good."

You may as well have some spinach with the blackberries, but that still goes down fairly easily. This comes from Fox Business, so we took a look over at Frost & Sullivan to see what they’re about. Growth is definitely the watchword, as it appears numberless times on its homepage. Example:

We are a Growth Partnership Company that helps clients accelerate their growth. Our Growth Partnership Services and Growth Consulting empower our clients to create a culture of growth innovation and leadership that generates, evaluates, and implements effective growth strategies.

That theme is hard to catch, isn’t it? Here’s something on their institute, presumably supplying papers like the one on nuclear energy:

A non-profit institute dedicated to providing research into planet health. The Institute leverages all of Frost & Sullivan's extensive research databases, brand name, and 360 degree visionary model to bring new insight, influence and strategy to global health.

Because how do you grow without health? It all fits together. Business consultants.What they say sounds perfectly reasonable though not particularly original. It’s in a vein that seems to suit Europe these days, so we’ll take it.

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And here’s Kanye West, from his blog (CAPS his):

I'VE BEEN ATTACKED FOR BEING ME... FOR BEING BRIGHT RED IN A GREY WORLD.... I AM NUCLEAR ENERGY...

So that’s that. (To be fair, this is an extract from a long post in which he makes numerous statements that suggest he’s either really self-absorbed or making fun of people who are self-absorbed. Read the whole thing for the full, uncut flavor. Now, that’s that.)

Himself - a man with a lot to say.

3 comments:

bw said...

Cold Fusion/LENR is also getting more consistent replicability for the anomolous energy. Also at the American Chemical Society Conference. Mizuno reported getting 100 Watts of extra heat for hours. An Italian researcher getting controllable extra heat and helium. Both building upon the Arata (one of the most respected scientists in Japan) carefully done extra heat work from last year.

Replicability, multiple sources, neutron detection, larger amounts of extra heat, more controllable.

It is at least worth studying and funding as a worthwhile phenomena. High temperature superconductivity does not have a good theory and some of its results are tough to reproduce consistently. String theory has sucked in researchers and pretty much produced squat but rooms of research papers. Big hot fusion projects have spent decades and billions and not gotten to positive energy.

What has been called cold fusion is a valid area of research at the very least, why should it be viewed with such disdane ? At the very least there are interesting things going on that should be understood and investigated.

Anonymous said...

I didn't hear any disdane from NEInotes. Just caution. Remember what mama said, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice..."

Rod Adams said...

I, for one, have some distain for cold fusion - especially if discussed as a solution to our energy woes rather than as an interesting phenomenon. Actually, I not not a big fan of hot fusion and its supporters either.

Cold (room temperature) fission achieved a self-sustaining reaction on December 2, 1942 and was replicated around the world within months. Even by the standards of the time, the investment required was tiny.