This is basic research – not ready to use quite yet, but a neat idea anyway and it could well turn out useful.
MIT creates graphite ‘solar sponge’ that converts sunlight into steam with 85% efficiency
LENR (aka Cold Fusion) entails the production of industrial-scale excess heat — often times producing energy densities associated with traditional “Hot Fusion”. In traditional hot fusion experiments, the reaction is not yet proven controllable and all sorts of harmful radiation result, which demands all sorts of precautionary measures costing huge sums. In the case of fission reactors, huge amounts of toxic waste with long half-lives have proven catastrophic to our environment. The cold fusion reaction does produce trace elements of nuclear products (such as tritium, neutrons, helium, energetic particles), which indicate that the reaction — in some way — is indeed “nuclear”. But all these products have been found to be largely inconsequential and harmless in this particular context. Neutrons, energetic particles, gammas, and so on, are emitted at very low levels (though well above the “background”) and have trouble escaping the interior of the environment where the reaction takes place. Tritium, while technically classified as “radioactive”, only has a half-life of twelve-years, so storage and disposal would be trivial in comparison to current efforts spent on maintaining huge storehouses of toxic waste produced from fission reactors.
Fukushima: Bad and Getting Worse
Global Physicians Issue Scathing Critique of UN Report on Fukushima
by JOHN LaFORGE
CounterPunch, Weekend Edition July 18-20, 2014
There is broad disagreement over the amounts and effects of radiation exposure due to the triple reactor meltdowns after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) joined the controversy June 4, with a 27-page “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report ‘Levels and effects of radiation exposures due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.’”
IPPNW is the Nobel Peace Prize winning global federation of doctors working for “a healthier, safer and more peaceful world.” The group has adopted a highly critical view of nuclear power because as it says, “A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we also phase out nuclear energy.”