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DOE Mentions Technology Behind The Home Nuclear Reactor In Funding Opportunity

Jan 4 2014, 12:56pm CST | by

DOE Mentions Technology Behind The Home Nuclear Reactor In Funding Opportunity
Photo Credit: Forbes

The Department of Energy included low energy nuclear reactions—which NASA scientists have said could fuel home nuclear reactors—among other representative technologies in a $10 million funding opportunity it announced last fall.

The brief mention in the document from DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) is being heralded by observers of low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology as a significant development.

“This first-ever direct invitation from the Department of Energy for submission of proposals to fund this research marks a significant point in the field’s history,” according to Steven Krivitt of New Energy Times, a news site devoted to low energy nuclear reactions.

Lewis Larsen, the Chicago physicist who co-authored the Widom-Larsen theory of low-energy nuclear reactions, called the mention “a stunning reversal of a longstanding policy.”

“The U.S. Dept. of Energy’s transformative ARPA-E is now — for the first time ever — finally open to proposals for U.S. government funding of innovative LENR research,” Larsen said in an email.

I wrote about the potential of low-energy nuclear reactors last year after prominent NASA scientists endorsed the technology:

“It has the demonstrated ability to produce excess amounts of energy, cleanly, without hazardous ionizing radiation, without producing nasty waste,” said Joseph Zawodny, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

“The easiest implementation of this would be for the home,” he said. “You would have a unit that would replace your water heater. And you would have some sort of cycle to derive electrical energy from that.”

A low-energy nuclear reactor offers an extra neutron to stable elements like nickel, carbon, or hydrogen to produce heat, electricity, and stable by-products like copper or nitrogen. It does not produce ionizing radiation nor radioactive waste.

LENR technology has suffered from confusion with “cold fusion”, which has largely been dismissed by the scientific community.

Read More:

NASA: A Nuclear Reactor to Replace Your Water Heater

Follow Jeff McMahon on FacebookGoogle PlusTwitter, or email him here.

Source: Forbes

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