Friday, April 1, 2011

Cold Fusion

The recent electoral success of the Greens will accelerate the phasing out of nuclear power in Germany. The search for new energy sources is being intensified. Here I should admit: Freiburgs’s population is stuck between a rock and a hard place. So far the opposition against wind energy plants was great with one convincing argument that the rotating blades may kill bats during their night-flights. However, this is a trumped-up assertion, for the real reason is that nobody likes the technical asparagus on top of the Black Forest and certainly not in his/her own backyard.

The other day I read: Dane County's manure digester ready to provide electricity. This certainly works if only there are enough cows or pigs to deliver the raw material. What does not work is Cold Fusion a flaw that Dogbert has lately re-invented as an energy source:



TIME, cover of May 8, 1989
I still remember when in spring of ’89 Carlo Rubbia (later Nobel prize winner and my Director General) caught me in a hallway at CERN saying: Look what Fleischman and Pons do in the States and we all are sleeping here. I gulped and later provided him and other teams at CERN with neutron counters so that my Group could hardly fulfill its tasks in radiation protection at the Lab. Yes, even Cold Fusion, if it worked, will create radiation! 


To make a long story short: The CERN spokesman said that "essentially all" attempts in Western Europe to reproduce the results had failed (Wikipedia) what means in clear: Cold Fusion did not and I think will not work.

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