LENR Today
LENR Today

Nuclear Energy Without Nuclear Waste

Pushback efforts of the Department of Energy (DOE), the United States Patent Office (USPTO) and the State Department

The question most frequently asked is, until most recently, why hasn’t there been any funding by our federal government on this initiative. In addition, the other question should be, historically, why has the USPTO been so reluctant to approve patent applications for this technology.

Since 1989, the relationship between the Department of Energy and the science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction can be best described as contentious. To this point in time, the DOE, USPTO and the State Department have made a concerted effort to block and/or stymie the development of LENR.

While Peter Zimmerman was Chief Arms-Control Scientist at the State Department, he publicly stated that his department and the Patent Office have fought back with success against "pseudoscientists".

Short History of LENR

In 1989, Martin Fleishmann at the University of Southampton in the UK and Stanley Pons at the University of Utah Salt Lake City in the United States published a preliminary note claiming that atomic nuclei could be made to fuse at ordinary temperatures, with the release of considerable ‘excess energy’, i.e., energy in excess of input and much more than could be accounted for by ordinary chemical reactions

A barrage of disbelief and derision greeted their publication, as it was tantamount to claiming that nuclear reactions similar to those that created the hydrogen bomb could be made to happen on an ordinary lab bench, with nothing more sophisticated than passing current through metal electrodes immersed in some salt solutions.

Cold fusion scientists managed to keep the research going with small sporadic funding from their academic institutions and private investors. They held well over a dozen international conferences, and in 2004 renamed their subject more appropriately, “Condensed Matter Nuclear Science”. Today, the technology is referred to as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction.

In 1989 the DOE convened a panel to determine if Cold Fusion was worthy of funding efforts…

1989 DOE rejects funding efforts

A review panel organized by the DOE found that the evidence for the discovery of a new nuclear process was not persuasive enough to start a special program, but was "sympathetic toward modest support" for experiments "within the present funding system."

“Based on the examination of published reports, reprints, numerous communications to the Panel and several site visits, the Panel concludes that the experimental results of excess heat from calorimetric cells reported to date do not present convincing evidence that useful sources of energy will result from the phenomena attributed to cold fusion. “

DOE 1989 report

1989 summary

In 1999, a group of LENR scientists organized an event known as the Conference on Future Energy with the assistance of Dr. Thomas Valone; a patent office examiner with the USPTO and member of the non-profit Integrity Research Institute in Washington, DC.

1999 Peter Zimmerman gets CF/LENR efforts banned from the Federal Government

Valone had arranged with a State Department employee for a scientific meeting to be held on April 29-30, 1999. This meeting was to be part of a series called the “Secretary of State Open Forum.”

Within a week of joining the U.S. State Department as an advisor to the Arms Control Agency, Peter Zimmerman had apparently become intellectually offended by the content of the proposed meeting and took action to make sure that the conference did not occur.

Peter Zimmerman’s presentation at the American Physical Society’s Centennial Meeting, held March 20-26 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Zimmerman was scheduled as a presenter and the session papers and descriptions were listed as: Session FB22 - SCIENCE, JUNK SCIENCE AND PSEUDOSCIENCE.

“Zimmerman gave a rousing anti-cold fusion talk, pressing all the buttons. He said that one of his first official acts was to cancel a meeting about cold fusion and that's one of the accomplishments I’m proudest of within the last year. He announced that he and Robert Park will work to exterminate every trace of CF and all other ‘junk science’ from the Federal establishment. They will see to it that no other meetings are held anywhere else in Washington, which is a hotbed of cold fusion as we all know”‘.

“In addition to Zimmerman cancelling the Conference on Future Energy meeting at the State Department, he vowed to stop the meeting at any other department. He said that he and Park would work to expose and purge anyone at the patent office who sympathizes with cold fusion. ‘Bob Park will sink his teeth into that one,’ as he put it.”

The Conference temporarily found a new home at the U.S. Commerce Department, but Zimmerman's wave making got it canceled there, too. It was eventually held at the Holiday Inn Bethesda and was exceptionally well-run and well-attended.

They claim that if anyone doubts the validity of their report, they have a complete audio tape which the journalist used for his notes.

Later, he boasted about this in a misdirected e-mail which fell into their possession:

Message-ID: <s6f9fcb1.092@acda.gov>

From: Zimmerpe@acda.gov

To: iri@erols.com

Subject: [Fwd: Re: CONFERENCE] -Reply

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 09:06:30 -0500

Oh the shame of it all. How dastardly we were to poor Mr. Valone. He and his Aussie friend are embarrassed and it's all our fault. How can they ever forgive us? How can we ever cleanse our souls of this black mark?

I had a wonderful time at the Physical Society meeting in Atlanta, and you and I were hailed as heroine/hero for getting the conference moved out of State.

I have reason to believe that a “Higher Power" will get them evicted from Commerce too. I will probably take a direct hit in “Infinite Energy” magazine because they sent somebody to cover the session on Pseudoscience and I was pretty scathing. Obviously, I'm back at work.

Cheers, pete

As Thomas Valone was responsible for setting up the Conference on Future Energy, which was canceled by Zimmerman, and true to Zimmerman’s pledge that he and Park would work to expose and purge anyone at the patent office who sympathizes with cold fusion, he was fired from the USPTO.

USPTO Fires Valone – illustration of USPTO’s attitude toward CF/LENR

Thomas Valone's 1999 dismissal had been the direct result of efforts he had undertaken to promote cold fusion. “Valone's boss at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) alleged violations of federal regulations in the course of his efforts to locate and schedule a government facility to house a cold fusion conference he was organizing”.

Below are direct excerpts from the proceedings of the case against Thomas Valone.

FMCS Case No. 00-01666

Employee Termination

“You (Valone) posted a message on the Internet which indicated the following: “

“Interested in advanced energy technologies that won't produce global warming? Then don't miss attending the First International Conference on Future Energy, cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Integrity Research Institute! . . . “

“The grievant is a member of the fringe, though not personally experimenting with cold fusion or any other energy alternative. He is only an outside observer with strong beliefs about the place cold fusion and other yet to be proven sources of energy have in the future mix of the world's electrical power production”.

“However, he does not reject the Newtonian laws of physics as some in the fringe may appear to regularly do. Rather, it is his position that the presently ridiculed theories he champions, or at least believes are sufficiently promising to warrant more serious scientific inquiry, will eventually be found to be consistent with accepted axioms of physics and chemistry, but how that will be done, he insists, just has yet to be discovered. Still, this puts him at odds with most scientists in those two fields”.

“It also placed him at odds with the prevailing policy of the PTO. Currently, patent applications for alternative or non-conventional sources of nuclear fusion energy, including cold fusion, are routed to Examiner Harvey Behrend. This routing has been going on for more than 16 years pursuant to a June 5, 1989 memo to all Group Directors with the subject; Cold Fusion Applications.

“If one of your examiners should receive an application PB4 related to cold fusion, he or she should check to make sure the words "COLD FUSION" are stamped on the file wrapper. If not, the application should be referred to Licensing and Review [ ] for marking. Also, any action on one of these applications should be routed through the Group 220 Director's Office and the Office of the Assistant Commissioner for Patents prior to mailing”.

“Figuratively speaking, Mr. Behrend has a ‘rejected’ stamp he wields on patent applications which claim to achieve cold fusion. That is, whether well founded or not, the PTO has a bias against the concept and theories of cold fusion. Largely because they defy the Newtonian proposition that there is ‘no free energy’ or ‘perpetual motion’ within the bounds of physics, the PTO considers cold fusion to be "inoperable technology." The evidence of this will become more concrete shortly in connection with the grievant's pro-cold fusion activities”.

In late July 2005, federal arbitrator Robert Moore overturned the dismissal and ordered the USPTO to reinstate Valone. He also ordered the agency to pay the salary he would have received during his six years off.

In late 2003, several leading cold fusion researchers contacted the US Department of Energy and asked them to set up a review panel to examine cold fusion results and determine whether cold fusion research should be funded.

2004 DOE Review Funding Rejected Again

The DOE review was a turning point and was the first time in 14 years that they formally looked into the field. Many LENR researchers were hopeful that the DOE would finally begin to take seriously and fund LENR.

News of the DOE review was described in an article in Physics Today, “DOE Warms to Cold Fusion”. The article quotes MIT professor Mildred Dresselhaus, who was on the ERAB panel, and the head of DOE’s Office of Science: “I think scientists should be open minded. Historically, many things get overturned with time.” Reports of the DOE review were published in other newspapers, including the Deseret News, MIT’s Technology Review, the NY Times and the Washington Post.

After considerable effort on the part of both the DOE and the petitioning scientists, the outcome was pretty much the same as the 1989 evaluation.

Quote - “while significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review”.

As a result,no DOE funding has occurred until the most recent requests by ARPA in 2014

In 2012, E-Cat World reported that Brillouin Energy has been awarded a patent by China for its LENR-based boiler technology, a development that will certainly be good news for the company, especially following the rejection of its patent application by the US Patent Office earlier that year.

2012 Still at it

In the March 2012 rejection letter of Brillouin’s patent application the USPO patent examiner, Johannes P Mondt stated:

“…The Declaration does not provide such evidence as is necessary to render credible low energy nuclear reactions, in particular fusion reactions, given the overwhelming body of experimental data and theoretical arguments against fusion under circumstances well below the Coulomb barrier."

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary claims and substantiation. The finding of lack of utility and enablement may be overcome if an independent committee of peers in the pertinent fields, such as a third peer review by the US Department of Energy, were to conclude that cold fusion or low energy nuclear reactions were shown by the basic research continued after the latest review by the US Department of Energy (December 1, 2004: see the report made of record) to be reproducible and thus have utility. Applicant could have his invention tested by such organizations as the Department of Energy or NIST. For lack of utility the test is whether there is preponderance of evidence against utility or not”

NASA files patent application for LENR

Abstract “a method for producing heavy electrons is based on a material system that includes an electrically-conductive material is selected. The material system has a resonant frequency associated therewith for a given operational environment. A structure is formed that includes a non-electrically-conductive material and the material system”.

“The structure incorporates the electrically-conductive material at least at a surface thereof. The geometry of the structure supports propagation of surface plasmon polaritons at a selected frequency that is approximately equal to the resonant frequency of the material system. As a result, heavy electrons are produced at the electrically-conductive material as the surface plasmon polaritons propagate along the structure.

0006- “briefly, this theory put forth by Widom and Larsen states that the initiation of LENR activity is due to the coupling of “surface plasmon polaritons” (SPPs) to a proton or deuteron resonance in the lattice of a metal hydride. The theory goes on to describe the production of heavy electrons that undergo electron capture by a proton. This activity produces a neutron that is subsequently captured by a nearby atom transmuting it into a new element and releasing positive net energy in the process.”

As this is the process described by the Widom-Larsen Theory, it will be interesting to see what how the USPTO responds during their upcoming review process of NASAs Patent Application.

Andrea Rossi’s attempt to get a US patent approved for his E-Cat continues without any sign of a conclusion. Patent examiner Sean Burke provides some reasoning behind this recent rejection, basically stating that what Rossi claims is impossible.

2014 Patent Apps today

Burke’s rejection letter includes:

“The specification is objected to as inoperable. Specifically there is no evidence in the corpus of nuclear science to substantiate the claim that nickel will spontaneously ionize hydrogen gas and thereafter “absorb” the resulting proton…”

“There is presently no peer-reviewed evidence to demonstrate the spontaneous fusion of nickel and protons…” (there are 3,400 peer reviewed articles available)

“Additionally the Examiner notes that if the reaction occurred as claimed by the Applicant, it would also spontaneously occur in nature, not be patentable subject matter” (nuclear fusion ‘naturally occurs’ within our sun, yet we are spending billions of dollars trying to replicate that process)

“…the specification and all claims are found to be inoperable.” (from the transcript of the Valone proceedings in 1999, “the PTO considers cold fusion to be inoperable technology”.) - same language, same prevailing effort.

Rossi been granted an Italian Patent for the same technology

Articles on Italian Parliament seeking funding approval for LENR: http://coldfusionnow.org/lenr-subject-of-italian-parliament-query/ and http://coldfusionnow.org/italian-senator-lobbies-parliament-for-action/

Andrea Rossi and Underwriters Lab

UL has initially rejected the idea of E-Cats for in-home use because they are unsure as to how they work, and if they are safe, or not.

An inspector calls on Andrea Rossi

Conclusion

ARPA’s web site says that the agency “advances high potential, high impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment”. While the DOE and USPTO are debating the veracity of LENR, Andrea Rossi reportedly has units ready for sale.

As the DOE, State Department and Patent Office have been responsible for delaying or thwarting the progress of the Low Energy Nuclear Reaction development, they have in effect been responsible for delaying the ability to halt man-made pollution.

With the preponderance of evidence available today, what do they expect to gain by continuing these efforts?

If we don’t get some traction from our own government, the companies that are leading the charge within the realm of LENR will be forced to continue to seek protection of their intellectual property in Europe, China and the rest of the world. As a result, the United States may be left ‘out in the cold’

 

 

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