Australian news, and some related international items

Propagandists for nuclear fusion deceive the American Association for the Advancement of Science

ITER Promoters Pull Wool Over Eyes of AAAS 14, 2019 – By Steven B. Krivit –

Three of the four panelists who will speak on Friday, Feb. 15, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting have contributed to the worldwide misrepresentation of the mission and design of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The panelists will be part of a workshop that is financially sponsored by the ITER Organization.

One of the panelists will be science journalist Daniel Clery, who works for the Association’s magazine Science. Clery has, almost certainly unknowingly, helped promote the ITER fusion deception, now in its second decade. Hiding the power that the ITER reactor is designed to use and employing deceptive wording, fusion representatives have greatly exaggerated the expected power output of the reactor. In order to produce fusion particles of 500 MW, according to its design, ITER will require at least 300 MW of electricity. That’s not what Clery told readers in his Nov. 19, 2015, article in Science:

The ITER project aims to show that nuclear fusion—the power source of the sun and stars—is technically feasible as a source of energy. Despite more than 60 years of work, researchers have failed to achieve a fusion reaction that produces more energy than it consumes. ITER, with a doughnut-shaped “tokamak ” reaction chamber able to contain 840 cubic meters of superheated hydrogen gas, or plasma, is the biggest attempt so far and is predicted to produce at least 500 megawatts of power from a 50 megawatt input.

Clery has a degree in theoretical physics. Either the ITER promoters fooled him, or he was an active participant in the deception. Neither option is favorable for Clery. In either case, he certainly was not alone.

Fusion representatives have also misled the public into thinking that the reactor is designed for a specific overall power gain when, in fact, the expected gain applies to only one part of the reactor: the plasma heating system. But nowhere in his article does Clery inform readers that his comparison of 500 MW out and 50 MW in applies only to the plasma. Nowhere in his article does he explain to readers that his 500/50 comparison did not apply to the overall reactor. Nowhere in his article does he explain to readers that the reactor, to get 500 MW out, will require 300 MW in.

To the contrary, everything about Clery’s article was written as if he intended to communicate to readers that the overall reactor is designed for a 500 MW output with only a 50 MW input.

Despite all of this, Clery has a tiny bit of wiggle room to claim that he was not deceived. He could say that, because his paragraph uses the phrase “a fusion reaction,” it provides evidence that he knew that the 500/50 values applied only to the plasma, not to the overall reactor. But that would create an even greater problem for Clery: All other statements he made in his article create a false impression about the mission and design capacity of the reactor.

Clery’s article perpetuated the three false and misleading claims about ITER: 1) The ITER reactor, as a system, is designed to produce 500 MW of net thermal power, 2) The ITER reactor is designed to consume only 50 MW of power, and 3) The ITER reactor, as a system, is designed to produce 10 times the power it is designed to consume.

Another presenter at the Friday workshop will be Bernard Bigot, the director-general of the ITER Organization. Bigot holds the ultimate responsibility for the false and misleading claims on the ITER Organization Web site, some of which he has corrected since New Energy Times began publishing the results of this long-running investigation. Last year, Bigot used misleading language to create false impressions about ITER and the JET reactor, its predecessor, while testifying before Congress. The ITER Organization corrected more of the false statements on its Web site less than 24 hours after New Energy Times published a report on Bigot’s testimony.

Another panelist at the ITER-sponsored AAAS workshop will be Ned Sauthoff, the director of the U.S. ITER project office at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Sauthoff, as a video recording of a 2014 congressional hearing shows, successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of members of Congress. More news on that story is on the way.

The fourth panelist will be Mickey Wade, the director of Advanced Fusion Systems at General Atomics, an ITER component supplier. In his congressional testimony last year, Wade was the only witness on that panel to accurately and honestly report ITER’s primary mission and design.

“ITER’s primary technical goal is to produce plasmas that produce 10 times more fusion power than is being injected into the plasma from external means,” Wade said.

The AAAS board of directors includes Steven Chu, a former United States Secretary of Energy and current member of the board of advisors for energy research company First Light Fusion. That company published deceptive fusion power claims in a Feb. 12, 2019, press release.

February 16, 2019 - Posted by | General News

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on AGR Daily 60 Second News Bites.


    Comment by A Green Road Daily News | February 16, 2019 | Reply

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