Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Scientists turn a blind eye to the fraud that is the ITER nuclear fusion project

ITER Is a Suicidal Plan That Would Discredit Nuclear Fusion, Scientist Says, Again, New Energy Times, By Steven B. Krivit, Dec. 5, 2020 A retired plasma physicist has given New Energy Times permission to republish critical letters he wrote about the ITER fusion reactor project many years ago. He has done this despite risks associated with publicly criticizing the international project.

Ernesto Mazzucato spent his entire career — from 1965 to 2014 — working at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory. Mazzucato continues to work on his own fusion concepts.He told us about pressure from some of his peers from 1996 to 2006 when he openly criticized the ITER project, but he asked us to withhold those details for fear that it would  interfere with his present access to resources and the ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

Mazzucato is the second retired fusion physicist from the Princeton laboratory with whom New Energy Times has spoken who is critical of ITER. The first was Mazzucato’s colleague, Daniel Jassby, who has been publishing critical articles about ITER on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Web site.Jassby was the first scientist to provide New Energy Times with clear values for the ITER reactor power requirements, following our attempts to obtain this information directly from the ITER organization.

Mazzucato told New Energy Times that he “suffered dearly” shortly after Science magazine published his first critical comments in 1996.

I knew that speaking out was risky, but I had to say what was on my mind,” Mazzucato said. “I thought that ITER would ruin fusion, and I had spent all my life working on fusion. ITER was the wrong track.”Mazzucato told New Energy Times that, decades earlier, at the beginning of the discussions about the ITER concept, the conversation was purely about physics. The conversation soon shifted to the bait-and-switch scheme, as Nobel laureate Masatoshi Koshiba called it.

“The scientists were not talking about power production,” Mazzucato said, “but then slowly, the bureaucrats were put in charge of this project, and they started talking about a power gain, that ITER would produce 10 times more power than it would use.“But none of the scientists said anything. We all knew that the power values only applied to the particles, not the overall reactor.”These are the three letters Mazzucato provided.

1996 Mazzucato Letter to Science
In his first letter, Mazzucato responded to an article published in Science magazine by Andrew Lawler about the ITER projec

For the United States to concentrate its efforts on the construction of ITER, which by my estimates would require at least twice the $8 billion cited by Lawler, [Andrew Lawler, “U.S. Power Outage Won’t Dim ITER,” Science, Jan. 19, 1996, p. 282] would halt significant progress in domestic thermonuclear research.It is tantamount to a suicidal plan that would discredit nuclear fusion as an economically viable form of energy production………….

The construction of ITER, by absorbing all the available funds, would inevitably prevent development in these critical areas. From Lawler’s article, it appears that ITER finds its strongest support in a “wealthy and influential association of major corporations…..” This sounds like an ominous repetition of history, as our problems today with nuclear fission power plants originated when the nuclear industry decided to bring to prominence the first fission reactor concept that appeared to work. Similarly, the adoption of this probably faulty device would have catastrophic consequences for the development of nuclear fusion energy……………..

Turning a Blind Eye
Mazzucato is the first fusion scientist I know who a) noticed the discrepancy between ITER’s planned power values and the publicized power values and b) openly objected to the false claims its promoters were making about the promised power gain of the reactor. Nobel Prize winner Masatoshi Koshiba had also sounded the alarm sometime between 2001 and 2004, calling the ITER project a bait-and-switch trick.

Mazzucato told me that all of his colleagues knew that the bureaucrats in charge of the project were tricking the public. Assuming he’s right, then there are thousands of fusion experts who saw what was going on and did and said nothing about it. It’s not the first time in history that something terrible was happening in a community and was known as an open secret within that community. But it is the first time in modern history that something like this, on this scale, has happened in science.

By 2003, the deception was firmly established, as evident by Robert Stern’s statement in the New York Times on Jan. 31, 2003: “ITER would provide a record 500 megawatts of fusion power for at least 500 seconds, a little more than eight minutes, during each experiment. That would meet the power needs of about 140,000 homes.”

In reality, a fusion reactor designed with the parameters of ITER, if configured to convert its thermal output to electricity, wouldn’t be able to power a single light bulb.

Public statements like Stern’s, published without the authors’ knowledge that they were false, were the norm for more than two decades. Either no fusion scientists except Mazzucato and Koshiba read news accounts about ITER and realized what was happening, or the majority of fusion scientists saw that the “mistakes” significantly favored their field, and they turned — and continue to turn — a blind eye to what has now developed into the largest science fraud in modern history.

By 2003, the deception was firmly established, as evident by Robert Stern’s statement in the New York Times on Jan. 31, 2003: “ITER would provide a record 500 megawatts of fusion power for at least 500 seconds, a little more than eight minutes, during each experiment. That would meet the power needs of about 140,000 homes.”

Public statements like Stern’s, published without the authors’ knowledge that they were false, were the norm for more than two decades. Either no fusion scientists except Mazzucato and Koshiba read news accounts about ITER and realized what was happening, or the majority of fusion scientists saw that the “mistakes” significantly favored their field, and they turned — and continue to turn — a blind eye to what has now developed into the largest science fraud in modern history. https://news.newenergytimes.net/2020/12/05/iter-is-a-suicidal-plan-that-would-discredit-nuclear-fusion/?fbclid=IwAR3p1jpgpyN7_un8Y7OrnCUTzC9p1lOIVFA5MyMKS67lUBEIlC2g4DeIY-0

May 22, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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