Nuclear Fusion = 50 More Years Shunning The Promised Land

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johnkarls
Posts: 1597
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Nuclear Fusion = 50 More Years Shunning The Promised Land

Post by johnkarls »

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Do-It-Yourself-Six-Degrees-Of-Separation-Email-Campaign -- Nuclear Fusion = 50 More Years Wandering in the Wilderness Shunning the Promised Land

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Topic for April 10th + Unofficial Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaign
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: To Be Sent Sat, April 12, 2013
To: ReadingLiberallyEmailList@johnkarls.com
Bcc: Our Approximately 150 Recipients Of Our Weekly E-mail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Friends,

[Information about our next meeting omitted.]

****************************************
UNOFFICIAL SIX-DEGREES-OF-SEPARATION E-MAIL CAMPAIGN

We take great pride in our Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail campaigns to America's decision makers such as President Obama which, with only a few computer keyboard key strokes, can be sent by each of our members (1) to the decision maker, and (2) to all of the member's friends and acquaintances requesting them to do the same in an unending chain.

Accordingly, we also take great pride that each of our recommendations has been approved unanimously at one of our meetings or, at most, received only one dissent (in which case we say there was a "consensus" rather than "unanimity").

However, because of your Constitutional Rights of Freedom of Speech and Freedom to Petition, we have always included in our newsletters any proposed E-Mails that did not receive approval but were nonetheless sent to the Decision Maker by the proposing member.

The following E-Mail has been sent by John Karls to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California who is the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Water. However, more than one attendee of our 4/9/2014 meeting objected to the proposal so it is not official. [Please see explanation below.]

If any recipient of this newsletter would like to start her/his own E-Mail Campaign based on the following E-Mail to Sen. Feinstein by John Karls, the E-Mail itself should be self-explanatory. And our other E-mail Campaigns posted on http://www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org will suggest how yours can be designed to reach every American with only a few computer keyboard keystrokes by each. Though the following specific suggestions are offered:

(1) Unlike virtually all other U.S. Senators (and Members of Congress), Senator Feinstein’s website WILL accept e-mails from non-constituents.

(2) http://www.feinstein.senate.gov > contact > e-mail me

(3) input name/address/e-mail address/topic = energy

(4) cut & paste the following e-mail sent by Yours Truly -- with two modifications = substituting “been associated with” for “facilitated” in paragraph 5, and either deleting my name/etc. or substituting your own.

*****
Explanation of Non-Official Status

The following unofficial e-mail describes the attendees and the various points on which there was universal agreement.

However, there were “irreconcilable differences” regarding whether hydrogen fusion and the articles in The New Yorker and The New York Times could even be mentioned, much less whether hydrogen fusion could be compared with thorium fission.

Yours Truly was in the minority.

U/U Radiology-Research Prof. June Taylor (aka Utah Owl) had said in her RSVP: “I had exactly the same reaction to that idiot article in The New Yorker that you did.” And during the final discussion leading to the impasse, Prof. Taylor stated: “I would like to drive a stake through the heart of hydrogen-fusion research.”

And Yours Truly maintained that it would be essential to compare thorium fission with hydrogen fusion. But refrained from taking a position in both the April 9 meeting and in the following e-mail to Sen. Feinstein whether hydrogen-fusion research should continue to be funded by the U.S.

[Though it would be fair to infer from the position of Yours Truly vis-à-vis other Official Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaigns regarding Inner-City Education that any funding for hydrogen fusion should rate a lower priority!!!]

However, with the exception of Dr. Cal Burgart, our PhD in Nuclear Engineering, all of the other six attendees were adamant that hydrogen fusion and the articles in The New Yorker and The New York Times should NOT be mentioned.

[No attempt will be made to try to explain their reasons since, to me, they were inexplicable. But if any of them would like to post her/his reasoning on http://www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org, that is one raison d’être of our Bulletin Board.]

Dr. Cal Burgart made an attempt to play King Solomon by proposing an Official Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaign to Senator Feinstein which would casually begin by mentioning that the articles in The New Yorker and The New York Times had prompted the e-mail -- but with no mention of hydrogen fusion much less any comparison of hydrogen fusion to thorium fission.

Dr. Burgart’s attempt to “cut the baby in two” satisfied nobody.


********************************************
WORLD SUPPLIES OF THORIUM

THE 13TH PARAGRAPH OF THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL TO SEN. FEINSTEIN SAYS: “THE CALCULATION OF THE MORE-THAN-1,000-YEAR PERIOD [FOR WHICH CURRENTLY-KNOWN THORIUM SUPPLIES COULD PROVIDE 100% OF THE WORLD’S TOTAL ENERGY REQUIREMENTS, NOT JUST ELECTRICITY] IS POSTED ON HTTP://WWW.READINGLIBERALLY-SALTLAKE.ORG.”

THAT CALCULATION IS CONTAINED IN Q&A-11 IN “SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO THE SHORT QUIZ” POSTED UNDER “PARTICIPANT COMMENTS” FOR THE 4/9/2014 MEETING.

[IF YOU SCROLL DOWN PAST THE FIRST 6-8 SECTIONS OF THE WEBSITE, YOU WILL SEE 4-5 SECTIONS FOR EACH MEETING, STARTING WITH THE MOST RECENT, TYPICALLY ENTITLED “SUGGESTED DISCUSSION OUTLINE," "ORIGINAL PROPOSAL," "PARTICIPANT COMMENTS" AND "REFERENCE MATERIALS."]


********************************************
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senator – California
Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Dear Senator Feinstein:

Re: Nuclear Fusion = 50 More Years Wandering in the Wilderness Shunning the Promised Land

As you are probably aware, the 3/3/2014 issue of The New Yorker contained an article entitled “A Star in a Bottle” which stated, inter alia, that your Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water has jurisdiction over appropriations for U.S. participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project.

And you are also probably aware that the 3/18/2014 issue of the N.Y. Times contained an article on the same subject of hydrogen fusion entitled “Machinery of an Energy Dream.”

Unfortunately, both articles only contrast ITER’s will-o’-the-wisp hydrogen/fusion with uranium/fission and fail to even mention thorium/fission.

You may not be aware that thorium/fission was proved feasible in the 1960’s when the U.S. National Nuclear-Research Laboratory at Oak Ridge TN conducted a successful 18-month continuous demonstration project comprising a thorium nuclear reactor. And that President Nixon caused the nation to turn away from thorium (and toward uranium and plutonium) because thorium is incapable of producing an explosion.

For 8.5 years, I have facilitated a politically-oriented monthly study group that has focused on three occasions on thorium/fission.

On 4/9/2014, we focused on the articles in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Our attendees included a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the U.S. Nuclear-Research Laboratory at Oak Ridge TN who earned his degree in the 1960’s while the successful 18-month continuous demonstration project was proving the feasibility of thorium/fission reactors.

Also in attendance were the University of Utah’s Radiology-Research Professor, two retired University of Utah Biology Professors, and four attorneys (including a retired law school professor and an Assistant Utah Attorney General).

There was unanimous agreement that conventional uranium fission, proven thorium/fission and will-o’-the-wisp hydrogen fusion share all of the following advantages: (a) producing no greenhouse gases; (b) eliminating the dependence of the U.S. and its allies on members of OPEC (the long-standing Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries) and, in the case of Europe, natural gas imports from Russia (in addition to oil & gas imports from OPEC); and (c) eliminating the gaping U.S. balance-of-payments deficit and resulting piling up of our foreign national debt.

There was also unanimous agreement that proven thorium/fission has the following advantages over both conventional uranium/fission and will-o’-the-wisp hydrogen/fusion -- (1) LFTR’s (Liquid Floride Thorium Reactors) require minimal containment chambers because meltdowns are physically impossible since LFTR’s operate near atmospheric pressure, (2) LFTR’s do not require elaborate cooling systems because they operate well below the boiling point of molten salt and can be passively cooled, (3) thorium has such an incredibly-high “burn-up” that there is virtually no long-lived radioactive waste, and (4) thorium is so stable that, as mentioned above, it is impossible to make a nuclear weapon from thorium which is why the U.S. turned to uranium and plutonium instead of thorium.

There was also unanimous agreement that the only advantage ever claimed by proponents of will-o’-the-wisp hydrogen/fusion is that hydrogen is more plentiful than uranium (while ignoring thorium supplies).

And unanimous agreement that proven thorium supplies are capable of supplying 100% of the world’s energy (not just electricity) for more than 1,000 years.

[The calculation of the more-than-1,000-year period is posted on http://www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org.]

The New Yorker article states that the ITER managers admit that commercial hydrogen fusion may never be successful. And that even if it is, that success is at least a decade away.

While The New York Times article states that the U.S. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory admits that the time frame, at best, is at least two decades away.

This, in contrast to proven thorium/fission which only needs 2-3 years of final development = the equivalent of having already produced a Ford Model T proving an automobile is feasible but still needing 2-3 years of development (and relatively-modest funding) to design a Ford Fusion for mass production.

Accordingly, whether or not you decide to go on providing U.S. funding for will-o’-the-wisp hydrogen fusion, you are respectfully requested to insure that funding and any other necessary support is provided for making thorium/fission reactors a reality in the next 2-3 years.

Because there is no need to continue kowtowing to oil-exporting countries (including Russia with its natural gas exports to Europe) for at least another two decades.

And there is no need for the U.S. to go on importing half of its oil & gas requirements (and the resulting piling up of foreign-held U.S. debt) for at least another two decades.

And there is no need for the world to continue polluting the atmosphere with carbon for at least another two decades.

[With regard to the last point, each of our participants has always recognized that many, if not most, of the world’s nations will refuse to halt carbon pollution unless the solution is cheaper than any alternative and each of us has always admitted that we would not favor invading militarily other countries -- such as China to prevent it from bringing on line one new monster-sized coal-fired electric-generation plant every week.]

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

John S. Karls
JD, Harvard Law School, 1967
Who’s Who in American Law, 1988-2003
Who’s Who in America, 1988-2003
Who’s Who in the World, 1994-2003

johnkarls
Posts: 1597
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Senator Feinstein's Reply

Post by johnkarls »

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Reading Liberally Editorial Note --

As previously noted, unlike virtually every other U.S. Senator (and Member of Congress), Senator Feinstein WILL accept e-mails from non-constituents.

However, although her website permits you to check a box that you would like a response, the website indicates this is only for constituents.

There follows below a very-polite automatic response indicating that since I am not a constituent (I used as my snail-mail address: Harvard Club – Box 126, 27 West 44th Street, New York NY 10036), there would be no reply.

Which is no big deal because I had already seen her website’s disclaimer.

And because the important thing would be for her staff to bring the e-mail to her attention.

Or (hint, hint) a reader of this Bulletin Board who has direct access to Senator Feinstein to bring it to her attention.


---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Out of state
From: senator@feinstein.senate.gov
Date: Fri, April 11, 2014 6:58 am MDT
To: John Karls
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for sending me your electronic mail message. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Because of the volume of e-mail that is received by my office, we can only respond to email that includes a California postal address. Please resend the text of your e-mail message, including your postal address, and I will respond to you as soon as possible.

Should you need additional information about the Congress, or my offices in Washington and California, please visit my homepage on the World Wide Web. The address is http://feinstein.senate.gov.

Thank you again for contacting me, and I hope you will continue to do so in the future.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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