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FUSION POWER: Next ITERation?
The Economist ^ | Sep 3rd 2011 | print edition

Posted on 09/21/2011 3:25:15 AM PDT by wolf78



Generating electricity by nuclear fusion has long looked like a chimera. A reactor being built in Germany may change that.

AS THE old joke has it, fusion is the power of the future—and always will be. The sales pitch is irresistible: the principal fuel, a heavy isotope of hydrogen called deuterium, can be extracted from water. In effect, therefore, it is in limitless supply. Nor, unlike fusion’s cousin, nuclear fission, does the process produce much in the way of radioactive waste. It does not release carbon dioxide, either. Which all sounds too good to be true. And it is. For there is the little matter of building a reactor that can run for long enough to turn out a meaningful amount of electricity. Since the first attempt to do so, a machine called Zeta that was constructed in Britain in the 1950s, no one has even come close.

At the moment, the main bet being placed by fusion enthusiasts is on ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, a research machine that can hold 840 cubic metres of hot, gaseous fuel. It is being bolted together at a projected cost of €15 billion ($22 billion) in the south of France. ITER is what is known as a tokamak, a doughnut-shaped device invented in Russia at about the same time Zeta was active.

[...]

A stellarator is a tokamak with twists in it. The consequence of its Daliesque geometry is that every particle inside the machine experiences the same forces as it travels around. A stellarator therefore needs only one magnetic field to manage the plasma, and can be run indefinitely rather than just for a few minutes.

(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Germany; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: energy; fusion; germany; iter
Possible breakthrough? We'll see in 2014. Because other than ITER (Where every nation wants access to the know-how, so there's either haggling over who builds the important parts or they just build the same screw ten times) Wendelstein is mostly on schedule and budget.
1 posted on 09/21/2011 3:25:26 AM PDT by wolf78
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To: wolf78
As a geeky personal note: Stellarators are just very, very cool ;)








2 posted on 09/21/2011 3:32:26 AM PDT by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: wolf78

There is also no other way out of the energy bottleneck.

That said, there needs to be more than one approach, like the Manhattan Project. I think a kinetic containment is much simpler and more likely to produce >1.0. (Like a giant internal combustion fusion engine since fusion is scalable as large or small as you want.)


3 posted on 09/21/2011 3:36:01 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL WASHINGTON! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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To: wolf78

I thought Italian engineer Andrea Rossi and Professor Sergio Focardi of the University of Bologna demo’ed a cold fusion reactor last January...not true?


4 posted on 09/21/2011 3:38:08 AM PDT by econjack (Some people are dumber than soup.)
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To: econjack
I thought Italian engineer Andrea Rossi and Professor Sergio Focardi of the University of Bologna demo’ed a cold fusion reactor last January...not true?

Wanna buy a bridge...?

5 posted on 09/21/2011 4:03:23 AM PDT by freebilly
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To: wolf78

It looks like a Möbius strip.


6 posted on 09/21/2011 4:15:19 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
There is also no other way out of the energy bottleneck.

Thorium looks good.

7 posted on 09/21/2011 4:21:27 AM PDT by agere_contra ("Debt is the foundation of destruction" : Sarah Palin.)
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To: freebilly
The physics behind hot fusion and cold fusion must necessarily be different. There are also two different "nuclear" forces at work. Hot fusion depends on the strong nuclear force. Cold fusion depends on the weak nuclear force.

Due to our great need for powerful atom bombs and hydrogen bombs to counter the Soviet Threat we put most of our money into the study of the strong nuclear force and virtually nothing into the weak nuclear force, consequently we have tens of thousands of highly educated physicists and engineers who know everything there is to know about making bombs, and virtually none with enough knowledge to come up with a working "strong nuclear force" fusion reactor!

Worse, NONE of them have any interest at all in dealing with the electro-weak force.

That's where Rossi and Focardi come in, as well as many other scientists and research engineers whose primary training is in physical chemistry.

More recently their approach to providing energy through manipulation of the electro-weak force has received some serious attention ~ particularly as projects like "hot fusion" have utterly failed even while wasting hundreds of billions of dollars. Hot fusion is like Keynesian Economics ~ lots of promise, lots of theories, NO GO.

Given the dominance of the hot fusion proponents in the world of physics it has been difficult for the cold fusion enthusiasts to get the financing necessary to proceed along lines of theory in the electroweak force that seem to have promise.

Which is where "self financing" comes into play. It's not exactly like "selling bridges" but there are folks throughout the world of strong nuclear force studies who see impending doom for their work if even one guy comes up with a working electroweak device that produces energy in commercial quantities. They are squealing like pigs at the moment, and if this Italian device works at all, you'll hear screams like monkeys in the zoo!

8 posted on 09/21/2011 4:23:44 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: econjack; All
I thought Italian engineer Andrea Rossi and Professor Sergio Focardi of the University of Bologna demo’ed a cold fusion reactor last January...not true?

Their "demonstrations" always lack the sort of evidence to prove the system to skeptics. If you are not skeptical, they are convincing. The demonstrations do not allow anyone to examine all the connections to the machine, for example, or to determine if there are any hidden connections. The measurements are never complete and convincing.

When these deficiencies are pointed out, the demonstrators say, well, just wait until we are on the market. This demonstration was not meant to prove anything. The market will prove that our products work.

They are supposed to have a 1 megawatt demonstration in October, with products on the market by the end of the month. I remain skeptical.

9 posted on 09/21/2011 4:29:03 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: wolf78
It could be a couple of decades before we see the first commercial "hot" fusion powerplant--that's too long to wait!

Meanwhile, a new technology that was actually successfully demonstrated during the 1960's called the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) could become available within a decade. Amazingly safe, LFTR's use a lot less actinide fuel to generate 1,000 MW than a similar generating capacity uranium reactor, and best of all, LFTR's generate very little radioactive waste, and the waste generated only has a half-life under 300 years, which means you don't need expensive storage facilities for the waste.

With perhaps hundreds of standardized-design 1,000 MW LFTR's operating all over the USA, we could satisfy American electrical needs for hundreds of years without unsightly large-scale wind farms that could be potentially dangerous to birds or solar power arrays that hog tens of square miles of land.

10 posted on 09/21/2011 4:32:41 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: RayChuang88
With perhaps hundreds of standardized-design 1,000 MW LFTR's operating all over the USA, we could satisfy American electrical needs for hundreds of years without unsightly large-scale wind farms that could be potentially dangerous to birds or solar power arrays that hog tens of square miles of land.

We could, but the dumbed down left opposes it because it would be good for the capitalist United States. It is ok for France to have nuclear power. It is ok for Japan to have nuclear power, but the United States must be crippled because ... well, because it has been the most successful idea on the face of the earth.

11 posted on 09/21/2011 4:49:56 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: marktwain
The "dumb-down" Left obviously doesn't know the advantages of LFTR's:

1. It uses thorium-232, which is 4-5 times more common than uranium.
2. The fuel for the reactor is thorium-232 dissolved in molten sodium fluoride salts, far cheaper to make than uranium-235 pellets assembled into fuel rods.
3. It doesn't require a lot of fuel to power the reactor.
4. Because the reactor doesn't need pressurized reactor vessels, it's also a lot safer in design.
5. In case of any emergency, the fuel can be dumped from the reactor in seconds, stopping the reaction quickly for a fast reactor cool-down.
6. By using Brayton-cycle turbines to generate electricity, we eliminate the enormous expense of cooling towers and/or needing to locate the reactor near a large body of water.
7. The waste generated by a LFTR is very small, and the waste only has a half-life of under 300 years. That meanas the waste can be dumped into any salt dome or disused salt mine for permanent storage at very low cost.

In short, LFTR's address most of the issues and concerns from the environmentalists about nuclear reactor designs. So what are we waiting for?

12 posted on 09/21/2011 5:04:13 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: RayChuang88
In short, LFTR's address most of the issues and concerns from the environmentalists about nuclear reactor designs. So what are we waiting for?

Do you really think the opponents of nuclear power are interested in logic, facts, and reason? Their assumptions about reality are far different from yours.

13 posted on 09/21/2011 5:09:08 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
"That said, there needs to be more than one approach, like the Manhattan Project."

There are several. IMO, the most likely to be successful is the "Bussard polywell" approach. A real nice "twist". It uses magnetic confinement to contain a cloud of electrons (due to low mass of electrons, they are FAR easier to magnetically contain) to create one electrode of an electrostatic confinement system (cf "Farnsworth Fusor"). Funded by the Navy and in "second round" (scaleup) of funding.

See "Talk-Polywell" for a forum that addresses this (and some other smaller efforts (Focus Fusion, and ever Rossi's LENR)).

14 posted on 09/21/2011 5:11:56 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: wolf78

My fishin reactor is going to built on the mental Theorium.

The danger to the public is low and the cost even lower since it’s all mental and all theory.
The date of delivery doesn’t have a deadline, it IS a dead line.

Let’ all cheer the Fishin Generator from the back of a boat!


15 posted on 09/21/2011 5:41:00 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: wolf78

Looks more promising than Rossi’s coffee can stuffed with shredded newspaper.


16 posted on 09/21/2011 5:44:02 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: wolf78
I already know who is not going to like this devilish machine…

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

17 posted on 09/21/2011 5:53:02 AM PDT by cartan
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To: marktwain
We could, but the dumbed down left opposes it because it would be good for the capitalist United States. It is ok for France to have nuclear power. It is ok for Japan to have nuclear power, but the United States must be crippled because ... well, because it has been the most successful idea on the face of the earth.

The thing is: France has a lot of nuclear power because a.) France wanted the bomb and b.) it therefore socialized the energy sector. The "secret" behind France's nuclear power success is socialism.

In short, LFTR's address most of the issues and concerns from the environmentalists about nuclear reactor designs. So what are we waiting for?

AFAIK most of the problems with molten salt and high-temperature reactors are engineering challenges rather than the basic physics, e.g. corrosion. So trying to commercialize LFTR is a big financial risk (albeit one that promises great rewards). Few are willing to bet the firm, so what you'd need to get the ball rolling would be huge government loan guarantees. After Solyndra I don't see that happen.
18 posted on 09/21/2011 5:56:52 AM PDT by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: Wonder Warthog
(cf "Farnsworth Fusor")


19 posted on 09/21/2011 6:01:05 AM PDT by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide; agere_contra

“There is also no other way out of the energy bottleneck.”

To echo agere_contra, yes there is: thorium. Here is an excellent article on the subject (which also debunks some other alledged solutions to the energy bottleneck): http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=183373

FYI, thorium is not a permanent solution - according to the above article, thorium from coal (and the liquified coal that we can use for our vehicles) will “only” last for about 200 years...more than enough time to develop fusion and some better battery technology to store all of that energy.


20 posted on 09/21/2011 6:30:03 AM PDT by Ancesthntr (Bibi to Odumbo: Its not going to happen.)
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To: wolf78
Not sure I "get it" with the cartoon.

"Farnsworth's Fusor" is very probably the most successful SMALL approach to a fusion reactor. THE big problem with a Farnsworth fusor is that the central electrode is made of metal, and at high reaction rates (lower than breakeven) is rapidly deteriorated by various sorts of heat/particle impact damage (even if made of tungsten). Bussard's innovation replaces that central charge source with a "non-material".

The "proof of concept" experiments have been successful and "peer-reviewed" and funding is now aimed at building larger reactors to determine scaling laws. A "Bussard polywell" should be far smaller than a magnetic confinement approach, small enough to be useful on ships and subs...hence the Navy's interest.

Trivia tidbit.....Philo T. Farnsworth was the guy who invented television.

21 posted on 09/21/2011 6:40:41 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Ancesthntr; All
FYI, thorium is not a permanent solution - according to the above article, thorium from coal (and the liquified coal that we can use for our vehicles) will “only” last for about 200 years...more than enough time to develop fusion and some better battery technology to store all of that energy.

There area plenty of energy sources available if we are allowed to develop them. If 200 years of a high tech civilization is not enough to develop cheap fusion, then there is likely lots of thorium in the asteroids. Lots of power available once we get out of the gravity well in a meaningful way.

22 posted on 09/21/2011 6:40:59 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: Wonder Warthog; All
I looked at the polywell, and I am impressed with the potential. Half of what we squandered on Soyndra would have completly funded a 100 megawatt prototype.
23 posted on 09/21/2011 7:02:13 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: wolf78

It’s actually a dog poop joke.

Did you ever listen to the audio commentaries of the DVDs?

They are just as funny as the shows themselves!


24 posted on 09/21/2011 7:06:19 AM PDT by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
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To: marktwain
"....and I am impressed with the potential."

Deliberate or unintentional pun??

"Half of what we squandered on Soyndra would have completly funded a 100 megawatt prototype."

Even less than that, as I recall.

25 posted on 09/21/2011 8:02:07 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: wolf78

The future of nuclear is cold fusion.

http://www.e-catworld.com/2011/09/why-the-announced-e-cat-test-at-uppsala-should-tell-the-complete-story/

Tunneling Beneath the 4He Fragmentation Energy
J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci. 4 (2011) pages 241–255 ^ | February 2011 | K P Sinha
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2743039/posts
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 10:45:05 PM by Kevmo
J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci. 4 (2011) pages 241–255

A model for enhanced fusion reaction in a solid matrix of metal deuterides
Wednesday, June 08, 2011 10:14:09 PM · by Kevmo · 35 replies
International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. 2008 ^ | July 2008 | K P Sinha
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2732072/posts

Cold Fusion #1 Claims NASA Chief (Focardi & Rossi - not cold fusion but close enough)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2730240/posts
Sunday, June 05, 2011 11:56:09 AM · by Titus-Maximus · 52 replies

How to Prove that the Rossi/Focardi eCAT LENR is Real
LENR.QUMBO.com ^ | April 6, 2011 | Alan Fletcher
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 7:52:15 PM by Kevmo
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2730401/posts

How I Made Money from Cold Fusion
Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:28:49 PM · by Kevmo · 28 replies · 1,013+ views
Exclusive Article for Free Republic | 1/23/10 | Kevmo
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2435697/posts

HOW TO SAVE OUR ECONOMY
Friday, December 31, 2010 1:57:41 AM · by Kevmo · 40 replies The American Reporter ^ | December 29, 2010 | Joe Shea
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2649712/posts

Re-Analysis of the Marinov Light-Speed Anisotropy Experiment
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2270920/posts
Friday, June 12, 2009 11:25:41 PM · by Kevmo · 27 replies · 1,027+ views
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612201v2.pdf ^ | Reginald T. Cahill

The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts in Physics
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2266921/posts
Sunday, June 07, 2009 7:50:26 PM · by Kevmo · 78 replies · 1,626+ views Suppressed Science.Net ^ | 12/06/08 | http://www.suppressedscience.net/

The End of Snide Remarks Against Cold Fusion
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2265914/posts
Friday, June 05, 2009 5:56:08 PM · by Kevmo · 95 replies · 1,770+ views
Free Republic, Gravitronics.net and Intrade ^ | 6/5/09 | kevmo, et al

‘Cold Fusion’ Rebirth? New Evidence For Existence Of Controversial Energy Source
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2212864/posts
Monday, March 23, 2009 12:42:14 PM · by FlameThrower · 35 replies · 1,586+ views
Science Daily ^ | Mar. 23, 2009 | American Chemical Society


26 posted on 09/21/2011 8:02:39 AM PDT by Kevmo (Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kevmo; All
The future of nuclear is cold fusion.

As far as the E-Cat is concerned, we should know by the end of the year.

Would you agree with that assessment?

27 posted on 09/21/2011 8:10:23 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: marktwain

Would you agree with that assessment?

***Mostly.

There are always schedule slips in engineering, which I see every freeping day here in silicon valley. My own personal cutoff date for whether or not Rossi is real is November 2012, but that is based upon political wishful thinking that zer0bama does not get a chance to take credit for it.

I do feel strongly enough about Rossi’s Ecat that I would put money down to bet on it. So if anyone wants to take my money, just chime in at Intrade.

https://bb.intrade.com/intradeForum/posts/list/492644.page


28 posted on 09/21/2011 8:20:42 AM PDT by Kevmo (Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kevmo
I tried getting into Intrade, but found that participation had been banned by the U.S. government.
29 posted on 09/21/2011 8:38:54 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: Kevmo; All

You seem an intelligent and well intentioned person. Perhaps we can work something out that would be educational and not too painful.

I have a bet going with Matthew Bracken (AKA freeper Travis McGee) about whether a full capacity magazine ban will be signed into law by December of this year.

If you are interested, I will extend the offer to you:

I will send you a signed case of Matt’s new book, Castigo Cay, if there are E-cats commercially available and in independent hands, producing more power than is input into them by January, 2012.

If it does not happen, you can send me a case of the signed books.

A case of signed books costs $200. Here is the web site.

http://www.enemiesforeignanddomestic.com/order.htm

We pick a neutral, well respected freeper to judge whether the the E-cat is in fact producing power in independent hands.

I am open to negotiations on the terms.


30 posted on 09/21/2011 9:54:35 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: marktwain

Your terms are good enough but I’m not that interested in his book.

How about $200 worth of gas for my motorhome? Or beer?
Maybe $200 worth of Bevmo for Kevmo?

I suppose if the middleman freeper is trustworthy enough, he/she can be trusted with cash, plus maybe $20 for his/her efforts?


31 posted on 09/21/2011 8:49:22 PM PDT by Kevmo (Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: wolf78
The biggest advantage of France's nuclear power program is this: they standardized the design of the complete nuclear power plant--reactor building, control center and even the cooling towers--and essentially built "cookie cutter" nuclear powerplants all over that country. As such, a nuclear engineer trained to operate one reactor plant could operate almost any reactor plant in that country.

This is why I want the American liquid fluoride thorium reactor program to standardize on a single 750 to 1,000 MW reactor design with standardized reactor building and control center designs, and build several hundred "cookie cutter" reactor plants all over the USA.

As for the engineering challenges, when Oak Ridge National Laboratories built their test reactor back in the 1960's, the test unit--which is not much different than the modern LFTR proposed designs--successfully ran for five years straight with no undue engineering problems. As such, we know the engineering needed to scale up a LFTR to a 750 to 1,000 MW design.

32 posted on 09/21/2011 8:54:07 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: marktwain

Oops, I neglected to mention odds.

When I started trading my contract at Intrade I had 20:1 odds, and ended up most of my trades at about 2:1.

That’s the beauty of market based pricing. How do we cover that?


33 posted on 09/21/2011 8:55:09 PM PDT by Kevmo (Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kevmo

Are you willing to give me odds? You seem very confident.


34 posted on 09/22/2011 3:44:48 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: marktwain

It’s not confidence. It’s about kicking the snipers back under the rocks they came from, because their mouth is so big but when the time comes to put up, they don’t. You don’t appear to be such a sniper, so I appreciate that.

Based on the level of invective towards LENR, you’d think they would give me 20:1 odds or 10:1. But last time around I only averaged ~3.3 to 1.

How I Made Money from Cold Fusion
Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:28:49 PM · by Kevmo · 28 replies · 1,013+ views
Exclusive Article for Free Republic | 1/23/10 | Kevmo
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2435697/posts

So I would expect between 3:1 & 2:1 odds. Let me know if that works for you and how long such an offer would last.


35 posted on 09/22/2011 7:35:20 PM PDT by Kevmo (Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all. ~Ronald Reagan)
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