I interviewed Piero Andreuccetti, an experienced Italian nuclear engineer who has always worked in the energy sector and follows the LENR for many years. Here he exposes us his interesting personal view and position on the subject.
1) Dr. Andreuccetti, do you remember when and how did you get interested in LENR for the first time?
“In mid Nineties, by chance, I heard of Randell Mills researches on ‘Hydrino’. His activity seemed to be connected with the 1989 Fleischmann & Pons’ announcement about Cold Nuclear Fusion obtained at (almost) room temperature by means of electrolysis experiments. But while in 1989 I had not been so excited by F&P discovery, because I had not seen a possibility to turn it into a readily available new energy source, when I heard of Mills discoveries I get more interested, also because of some contacts I had in Westinghouse at those times, confirming that some excess heat had been provisionally measured on Mills’ device”.
2) You followed the recent developments in the LENR sector. Do you think that we’re on the edge of an energy revolution?
“Not yet on the edge, but something is going to happen in a few years. Because too many signs are starting to find their way to emerge from the realm of the so called ‘junk science’ and acquire a new dignity among mainstream researchers. Just for instance: Brian Ahern is obtaining results with his LENR experiments at MIT, the same Institute that dismissed as ‘heretical’ F&P results 25 years ago… But one thing is sure: if an energy revolution will take place, it won’t be by a Government decree or Academia move: market battlefield will decide, if and when some LENR devices will have proved their economic convenience, their safety and dependability”.
3) Today would you recommend to a small company with no experience in this field to invest in research on LENR?
“Right now LENR is still a slippery field, because of several reasons: LENR phenomena are difficult to replicate, powers generated by these experiments – Rossi’s E-Cat excluded – are still too small to be of industrial interest, and poor understanding of the physics underlying LENR on the one hand prevents from an effective assessment of risks associated with a massive research activity in this field, while on the other does not allow a R&D effort that ‘makes sense’ in order to scale lab devices up to marketable apparatus… Public support would be strongly needed to absorb risks, but it is largely impeded by the adverse Academia lobbying”.
4) What do you think are the main advantages of a technology such as that underlying an E-Cat compared to the renewables?
“Renewables, I mean photovoltaic and wind energy, are quite dispersed and basically not-dependable. Up to date, feeding an extended and highly demanding energy system by only means of renewables is simply impossible: as a matter of fact, fossil energy sources are unavoidable. Well, a marketable E-Cat – and I make the point that Renewables and LENR are to be regarded as integrable rather than as alternative – would enable a credible exit strategy from traditional energy sources… such a scenario that presently is difficult also to simply figure out”.
5) Do you think that there are now enough available information to have a good chance of independently replicating an E-Cat?
“The last Independent Third Party Report (ITPR) about an E-Cat long lasting test has shed more light on how this device is made and actually works. Evidence of Nickel and Lithium isotopic changes throughout the test allows for a deeper analysis of the physical processes taking places in the E-Cat and, consequently, paves the way for a possible independent replication. In this respect, let’s consider that the first public tests performed on the E-Cat had been done on Andrea Rossi’s made devices, while the last ITPR has been conducted on an Industrial Heat’s made apparatus. This is already a replication, though not completely independent”.
6) If you owned the IP of the E-Cat, would you risk to lose it allowing to third parties an isotopic analysis of fuel and ash?
“As far as IP protection is concerned, my opinion is that allowing a completely open and independent third party isotopic analysis of fuel and ash is risky enough… I understand scientific method needs, but real industrial world need adequate self-defence measures. And I repeat: E-Cat success, if any, will not happen by a general consensus decided in a number of Academia congresses… market will decide, and going on the market imply IP protection, engineering, marketing, etc. Epistemology, though important, will come after”.
PIERO ANDREUCCETTI, Nuclear Engineer, is the Property and Technical Services Manager at CESI SpA, in Milan, Italy. He has a Ph.D. in Safety of Nuclear Power Plants obtained at the University of Pisa, and a Maitrise en Management at the Université libre de Bruxelles.