[ RadSafe ] Fusion, The Manhattan Project, and World Wars

franz.schoenhofer at chello.at franz.schoenhofer at chello.at
Wed Jul 6 16:06:13 CDT 2011


Your text is worth considering, but I need time to do so. I hope to be able to comment on your ideas after some time of considering them. What strikes me is your comparison to the Manhattan Project. I have read everything I could get about the Manhattan Project. Maybe you are right that Oppenheimer was successful to lead a group of primadonnas - I do not know whether there is another Oppenheimer and most of all I am not really sure that there are these primadonnas available any more. At those long gone times there were hard restrictions of exchange of results because of military secrets. The restrictions now: Competition for limited funding, patents, fierce competition of research establishments. All results available in the open literature on fusion are out of cooperation of dozens of scientists. Think about this! Think about that money is not so readily available as it was for the Manhattan Project. 

May I pose the question, whether fusion energy really is necessary - isn't there enough energy available? (Forget Photovoltaic and windenergy, the most fashionable ones nowadays, without any real input to the grid.)

Best regards,


---- "Fredrick L. Miller" <millerfl at tricity.wsu.edu> schrieb:
> "In my "mind's eye", I am trying to picture what might happen if we
> embarked on a
> program  to develop fusion energy similar to what was done in Manhattan
> Project
> for fission. I don't know how he did it, but somehow Oppenheimer led a
> group of
> must have been technological prima donnas in what must have involved
> sorting
> through and rejecting many dumb ideas to successfully choose something
> that
> actually worked. This effort must have involved overcoming a lot of hurt
> feelings.
> I don't know whether it would again be possible without the incentive of
> a world
> war that we had to win or some similar motivation, but it's nice to know
> that it
> happened once---so perhaps it is possible that it can happen again."
> In my opinion we're engaged in a struggle now which is much more
> dangerous for humanity and more likely to lead to war than anything
> we've ever seen before.  Whether through political manipulation,
> depletion of resources, overpopulation, economic disparity, or other
> mechanism, we've come to the brink of war over energy resources.  For
> now, it's a cold war waged by the government agencies and corporations
> of developed and emerging nations.  Soon the gloves are going to come
> off if we don't find a way to change how we produce and use energy.
> When that happens the shooting wars which ensue will make previous wars
> look like schoolyard spats.  One place I think the scientific community
> misses the mark is our inability to convey the gravity of the situation
> to political and business leaders, and solutions we can contribute to
> prevent this from happening.
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Franz Schoenhofer, PhD, MinRat
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Vienna
mobile: ++43 699 1706 1227

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