Arnie funding Polywell?

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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hallam
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Arnie funding Polywell?

Postby hallam » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:10 pm

"Governor Schwarzenegger to research Revolutionary Radiation Free Fusion Reactor"

http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/nextnews7.24b.html

http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/200 ... usion.html

Can anybody verify this or provide another source for the news?

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Re: Arnie funding Polywell?

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:19 pm

Wow! :!: If this is true, it's revolutionary — it's the funding breakthrough we've been waiting for, and should prove whether or not the polywell approach can work within the next few years!

I've done some searching looking for confirmation, and while it turns up a lot of hits, it's mostly just bloggers quoting each other (as is typical in the blogosphere), all linking ultimately back to the first link above. The one at SpaceDev Info may be useful to watch, as they're as likely as anyone to be linked in to someone with first-hand information.

But the writer at Jason's Random Thoughts appears to have some other source of information, claiming it will be a "$200-million effort" as well as providing some background information (that will not be news to us here). Of course I suspect he's just making that number up, based on Bussard's projected cost of the first fusion power plant. He doesn't give a source, and may not have any more info than the rest of us.

I'll start writing to the two apparent primary reports, and seeing if they can tell me where they got their information. Meanwhile, I encourage the rest of you to do your own searches, and post anything new you find!
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Re: California funding polywell?

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:31 pm

Incidentally, Schwarzenegger's web site includes press releases and a (staff) blog. I'm unable to find any mention at all of fusion here, though. So whatever the original source, it doesn't appear to be an official press release or blog entry from the governor's office.
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lambda0
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Postby lambda0 » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:32 pm

Maybe the best is to ask directly to Dr Bussard. Or maybe Tom Ligon knows.

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Re: California funding polywell?

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:44 pm

I tried to write to the Governor's office using the form for that purpose on the web, but I got conflicting results — after submitting the form, the next page said both "your email has been sent" and "email error: comment not found". I tried it twice with the same results.

I'll try calling a bit later (it's still early in California), but I'll probably get some low-level staffer who either won't know what's going on, or won't be willing to say so.

As for contacting Dr. Bussard directly, that's a great idea, but I think he's even harder to get a hold of than the governor. Still, it's worth a try.
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Re: California funding polywell?

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:54 pm

JoeStrout wrote:As for contacting Dr. Bussard directly, that's a great idea, but I think he's even harder to get a hold of than the governor. Still, it's worth a try.

I've sent e-mail to the address given in the IAC paper. I suggest that others refrain from doing so at this time — no sense inundating him with email, especially if the report is not true. I'll let you know if/when I get a reply.
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Re: California funding polywell?

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:45 pm

I called the Governor's office, got transferred to the press office, and then passed at least one level up the chain. Finally I got to a someone who clearly was not aware of the report, but took it seriously. I helped him locate the report on the web, and then he took down my name, number, and affiliation, and promised to call me back after he's looked into it.

If there's any truth to this report, I think this guy will be able to find it — though they may or may not be ready to comment. If not, well, who knows? Maybe all the buzz will put the idea into the Governor's head, and some good could come out of it anyway. At the very least, it's certain that the Governor and some of his staff will be aware of Dr. Bussard and his research by the end of the day.
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California NOT funding Polywell research

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:09 pm

UPDATE: I got a call back from Bill Maile in the Governor's office. He spoke with the Governor's policy advisors, and in brief, the story is false. This is the first anyone in the Governor's office has even heard of the idea.

He is going to do some research to try and find out the source of the story. Hopefully he'll have better luck reaching somebody at nextenergynews than I have; the site lists no name or phone number, and is registered through domainsbyproxy.com. But maybe a Governor's office carries enough weight to shake loose some real contact information from them. We'll see... He promised to call me again within two hours, and when he does, I'll let you know what he found.

Meanwhile, remember, you got the truth here first — disappointing truth though it is.
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Re: California NOT funding Polywell research

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:29 pm

Bill (from Governor Schwarzenegger's office) called again. He was unable to find any useful contact information for nextenergynews either. He pointed out that when a news site doesn't even have a phone number, you have to wonder about their credibility. He reiterated again that the story is false and has no basis.

If anyone is able to discover any information about who's running this site, please let me know.
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Re: California NOT funding Polywell research

Postby TallDave » Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:18 pm

JoeStrout wrote:Bill (from Governor Schwarzenegger's office) called again. He was unable to find any useful contact information for nextenergynews either. He pointed out that when a news site doesn't even have a phone number, you have to wonder about their credibility. He reiterated again that the story is false and has no basis.

If anyone is able to discover any information about who's running this site, please let me know.


Well, Drudge doesn't have a phone number either, but he breaks a lot of big news -- and of course he's wrong sometimes too.

The site seems to be an energy-related Drudge-like site, and therefore perhaps not 100% reliable. But keep in mind, they probably get tips from low-level sources. So it's possible there's a committee reviewing this somewhere, getting ready to issue a favorable report that would likely lead to funding (a report which no one in the Gov's office has seen yet) and a committee staff member has leaked it to the NextEnergyNews guy.

Or it could be total bunk. We just can't tell yet.

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Re: California NOT funding Polywell research

Postby pstudier » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:27 pm

JoeStrout wrote: He pointed out that when a news site doesn't even have a phone number, you have to wonder about their credibility.


It is worse than that. The domain is registered to GoDaddy.com, see http://who.godaddy.com/WhoIsVerify.aspx ... id=godaddy . DomainsByProxy.com sole business is allowing one to register at GoDaddy and be anonymous. NextEnergyNews.com has the email comments@nextenergynews.com . Who knows if they read it. So these people are deliberately anonymous and unaccountable.
Fusion is easy, but break even is horrendous.

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Re: California NOT funding Polywell research

Postby MSimon » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:29 pm

JoeStrout wrote:Bill (from Governor Schwarzenegger's office) called again. He was unable to find any useful contact information for nextenergynews either. He pointed out that when a news site doesn't even have a phone number, you have to wonder about their credibility. He reiterated again that the story is false and has no basis.

If anyone is able to discover any information about who's running this site, please let me know.


Joe,

This story then has had a most beneficial effect!! The Governator now knows about Polywell and knows there is a constituency out there for it.

If enough people call the Governators office (not that I'm suggesting that) they may have to put out a press release denying it.

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Postby JohnP » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:29 pm

Joe, thanks much for your legwork in tracking the story.

Too bad crap like this doesn't carry jail time. Reading about it was downright painful.

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Re: California NOT funding Polywell research

Postby MSimon » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:31 pm

pstudier wrote:
JoeStrout wrote: He pointed out that when a news site doesn't even have a phone number, you have to wonder about their credibility.


It is worse than that. The domain is registered to GoDaddy.com, see http://who.godaddy.com/WhoIsVerify.aspx ... id=godaddy . DomainsByProxy.com sole business is allowing one to register at GoDaddy and be anonymous. NextEnergyNews.com has the email comments@nextenergynews.com . Who knows if they read it. So these people are deliberately anonymous and unaccountable.


I sent an e-mail right after the story broke. So far no response.

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Re: California NOT funding Polywell research

Postby JoeStrout » Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:07 pm

MSimon wrote:This story then has had a most beneficial effect!! The Governator now knows about Polywell and knows there is a constituency out there for it.

If enough people call the Governators office (not that I'm suggesting that) they may have to put out a press release denying it.

I'm not sure this made its way up to the Governor himself; Bill (who I believe is in the press office) spoke with senior policy advisors about it. Most likely, that'll be the end of it. But of course it's possible that one or more of those advisors will get curious this evening and do a bit of research on the topic, and if sufficiently impressed, could bring it up with the governor. Unlikely, but possible.
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