Mitsubishi's Answer to Nuclear Waste
Low Energy Transmutations are Gaining Scientific Ground

Copyright 2005 New Energy Times

This story first aired on German National Radio on March 23, 2005, the 16th anniversary of the announcement of cold fusion. The German article and on-demand audio are here: http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/forschak/359485/

By Haiko Lietz

When Yasuhiro Iwamura presented his lecture (http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/IwamuraYobservatiob.pdf) on the last International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science in Marseille, France, you could have heard a pin drop. The Japanese researcher presented research results from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The corporation does much more than building cars. If their results are right, the Japanese have also developed a technology within the last ten years, that, under certain conditions, will physically transmute chemical elements into new elements. According to established theory this should be impossible. Iwamura explains the method which involves a special heavy metal sandwich:

"It is composed of pure palladium and a calcium oxide complex layer. On one side of the palladium complex we have D2 gas at about 1 atmospheric pressure. On the other side we keep a vacuum condition. If we put an element on the palladium complex that is specifically targeted to be transmuted, and we make D2 gas permeate through the palladium complex, after about one week or ten days we observe the transmutation of this element."

If there are, for example, caesium atoms on the palladium sandwich, those gradually disappear and atoms of the element praseodymium appear during the experiment. After about four days there are more praseodymium atoms than caesium atoms. The praseodymium nucleus is heavier than the caesium nucleus by each four protons and neutrons. It seems as if caesium nuclei somehow reacted with ions of the gas and formed praseodymium nuclei. Iwamura and his colleagues have published their results in the renowned Japanese Journal of Applied Physics in 2002 (http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/IwamuraYelementalaa.pdf). Since then they have successfully repeated the experiment over 50 times. In the same way they were able to transmute strontium into molybdenum. Also in recent new experiments, one element disappears and another appears.

"Currently we involve a barium transmutation experiment. We observe the transmutation of barium into samarium. And this samarium has a non-natural isotopic ratio. At first we performed a natural barium experiment, and after that we used enriched barium-137. If we use barium-138, we get samarium-150. And if we use barium-137, then we will have samarium-149. In other words, we observe different mass distributions by controlling the initial mass distribution", says Iwamura

Depending on which initial element is used, the yielded element is determined. In the barium experiment, a non-natural samarium isotope is formed. In the caesium experiment it is not just the isotope, but even the element that is rare in nature. That is why the researchers are sure that the new-found elements are not the result of contamination of the system. It is noticeable that caesium and strontium are products of nuclear fission, which are radioactive depending on the isotope. Is Mitsubishi conducting these experiments to try to remediate nuclear waste?

"At this day it is very difficult to say, but it might be possible. Mitsubishi Heavy Industry has a very wide range of products including nuclear power plants. Our research into this field may yield commercial applications," Iwamura says.

The Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei-Shinbun has recently rated the Mitsubishi research as the third most important technology trend. The effect has been confirmed by the universities of Osaka and Shizuoka, the Japanese "SPring-8" synchrotron radiation facility, and the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics. The head of the Italian transmutation study group, Francesco Celani, gives high grades to the Japanese experiment:

"This is a very, very clean experiment. Iwamura makes several cross checks about his results. Not only one, but four different kinds of analysis. Contaminations, that are the weak point in any kind of transmutation experiment, are almost ruled out. I think this is the way that all of us have to follow."

Celani now wants to start a joint Italian/Japanese basic research program into transmutations, as a second step of which they also plan to transmute radioactive caesium and strontium. The project is set at 25 Million Euro over a five year period. According to Celani, high-ranking political circles in Italy are "very positive" about it. At the Marseille conference, a total of eight additional transmutation experiments involving researchers from Canada, Italy, Romania, Russia and the US Navy were presented. Scott Chubb from the Naval Research Laboratory said, "the materials control and measurements in the Mitsubishi work are so well done that it is hard to believe that it could be wrong."