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Research results should be public

April 1, 2011
Richard E. J. Burke Shepherdstown resident

Dear Senator Manchin,

We the People fund our government. When the government "invests" in research, the results of that research are our property. Most government-funded research isn't secret, it has nothing to do with national security, and there's no reason to prevent its dissemination to the people.

Nonetheless, most such results are not made available to the public. Rather, most researchers funded by government grants are allowed to hide their results inside professional associations. That's bad enough, but when government itself hides research results and conclusions it deems inconvenient to its own agenda, that is, when one "public servant" faction furthers its agenda and not ours, then We The People are robbed.

In 1976, the Director of the Office of Inertial Fusion at ERDA (now DOE) concluded that a commercially viable power plant fueled by Heavy-Ion-Fusion was not only feasible but within reach of existing, proven physics and technology, and that the next step would be the construction of a demonstration Heavy-Ion-Fusion facility.

In 1979, the Foster Panel report to DOE's Energy Research and Advisory Board strongly endorsed Heavy-Ion-Fusion. But that report has never been declassified, and thus Heavy-Ion-Fusion was buried alive, and none of us owners even knew it happened.

In 1985, a review of Inertial Confinement Fusion by the National Academy of Sciences noted the advantages of heavy ion beams, across the board, but declared the energy problem was "dormant for the time being." This was an inappropriate political statement about a national priority being made by scientists whom We the People had not voted into office, who spoke outside their expertise - not as the academic technicians they are - but as policy makers to the bureaucrats who run our government.

Because of this decades-long duplicity, We the People are now mired in the Oil Wars, where we fund our enemies by buying their oil. This duplicity of government and the scientific academy has caused the death of many of our fellow Americans e.g. terrorist attacks fueled by our enriching OPEC terrorist nations, notably Sept. 11, 2001; thousands of our citizen-soldiers; and the bombing of our embassies.

Our government has done nothing but obstruct progress toward the obvious solution of unlimited, clean, cheap, and liberating production of power from Heavy-Ion-Fusion and is still telling us that fusion power "remains in the distant future." The fact is that when the inconvenient truth of fusion's viability began to acquire momentum, those in our government who favor special interests over the general welfare chose to suppress development of commercial fusion power, and have kept it from our view since 1979.

And there, like King Tut's sarcophagus, lie the facts, in their crypt forevermore - or so they think. We the People want the crypt - the security clearance - removed, the plan to build the heavy-ion fusion proof-of-concept facility resurrected, and put on a fast track with the intention that the first commercial fusion power plant be operable by 2023. This will promote our topmost national priorities: energy independence and national security.

 
 

 

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