Column: BRAIN Main Resource in Los Alamos

Column by Liviu Popa-Simil
Los Alamos

I agree with all the facts presented in the column: ‘How Los Alamos and Little New Mexico Can Help Feed the World’ by William Sellers (June 1, 2013

  • Earth population by March 2012 > 7 billion;
  • Food a security issue;
  • Fresh water abundance started to be a main concern and a problem too – desalinization technology may help – but not too much; and
  • DOE funded SMRs.

But here we are of divergent opinions:

  • DOE’s nuclear funding is more shy than ever; and
  • SMR is just a trick to go around a misinformed public opinion, because all the technologies that are applied there can be applied even more successful in big (GW level) nuclear reactors, with lower costs because radio-protection, safety and security is about the same for 10 MW as for 10 GW.

Simple, because where one has materials able to generate a critical mass and spontaneously of in day length burn and release fission products forabout 1 pound of pure actinide content – need all nonproliferation attention – that means 3G (Gates, Guards with Guns).

Los Alamos and DOE can do even much more if the creative energy of the people here may be unleashed – There are many other technologies in the minds of our people here that may be useful to the future welfare than only SMR and Polish Grapheme filters for military.

The paper is misleading – desalinization is not about filtration – the salt is homogenously dissolved in water, molecular sieves work well for gases but not so well for liquids, and gaseous Sodium Chloride in Hydrogen and Oxygen requires ultra high temperatures to be economically reasonable even for grapheme filters – while believing that the solution comes from Poland
working with Lockheed Martin is a cheap uninformed advertisement.

I agree with the idea that Los Alamos and New Mexico may and can do more for planetary economic development if and only if, the community will be able to solve the economic development puzzle.

Now the answer to the question: what means economic development gets controversial funny answers, because for many, mainly in the county politicians economic development means:
  • More retail – to who and why?
  • More tourism = more people toddlering around in our backyards, keeping the actually 10 percent occupied hotels fool, eating, drinking and buying more and make thrive the few retail shops and restaurants we have around – does the rest of the 99 percent of the community really wants that?
  • More building make up and more road and building activity – see Library adjustments – they supposed that the reader flow in the future will decay by half so they reduced the access road, making a maze of curbs instead buyingmore books and specific materials – they buried their money in facades.
For some, but not so many at open now, when talking about economic development means developing a competition to LANL from the financial point of view, wow. How. LANL is the bigger support of the area having a budget of $2 biilion/year, is right in continuous decline, and the creation of an alternative source of income equivalent to the collateral spending in the community of the LANL budget, that is of about 10 percent or less, seems hilarious for many, but that is no longer true.

Developing a local high-tech industry in the range of about $0.5 billion involving civil application with collateral spending in the community of 40 percent is possible if we consider the main resource we have in Los Alamos – BRAIN – and the main interest the local people more than 50 percent have here = putting their BRAIN IDEAS in value.

What remains for the community, is to discover a FAIR way to stimulate the local inventors to invent without HACKING into their ideas, for free, or little to nothing, in order to develop a self sustained inventing and development system.

We like to think that might be the future but it should be the present if we want to maintain in place the qualified people willing to invent and thrive.