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1. WO1990010935 - METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR POWER GENERATION

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS :

1. An apparatus for generating energy, comprising:

(a) a lattice structure capable of containing
isotopic hydrogen and catalyzing nuclear
reactions involving said isotopic hydrogen, and

(b) means for utilizing a product of said nuclear
reactions.

2. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said means for utilizing includes means for conducting heat generated by said nuclear reactions.

3. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein said means for utilizing includes means for collimating neutrons from said nuclear reactions into a neutron beam.

4. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 3, wherein said means for utilizing includes means for generating electricity from said nuclear reactions.

5. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4, wherein said lattice structure is permeable to said isotopic hydrogen, and said apparatus includes means for accumulating said isotopic hydrogen into said lattice structure.

6. An apparatus for generating energy, comprising:

(a) a lattice structure capable of accumulating
isotopic hydrogen; and

(b) means for accumulating said isotopic hydrogen to a sufficient concentration in said lattice structure to induce energy generation.

7. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 6, wherein said lattice structure is crystalline.

8. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 7, wherein said lattice structure is metallic.

9. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims l to 8, wherein said lattice structure is a group VIII or a group IVA metal or an alloy thereof.

10. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 9, wherein said lattice structure is palladium, iron, cobalt, nickel, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, iridium, titanium, zirconium, hafnium or an alloy thereof.

11. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 10, wherein said lattice structure is palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, titanium, zirconium, or an alloy thereof.

12. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 11, wherein said lattice structure is fermionic metal.

13. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 12, wherein said lattice structure is a composite including a thin film of material having a relatively high capability of accumulating isotopic hydrogen layered on a material having a relatively low capability of accumulating isotopic hydrogen.

14. The apparatus as claimed in any of claim 1 to 13, wherein said lattice structure includes radioisotopic atoms.

15. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 14, wherein said lattice structure includes radioisotopic atoms selected from the group consisting of 60Co, 90Sr, 106Ru, 117Cs, 147Pm, 170Tm, 210Po, 238Pu, 242Cm, or 244Cm.

16. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 15, wherein said lattice structure includes atoms which emit high-energy rays or particles upon exposure to neutrons.

17. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 16, wherein said lattice structure includes boron, beryllium or carbon-14 (14C) .

18. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 17, further comprising means for exciting said lattice structure with high-energy rays or particles.

19. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 18, further comprising an isotopic hydrogen source.

20. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 19, wherein said isotopic hydrogen includes deuterium.

21. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 20, wherein said isotopic hydrogen includes tritium.

22. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 19 to 21, wherein said isotopic hydrogen source is a fluid, and said apparatus further includes means for producing isotopic hydrogen from said source to accumulate in said lattice structure.

23. The apparatus as claimed in claim 22, wherein said fluid is an electrolyte, and said means for producing includes a charge-generating source for electrolytically decomposing said electrolyte into isotopic hydrogen accumulated into said lattice.

24. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23 wherein said lattice structure is an electrical conductor and is connected to said charge-generating source to be the cathode during said electrolytically decomposing of said electrolyte.

25. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23 or 24, wherein said electrolyte is an aqueous solution comprising at least one water-miscible isotopic hydrogen solvent component.

26. The apparatus as claimed in claim 25, wherein said isotopic hydrogen solvent component is deuterated water.

27. The apparatus as claimed in claim 25, wherein said isotopic hydrogen solvent component is ordinary water.

28. The apparatus as claimed in any of claims 23 to 27 wherein said electrolyte includes lithium.

29. The apparatus as claimed in claim 19, wherein said isotopic hydrogen source is at least one fused metal isotopic hydride in contact with said lattice structure, and said apparatus further includes means for heating the hydride and the lattice structure to promote migration of isotopic hydrogen from the hydride into the lattice structure.

30. The apparatus as claimed in claim 29, wherein the lattice structure is palladium, nickel, iron, cobalt, or an alloy thereof, and said source is fused lithium deuteride, sodium deuteride, potassium deuteride or mixtures thereof.

31. The apparatus as claimed in claim 29 or 30, wherein said means for heating is a high-energy heat source capable of heating said fused metal hydride to transfer said isotopic hydrogen atoms to said lattice structure in less than about one microsecond.

32. A method of reacting isotopic hydrogen comprising the steps of:

(a) forming a lattice structure which contains
isotopic hydrogen and catalyzes nuclear
reactions involving said isotopic hydrogen, and (b) using products of said nuclear reactions.

33. The method as claimed in claim 32, wherein said step of using includes directing neutrons from said nuclear reactions to a target area.

34. The method as claimed in claim 32 or 33, wherein said step of using includes generating electricity from said nuclear reactions.

35. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 34, wherein said step of forming includes the step of subjecting the lattice structure to a source of the isotopic hydrogen to cause the isotopic hydrogen to permeate into the lattice structure to achieve a
concentration therein sufficient to induce said nuclear reactions.

36. A method of generating heat, comprising the steps of: (a) subjecting a source of isotopic hydrogen to a
lattice structure capable of absorbing isotopic hydrogen; and

(b) causing isotopic hydrogen to permeate into the lattice structure to achieve a concentration
therein sufficient to induce the generation of heat.

37. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 36, further comprising the step of converting heat generated in said lattice to work.

38. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 37, wherein said lattice structure is palladium, iron, cobalt, nickel, ruthenium, rhodium, zirconium, hafnium, or an alloy thereof.

39. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 38, wherein said lattice structure includes radioisotopic atoms.

40. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 39, wherein said lattice structure includes atoms which emit high-energy rays or particles upon exposure to neutrons.

41. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 40, further comprising the step of exciting said lattice structure with high-energy rays or particles.

42. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 41, wherein said isotopic hydrogen includes deuterium.

43. The method as claimed in any of claims 32 to 42, wherein said isotopic hydrogen includes tritium.

44. The method as claimed in any of claims 35 to 43, wherein said isotopic hydrogen source is an electrolyte, and said method further includes the step of
electrolytically decomposing said electrolyte to form the isotopic hydrogen which permeates into the lattice structure.

45. The method as claimed in claim 44, wherein said lattice structure is electrically conductive and is the cathode during said electrolytically decomposing.

46. The method as claimed in claim 44 or 45, wherein said electrolyte is an aqueous solution comprising at least one water-miscible isotopic hydrogen solvent component.

47. The method as claimed in claim 46, wherein said isotopic hydrogen solvent component is deuterated water.

48. The method as claimed in claim 46, wherein said isotopic hydrogen solvent component is ordinary water.

49. The method as claimed in any of claims 35 to 43, wherein said isotopic hydrogen source is at least one fused metal isotopic hydride in contact with said lattice structure, and said method further comprises the step of heating the hydride to promote migration of isotopic hydride into the lattice structure.

50. The method as claimed in claim 49
, wherein the step of heating includes the step of applying a pulse of power to heat said fused metal hydride to transfer said isotopic hydrogen to said lattice structure in less than about one microsecond.