VT Nuclear Education: LENR Neutron Distribution




Neutron energy distribution ranges for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions in Deuterium. Cold Fusion / Fission Velocities.

… by  Jeff Smith


NASA Cold Fusion Project
NASA Cold Fusion Project

In the cold Fission or Fusion process, the key element in it’s successful operation involves the velocity of the Neutrons used in creating the low energy nuclear reactions.

If the velocity of the neutrons is to fast or too slow, the nuclear chain reaction will fail and it will not be efficient enough to produce excess energy from either the splitting or fusing of the nuclear fuel used, usually Uranium or Deuterium.

For fusion, it is usually a form of deuterium either in a liquid or gas form. In Low energy nuclear reaction fission, usually a form of uranium in liquid form is used. The first very low powered nuclear reactors used uranium dissolved in a liquid form. However it was determined that any form of uranium in a liquid form greater than one pound or two would form a critical mass limiting its effective size to very small reactor designs.

But for very small low powered reactors that produce less than 50KW to 100KW thermal; this is the easiest  form of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction to go with, as currently undergoing development in Japan for mass commercial marketing world wide.

Cold Fission is much easier to produce than cold Fusion. A very small amount of uranium, about 3 grams, dissolved in sulfuric battery acid will produce a small continuous nuclear chain reaction for years simply by using the Townsend electron avalanche process to trigger and drive a low level neutron chain reaction.

The chain reaction can easily be controlled electrically and is safe. Thermal cut off switches can be added as a safety device. By simply turning off the electrical power to the fuel cell it will shut down on its own (scram). No China syndrome to worry about or run away chain reaction to deal with.

A teenager built home fusion reactor
A teenager built home fusion reactor

The Uranium fuel is cheaper than Deuterium and will last for years. This is a much better concept than using Deuterium due to its high cost per kilowatt output. The other problem with using Deuterium or heavy water as a fuel is that it simply boils away and you cannot recover it.

Watt per watt, gasoline or diesel fuel is much cheaper to use per kilowatt of energy produced. Cold Fusion is a loser compared to a Low level nuclear chain reaction device (Fission Reactor).

Very small fission reactors don’t have all of the problems and complexities of its bigger brothers. They are safe, simple, cheep and clean with no moving parts or control rods to deal with.

Using one as a nuclear heat source to drive a simple Sterling heat engine is already under way in both Germany and Norway with their Dolphin submarines. The US Navy already uses a low energy liquid fuel nuclear reactor to drive their stealth mini subs. (which don’t exist)

In cold fusion, the Deuterium fuel known as heavy water is forced by electron current flow into the center electrode and magnetically compressed producing  low energy nuclear fusion (the Townsend electron avalanche process) so we are told. The problem with this scheme is three fold.

  • One; The voltage and current requirements are all wrong based on the required velocity of the neutrons in order to form a fusion event and
  • Two; The center electrode would have to be made of Cadmium in order to absorb all of the incoming neutrons and properly compress them by low level magnetic fusion confinement.
  • Third; If the fuel cell is used in the neutron resonance capture mode then the applied electrical charge would have to be pulsating DC operating at the correct resonate frequency.


Fission chain reaction
Fission chain reaction

Ponds, Fleishmann and Jones all used less than 33 volts DC, the minimum voltage that can be used to properly electrolyze Deuterium or heavy water.
They also used a palladium electrode. The Palladium electrode requires a much higher electron voltage level in order to create a catalytic reaction in Deuterium. No pulsating DC is used, therefore the neutron resonance mode can’t be used with a palladium electrode only cadmium works at this voltage level.
In both Pond’s, Fleishmann’s and Jones’ theories, the mechanisms of operation and lab results never added up to a working model, basically all bad science. This is why all so called cold fusion experiments are nothing but very expensive catalytic converters just like in your car exhaust system. See the below listed neutron velocity charts for further information on the subject matter.
The Japanese government spent over 50 million dollars and over 15 years on experimenting with cold fusion using the help of Jones, Ponds and Fleishmann without a single positive reaction that was provable. In the end they gave up resorting to designing cheaper low energy nuclear fission reactors based on liquid uranium as a fuel.
If SANDIA, Phillips, MBB, Daimler Benz, Toyota, Honda, Sony, and Fujitsu couldn’t get it to work after wasting over 100 million dollars on this then you know its a scam. How many very small personal low level nuclear reactors could you have built and run for that much money?
All cold fission that occurs with less than 300 volts applied is just simply a fancy catalytic converter. You can get more energy out of your car exhaust system than you can from one of Steven Jones cold fusion reactors.

Neutron energy range names
Neutron energy Energy range
0.0–0.025 eV Cold neutrons
0.025 eV Thermal neutrons
0.025–0.4 eV Epithermal neutrons
0.4–0.6 eV Cadmium neutrons
0.6–1 eV EpiCadmium neutrons
1–10 eV Slow neutrons
10–300 eV Resonance neutrons
300 eV–1 MeV Intermediate neutrons
1–20 MeV Fast neutrons
> 20 MeV Relativistic neutrons


  • Neutrons in thermal equilibrium with their surroundings
  • Most probable energy at 20 degrees (C) – 0.025 eV; Maxwellian distribution of 20 degrees (C) extends to about 0.2 eV.
  • Neutrons of energy greater than thermal. Epi-thermal neutrons have energies between 1 eV and 10 keV and smaller nuclear cross sections than thermal neutrons.
  • Neutrons which are strongly absorbed by cadmium
  • Less than 0.4 eV
  • Neutrons which are not strongly absorbed by cadmium
  • Greater than 0.6 eV
  • Neutrons of energy slightly greater than thermal
  • Less than 1 to 10 eV (sometimes up to 1 keV)
  • In pile neutron physics, usually refers to neutrons which are strongly captured in the resonance of U-238, and of a few commonly used detectors (e.g., Indium, Gold, etc.)
  • 1 eV to 300 eV
  • Neutrons that are between slow and fast
  • Few hundred eV to 0.5 MeV
  • Greater than 0.5 MeV
  • Relativistic
  • Greater than 20 MeV
  • Neutrons of all energies present in nuclear reactors
  • 0.001 eV to 15 MeV
  • Neutrons formed during fission
  • 100 keV to 15 MeV (Most probable: 0.8 MeV; Average: 2.0 MeV)

A chart displaying the speed probability density functions of the speeds of a few noble gases at a temperature of 298.15 K (25 C). An explanation of the vertical axis label appears on the image page (click to see). Similar speed distributions are obtained for neutrons upon moderation.

Thermal neutrons
thermal neutron is a free neutron with a kinetic energy of about 0.025 eV (about 4.0×10−21 J or 2.4 MJ/kg, hence a speed of 2.2 km/s), which is the energy corresponding to the most probable velocity at a temperature of 290 K (17 °C or 62 °F).
After a number of collisions with nuclei in a medium (neutron moderator) at this temperature, neutrons arrive at about this energy level, provided that they are not absorbed.
Thermal neutrons have a different and often much larger effective neutron absorption cross-section for a given nuclide than fast neutrons, and can therefore often be absorbed more easily by an atomic nucleus, creating a heavier, often unstable isotope of the chemical element as a result (neutron activation).

Fast neutrons

fast neutron is a free neutron with a kinetic energy level close to 1 MeV (100 TJ/kg), hence a speed of 14,000 km/s, or higher. They are named fast neutrons to distinguish them from lower-energy thermal neutrons, and high-energy neutrons produced in cosmic showers or accelerators.
Fast neutrons are produced by nuclear processes:

  • nuclear fission produces neutrons with a mean energy of 2 MeV (200 TJ/kg, i.e. 20,000 km/s), which qualifies as “fast”. However the range of neutrons from fission follows a Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution from 0 to about 14 MeV.
  • nuclear fusion: deuterium–tritium fusion produces neutrons of 14.1 MeV (1400 TJ/kg, i.e. 52,000 km/s, 17.3% of the speed of light) that can easily fission uranium-238 and other non-fissile actinides.

Fast neutrons can be made into thermal neutrons via a process called moderation. This is done with a neutron moderator. In reactors, typically heavy waterlight water, or graphite are used to moderate neutrons.


Fast reactors and thermal reactors


Who will contol where mass application of nuclear power will go?
Who will contol where mass application of nuclear power will go?

Most fission reactors are thermal reactors that use a neutron moderator to slow down (“thermalize“) the neutrons produced by nuclear fission. Moderation substantially increases the fission cross section for fissile nuclei such as uranium-235 or plutonium-239.
In addition, uranium-238 has a much lower capture cross section for thermal neutrons, allowing more neutrons to cause fission of fissile nuclei and propagate the chain reaction, rather than being captured by 238U.
The combination of these effects allows light water reactors to use low-enriched uraniumHeavy water reactors and graphite-moderated reactors can even use natural uranium as these moderators have much lower neutron capture cross sections than light water.
An increase in fuel temperature also raises U-238’s thermal neutron absorption by Doppler broadening, providing negative feedback to help control the reactor. Also, when the moderator is also a circulating coolant (light water or heavy water), boiling of the coolant will reduce the moderator density and provide negative feedback (a negative void coefficient).
Intermediate-energy neutrons have poorer fission/capture ratios than either fast or thermal neutrons for most fuels. An exception is the uranium-233 of the thorium cycle, which has a good fission/capture ratio at all neutron energies.
Fast reactors use un-moderated fast neutrons to sustain the reaction and require the fuel to contain a higher concentration of fissile material relative to fertile material U-238. However, fast neutrons have a better fission/capture ratio for many nuclides, and each fast fission releases a larger number of neutrons, so a fast breeder reactor can potentially “breed” more fissile fuel than it consumes.



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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.