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Role of cluster formation in the LENR process


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Presence and absence of expected radiation, occurrence of nuclear reactions having only one apparent product, and transmutation reactions involving addition of more than one deuteron all indicate involvement of large clusters of deuterons in the LENR process. These clusters are proposed to hide their Coulomb barrier and to react with isolated deuterons to produce fusion and to react with larger nuclei to produce transmutation. Members of the cluster not directly involved in the nuclear reaction might be scattered by the released energy, thereby allowing momentum to be conserved and the resulting energy to produce particles having energy too small to be easily detected or to cause easily detectable secondary reactions. Justification of this model is discussed. This proposed model is consistent with most observations, but raises additional questions about the nature of such super- clusters and other ways the energy may be communicated directly to the lattice that will be addressed in future papers.
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Paper presented at 15
International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear
Science, Rome, Italy, Oct. 5-9, 2009. Published by ENEA.
Role of cluster formation in the LENR process
E. Storms, B. Scanlan
KivaLabs, Santa Fe, NM and Greenwich, CT,
Presence and absence of expected radiation, occurrence of nuclear reactions having only one apparent
product, and transmutation reactions involving addition of more than one deuteron all indicate
involvement of large clusters of deuterons in the LENR process. These clusters are proposed to hide
their Coulomb barrier and to react with isolated deuterons to produce fusion and to react with larger
nuclei to produce transmutation. Members of the cluster not directly involved in the nuclear reaction
might be scattered by the released energy, thereby allowing momentum to be conserved and the
resulting energy to produce particles having energy too small to be easily detected or to cause easily
detectable secondary reactions. Justification of this model is discussed. This proposed model is
consistent with most observations, but raises additional questions about the nature of such super-
clusters and other ways the energy may be communicated directly to the lattice that will be addressed
in future papers.
1. Introduction
Many attempts have been published in an attempt to explain how fusion and transmutation are
possible at or near ambient conditions in solid materials. A successful theory must show how the Coulomb
barrier is lowered and how the resulting energy is dissipated into the environment. This dissipation process
can be imagined to take two forms: emission of energetic radiation or dissipation of energy directly into the
environment. If radiation carries the energy, the amount detected should be consistent with the amount of
heat produced. Some radiation has been detected but not enough to account for the energy being generated
as heat. Consequently, either several processes dissipate the energy or most emitted radiation is absorbed
before it reaches the detector. In addition, the energy of emitted particles must be too low to produce
secondary reactions that should be easy to detect. This paper will explore one possible mechanism for
production of energetic particles fitting these requirements.
The cold fusion process can release a large amount of energy from very energetic nuclear
reactions. This aspect of the phenomenon has been demonstrated by too many studies, as reviewed by
Storms,[1] to cite here and needs to be accepted as an important characteristic of cold fusion. Conventional
nuclear reactions release energy either promptly as radiation, consisting of energetic particles and/or
gamma emission, or slowly as radioactive decay. The only known example of direct coupling of nuclear
energy to an atomic lattice is the Mossbauer Effect. However, the energy involved in this process is much
smaller than that produced by the nuclear reactions associated with cold fusion, which makes this
mechanism hard to relate to the cold fusion process. If radiation has sufficient energy, secondary reactions
will be detected, which can reveal more information about the process. Absence of such secondary
radiation limits the possible energy of the primary energetic particle. Nevertheless, a variety of particle and
X-ray energies are reported, which demonstrate that not all energy is being directly deposited in the lattice.
In addition, a model must explain the observed complex collection of emission energies and types of
detected radiation.
Most models focus on the periodic structure that exists in solid PdD as being the location of the
nuclear active environment (NAE). In contrast, this proposal draws attention to the surface of nanoparticles
where large clusters of deuterium are thought to form. These clusters are proposed to be involved in the
initiation of the fusion and transmutation reactions as well as allowing at least some energy to be released
into the environment as energetic particles without producing easily detectable radiation. Logic requires the
clusters to contain many more deuterons than has been considered in the past, so called super-clusters.
Paper presented at 15
International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear
Science, Rome, Italy, Oct. 5-9, 2009. Published by ENEA.
Although the cluster concept is not new, the full extent of their involvement, their proposed large size, and
the location of their formation have not been published before. This paper shows the logical connection
between this concept and observed behavior.
2. Discussion
Table 1 summarizes some of the possible fusion reactions. In each case, two products are formed
and observed to result when high energy is applied. Two products allow momentum to be conserved while
depositing the energy into the environment. If only one product is observed, a different type of reaction
must be proposed to achieve the same result.
Table 1. Reactions resulting from fusion involving deuterons.
d + d =
He(0.82 MeV) + n(2.45 MeV)
d + d = p(3.02 MeV) + t(1.01 MeV)
d + d =
He + gamma (23.5 MeV)
d + t = n(14.01 MeV) +
He(3.5 MeV)
d + p =
He + gamma (5.5 MeV)
For example, many studies have shown that helium results when extra heat is produced.
the expected gamma of 23.5 MeV is absent, the reaction cannot occur as written in Table 1. A more
complex process must take place. Takahashi[2, 3] proposed that four deuterons came together as a cluster
to form two helium nuclei each of which carry away 23.8 MeV and the necessary momentum. Such a
reaction conflicts with the absence of significant neutron radiation resulting from the well-known (, n)
reaction, mainly involving lithium, that such high-energy alpha will initiate. Consequently, a small cluster,
the members of which completely fuse, is not consistent with observation, even if a plausible process, such
as formation of a Bose-Einstein Condensate [4], could create the cluster. While many models have been
proposed to avoid some of these issues, each has limitations that encourage a new approach.
Creation of isotopes and elements not present in the initial environment by addition of deuterons
to the nucleus of certain elements has been frequently reported.[1] While some elements or isotopes might
have been present as contamination, this argument has not been applied successfully to all the observed
reactions. Two studies stand out in showing the role of clusters in such transmutation reactions. For the
first, Iwamura et al. [5-9] in a series of papers claimed to detect the reactions shown in Table 2. Clusters
containing as many as 6 deuterons are required to enter the nucleus as a unit. However, a problem remains
to explain how the significant energy released by the process is communicated to the environment. Clearly,
something must be emitted that is not detected, as indicated by the question mark.
Table 2. Observed transmutation reactions reported by Iwamura et al.
Ba + 6d = Sm + ?, Q=67.6 MeV
Cs + 4d = Pr + ?, Q = 50.5 MeV
Sr + 4d = Mo + ?, Q= 53.4 MeV
Cs + 2d = La + ?, Q = ~24 MeV
The second study involves the work of Miley et al.[10, 11]. His results, based on use of SIMS,
AES, EDX and NAA for analysis, is summarized in Fig. 1
. The work is based on the use of thin films of
nickel and/or palladium with a small amount of platinum as an impurity from the anode and perhaps a little
sulfur as an impurity from the electrolyte, which contained Li
in H
O. Elemental analysis was made
before and after electrolytic action. The general pattern shows the following: regions of atoms having high
concentration are found from about mass 106 (Pd) to mass 130; from mass 195 (Pt) to mass 210; and from
about mass 25 (S?) to mass 32. The region around nickel (58) shows elements on both the high mass and
This work has been previously evaluated 1. Storms, E.K., The science of low energy nuclear reaction. 2007,
Singapore: World Scientific. 312. and is too extensive to cite here.
Although of poor quality, this is the only representation of the summary that is available.
Paper presented at 15
International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear
Science, Rome, Italy, Oct. 5-9, 2009. Published by ENEA.
the low mass sides. The question is, What process can explain these general observations”?
Transmutation requires a target nucleus to which something is added. The possible addition of neutrons,
protons or deuterons to Pd is explored next.
Figure 2 shows the position of the stable isotopes near palladium with respect to their atomic
number and atomic weight. If neutrons are added to palladium, the resulting isotopes would follow a
horizontal line on the figure and eventually produce beta emitters. These have half-lives that decrease from
minutes to milliseconds as more neutrons are added. To produce the observed elements near the upper limit
of the Miley data, a series of decays from parent to daughter would have to take place over a significant
length of time as each isotope decayed to another radioactive isotope with gradually increasing atomic
number. In addition, the radioactivity is not detected even though this would be an easy measurement.
Therefore, transmutation does not result from neutron addition from any source. If protons were added to
palladium, the resulting isotopes would follow a line parallel to the one shown on the figure for protons.
Fig. 1 - Log rate of production vs mass number of elements produced in thin films by electrolysis in H
O + Li
Fig. 2 - Stable elements as a function of atomic weight and atomic number near palladium.
Radioactive isotopes are produced above mass 114, which is not high enough to explain the full range of
reported data. Only addition of deuterons results in the full range of observed stable isotopes. This same
process can be applied to nickel, platinum and sulfur to give the same conclusion in spite of normal water
being in the electrolyte. Apparently, deuterons, regardless of their concentration, produce active clusters
and most transmutation. In the case of elements having a mass lower than nickel, these cannot result from a
Paper presented at 15
International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear
Science, Rome, Italy, Oct. 5-9, 2009. Published by ENEA.
reaction with deuterons or any other particle. These elements might result from fission of nuclei after
addition of deuterons to palladium, as has been suggested by several authors. Because the resulting nuclei
are at and near iron, additional energy can be released by formation of these very stable nuclei.
Consequently, a certain fraction of nuclei resulting from addition of deuterons to Pd split into two parts
during the transmutation process and may account for the frequent reported presence of iron on the
palladium cathode of electrolytic cells. These two studies, as well as many others, suggest a role for
clusters containing at least 8 deuterons in the transmutation process. Where are these clusters formed?
The only universal feature found in all successful cold fusion experiments are nanoparticles. These
form slowly on the surface of electrolytic cathodes, they form as a result of gas discharge, and they are
known to be active when certain such materials are exposed to deuterium gas.[12, 13] Consequently, a
feature associated with such a structure can be assumed to initiate all of the observed cold fusion reactions.
The difficulty in producing cold fusion indicates a special condition is required before the nuclear
reaction can occur, presumably after nanoparticles are formed. This special condition is hard to create,
occurs only in small and variable amounts, and presently is produced largely by accidental conditions
within the apparatus. Where is this special condition located?
McKubre et al. used the following equation to describe excess power (EP) obtained from wire cathodes
in a Fleischmann-Pons cell. [14, 15]
EP = M*(x-x
where x
= critical average D/Pd of the bulk cathode, i
= critical average I/cm
We can expand this equation by adding the equation:
M = n * [nae], where [nae] is the amount of NAE having ‘n’ efficiency.
Consequently, the heat producing reaction favors locations where the deuterium concentration is greatest.
This location exists at the surface of the cathode in an electrolytic cell and on the surface of
nanoparticles.[16-18] The deuterium concentration becomes especially great on the surface of a cathode as
the bulk composition approaches unity and on the surface of nanoparticles as they become smaller. This
analysis reveals the bulk composition is only important because it affects the surface composition where the
nuclear reactions actually occur.
3. Conclusion
The goal of this paper is to show a logical connection between selected observations and a
proposed mechanism involving energetic particle emission and super-clusters without describing exactly
how the mechanism works. In addition, the proposed mechanism is not likely to be the only one operating.
The nature of the proposed super-cluster and its manner of formation will be subjects of future papers.
A mechanism must dispose of energy resulting from a nuclear reaction in a manner consistent with
observation and known laws of nature. The same mechanism is expected to operate regardless of the
energy source, whether it is fusion or transmutation. The absence of detectable gamma radiation when
helium is produced means the energy is either being directly absorbed by the lattice[19-21] or particles are
being emitted by an unconventional process and these are absorbed before most can reach a detector. The
fact that some particles do reach a detector[22-24] puts greater emphasis on the role of energetic particles
and the need to find the unusual mechanism for their creation. Indeed, the nature of these particles and the
mechanism of their formation is the unique challenge facing any theory of cold fusion. One solution to this
challenge involves clusters, but in a way that has not been suggested before.
Clusters of deuterons are clearly involved in transmutation reactions. Apparently, a variety of new
elements are made based on the number of deuterons in an active clusters and availability of suitable
targets. Various rules must determine how many d can enter at the same time to avoid producing
radioactive products, which are rarely found. We next assume the same mechanism is operating to cause
fusion between deuterons.
The fusion rate will depend on the number of active clusters and the concentration of deuteron
targets. Consequently, the fusion rate will be more sensitive to the deuterium concentration than is
transmutation. Because clusters are made from deuterium and form where the deuterium concentration is
Paper presented at 15
International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear
Science, Rome, Italy, Oct. 5-9, 2009. Published by ENEA.
greatest, fusion as expected to occur close to where clusters form. Transmutation, on the other hand, is
expected to occur at a distance from the site of cluster formation, as has been observed.
For any nuclear reaction to occur, the clusters must hide their nuclear charge. Fusion would
require less reduction in charge than does transmutation, hence would involve smaller
hence more
numerous clusters. However, the charge-hiding process requires a critical number of deuterons to be in a
cluster before it becomes active. Even though small clusters are more numerous, they are not able to
initiate a nuclear reaction until a critical number of deuterons are combined. This charge-reduction process
is an essential feature of this model, but will not be addressed here.
Once a cluster reacts to produce a nuclear reaction, energy is dissipated. While this process might
involve direct coupling of some energy to the atomic lattice, this paper focuses only on a method for
particle production. If the cluster contains more deuterons than actually enter the nucleus during
transmutation or are involved in the fusion reaction, these extra deuterons are proposed to dissipate the
energy as energetic deuterons. However, the energy of these particles must be low enough not to produce
secondary reactions, such as fusion with other deuterons the emitted deuterons might encounter.
Consequently, the majority of clusters involved in the fusion reaction would need to contain nearly 50
deuterons and even more when transmutation occurs if all energy is dissipated this way. However, active
clusters would not all have the same size, resulting in a spectrum of sizes. The complex variety of observed
particle energies would result from clusters of various sizes being involved in a nuclear reaction. For
example, Karabut et al.[25] detected a spectrum of individual peaks corresponding to energies from about 1
MeV to 18.5 MeV that they identified as alpha emission. This emission occurred immediately after glow
discharge in D
. This observation is similar to the radiation spectrum of individual peaks reported by
Storms and Scanlan[26] during glow discharge that they attributed to deuterons. This behavior can be
explained by energy being shared between a different number of deuterons. Smaller, less abundant clusters
would produce a few very energetic emissions that could produce secondary radiation. This rare energetic
primary radiation might be detected occasionally as periodic but low intensity secondary neutron emission.
Meanwhile, most deuterons would have energy too low to be easily detected and too low to produce
secondary reactions. While the large cluster size required by this logic seems implausible, the proposed
process should be explored, perhaps in relationship to other dissipation processes.
These clusters of deuterons are proposed to form by an exothermic reaction requiring a catalyst or
template. Once formed, an active cluster is small enough, thanks to its unusual structure, to diffuse through
the PdD lattice and react with targets of opportunity. This catalyst is rare so that cold fusion occurs
infrequently only when and near where this catalyst is present. This rarity results because the catalyst is
proposed to be a complex combination of certain atoms that seldom combine in the require formation.
Several different combinations of several different elements are probably active, all in the form of
nanoparticles. Consequently, the NAE is located on the surface of nanoparticles that are formed on a
surface or present after having been placed in the apparatus fully formed. Naturally, not all such particles
will be active. As a result, the amount of power produced by a cell will be highly variable, as is observed.
The challenge is to identity the nature of the active nanoparticle and to make these in large amounts. Only
then can the effect be made reproducible and a source of significant power.
Depending on their size, these clusters react with deuterons where the deuterium concentration is
highest to produce d-d fusion and with other atoms to generate transmutation products at a lesser rate. The
environment in which this occurs is very inhomogeneous and complex, resulting in a wide variation in
reaction rates including no detectable rate. The process can be detected by measuring short-range particle
emission, low-energy X-rays, He
, and extra heat. Tritium may be produced by clusters having a critical
number of deuterons, hence is a rare product.
The proposed model is still very incomplete and ignores many observations. Nevertheless, the
logic suggests a new way to look at the problem that might be helpful in the development of more complete
models. While many questions remain, the approach has many ways it can be tested and suggests how the
cold fusion effect might be increased.
Smaller means fewer deuterons. The actual dimension is proposed to become smaller as the number of deuterons
increases in a cluster as a result of an increased number of bonding states.
Paper presented at 15
International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear
Science, Rome, Italy, Oct. 5-9, 2009. Published by ENEA.
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IntroductionFirst Reports of Observation of Pd Isotopic AnomaliesMiley-Patterson thin Film Light Water Electrolysis ExperimentsMizuno and Ohmori: Transmutation Products on Pd Cathodes in D2O Electrolysis ExperimentsNeutron Activation Analysis of Deuterated Pd Samples that had Produced Significant Amounts of Excess HeatAnomalies in Trace Element Composition of Newly Formed Structures on Cathode Surface in Co-Deposition Experiments (Spawar Group)Observations of Trace Element Distribution on Cathode Surfaces following Electrolysis at Portland State University (John Dash)Russian Glow Discharge Experiments (Karabut, Savvatimova, and Others)Replication of Glow Discharge Transmutations By Yamada's Group at Iwate University, JapanIwamura (MHI): Transmutation Reactions Observed during D2 Gas Permeation through Pd ComplexesReplication of MHI Permeation Experiment by other GroupsCarbon Arc ExperimentsVysotskii's Microbial Transmutation StudiesSummary and Conclusions Appendix: Summary of Experimental Studies in Which Nuclear Transmutation Reactions had been Reported as of 2007References
Full-text available
Some supplementary considerations are given to follow up our previously proposed multibody fusion model in metal-deuterides, for deuteron clustering processes in non-equilibrium conditions and decay channels of virtual compound nuclei of 3D and 4D fusion reactions. Consequences, namely nuclear products of 4D fusion are α- particles (4He) with kinetic energies of 46 keV, 5.75 MeV, 9.95 MeV and 12.8 MeV, possibly associating the electromagnetic transitions of 8Be nuclear excited energy to lower 4+ states and 0+ ground state and transferring most of nuclear excited energy directly to lattice vibration. Products of 3D fusion are suggested to be 7.9 MeV α-particle, 15.9 MeV deuteron, 4.75 MeV triton and 4.75 MeV 3He. However, the possibility of direct generation of 6Li by 3D fusion is also suggested by considering the electromagnetic transitions of 6Li.
Full-text available
The large literature describing the anomalous behavior attributed to cold fusion or low energy nuclear reactions has been critically described in a recently published book. Over 950 publications are evaluated allowing the phenomenon to be understood. A new class of nuclear reactions has been discovered that are able to generate practical energy without significant radiation or radioactivity. Edmund K Storms, The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, in press (2006). Also see: .
Full-text available
ElectroMagnetic Radiation (EMR) and anomalous radiation (potentially produced by nuclear reactions, involving high energy particles), in a low-voltage discharge in a gas containing deuterium was measured using a Geiger counter located within the apparatus. This radiation is found to consist of energetic particles that are produced only when the voltage is above a critical value. In addition, the emission is very sensitive to the presence of oxygen in the gas. The intensity of the reaction producing the radiation could be fit by a power function when compared to the applied voltage. The effect of EMR and other sources of noise that might be attributed to the anomalous radiation are discussed.
Full-text available
To attempt to explain the very strange claim of observation by Mitsubishi group on the mass-8-and-charge -4-transferred (increased) transmutation (Mo-96 or Pr-141) out of sample zone of Sr-88 or Cs-133 in the D-diffusion type experiment with multi-layered Pd plate, our multi-body deuteron fusion model in transient lattice focal points has been extended to hypothesize the occurrence of 4D tetrahedral and 8D octahedral resonance fusion. High energy Be-8 particles by 8D fusion can induce selectively capture process to form mass-8-and-charge-4-increased transmutation out of Sr-88 or Cs-133 near PdDx lattice.
Full-text available
Almost two decades ago, Fleischmann and Pons reported excess enthalpy generation in the negatively polarized Pd/D-D2O system, which they attributed to nuclear reactions. In the months and years that followed, other manifestations of nuclear activities in this system were observed, viz. tritium and helium production and transmutation of elements. In this report, we present additional evidence, namely, the emission of highly energetic charged particles emitted from the Pd/D electrode when this system is placed in either an external electrostatic or magnetostatic field. The density of tracks registered by a CR-39 detector was found to be of a magnitude that provides undisputable evidence of their nuclear origin. The experiments were reproducible. A model based upon electron capture is proposed to explain the reaction products observed in the Pd/D-D2O system.
In-situ measurement of transmutation of Cs into Pr was performed, and the surface distribution of Pr was investigated using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) at SPring-8, a large synchrotron X-ray facility. The in-situ measurement indicated that Pr emerged and Cs decreased at some points after D2 gas permeation, though any Pr cannot be observed before D2 gas permeation at all the points on the Pd complex surface. Using small size X-ray beam in 100- and 500-μm2, we obtained two-dimensional XRF spectra for three permeated samples, from which we detected Pr. Pr was detected again by the two small X-ray beams as expected. The amount of Pr varied greatly at different locations of the Pd surface, however, a clear correlation between surface structures and distribution of Pr has not seen up to now. Experimental results suggest that nuclear transmutations do not occur uniformly but some uncertain factors, presumably condensed matter effects in the present Pd/D/CaO system, have a large effect on the rate or the process of the reactions.
We have continued our studies on phonon-exchange models. Here we address the question of the deuteron-deuteron separation, and what materials maximize overlap and concentration. A new figure of merit is proposed that depends on the D2 concentration to the 3/2 power and the square root of the fusion rate. We present a simplified picture of the dynamics in which we separate the problems of excitation transfer and energy coupling between nuclear and low energy degrees of freedom. The dynamics of the excitation transfer in a simple unbalanced model is presented. A new classical picture for coupling with phonons is discussed. We examine an excess heat example with the unbalanced excitation transfer model.
Observations were made of the abundant production of gaseous He-4 inside a double-structure Pd cathode ("DS-cathode") which continuously had released excess heat of about 5 similar to 10 W over 2,000 hrs in the electrolysis of D2O. These He-4 atoms were found from the inner atmosphere within title DS-cathode included the highly deuterated Pd fine powders.
It was confirmed that nanometer-sized metal powder (atom clusters or simply clusters) can absorb an extremely large amount of deuterium/hydrogen atoms more than 300% against the number density of host metal. Within such clusters, the bonding potential widely changes from the center region to peripheral ones, so that the zig - zag atom-chains are always formed dynamically around the average position of atoms and the degree of filling up of the constituent atoms for the fcc type metal reduces to about 0.64 from 0.74 in bulk metal, i.e., vacant space increases to 0.36 from 0.26. As a result, a large amount of deuterium/hydrogen atoms are instantly dissolved into such host-clusters at room temperature. Furthermore, "metallic deuterium lattice" (or hydrogen one) including locally the "deuterium-lump" With the ultrahigh density is formed with body centered cuboctahedral structure which belongs to a unit cell of the host lattice, while such event cannot be realized at all within bull, metals. It seems that nuclear fusion in solid ("solid fusion") takes place in the highly condensed "deuterium-lump" inside each unit cell of the "metallic deuterium lattice" (or mixed hydrogen one) which is formed inside each cell of the host metal lattice. It is considered, therefore, that each unit cell of the host lattice corresponds to minimum units of "solid fusion reactor". In order to achieve "solid fusion", just the generation of the ultrahigh density "deuterium-lump" (simply "pycnodeuterium-lump") coagulated locally inside unit cell of the host lattice and/or the highly condensed metallic deuterium lattice should be an indispensable condition.
Resonant electromagnetic interaction (EMI) in finite solids not only can be used to explain conventional, electron energy band theory (which explains charge and heat transport in solids), but also how, through finite size effects, it is possible to create many of the kinds of effects envisioned by Giuliano Preparata. Through a generalization of conventional energy band theory, it is also possible to explain how resonant EMI, as a function of time, can cause coherent effects, in which momentum can be transferred from external regions of a lattice to its center-of-mass. As a consequence, virtual processes can cause large changes in momentum between two, indistinguishable particles, without either particle acquiring large momentum or velocity. With increasing time, these changes can occur over shorter and shorter length scales, through ("Bloch") oscillations of the charged particles within the lattice, leading not only to possible deuteron (d)-d nuclear dimension overlap, but, as a result of resonant EMI, to forms of overlap that are consistent with those that occur through quantum electro-dynamic (QED) effects in the conventional d+d 4 He+reaction. The resulting theory predicts that the orientation of the external fields in the SPAWAR protocol has direct bearing on the emission of high-energy particles. Resonant EMI also implies that nano-scale solids, of a particular size, provide an optimal environment for initiating Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) in the PdD system.