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A new look at low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research: A response to Shanahan

  • Tanzella Consulting

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In his criticisms of the review article on LENR by Krivit and Marwan, Shanahan has raised a number of issues in the areas of calorimetry, heat after death, elemental transmutation, energetic particle detection using CR-39, and the temporal correlation between heat and helium-4. These issues are addressed by the researchers who conducted the original work discussed in the Krivit and Marwan (K&M) review paper.
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A new look at low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research: a response to
J. Marwan,*
M. C. H. McKubre,
F. L. Tanzella,
P. L. Hagelstein,
M. H. Miles,
M. R. Swartz,
Edmund Storms,
Y. Iwamura,
P. A. Mosier-Boss
and L. P. G. Forsley
Received 3rd June 2010, Accepted 21st July 2010
DOI: 10.1039/c0em00267d
In his criticisms of the review article on LENR by Krivit and Marwan, Shanahan has raised a number
of issues in the areas of calorimetry, heat after death, elemental transmutation, energetic particle
detection using CR-39, and the temporal correlation between heat and helium-4. These issues are
addressed by the researchers who conducted the original work discussed in the Krivit and Marwan
(K&M) review paper.
1. Introduction
In 1989, the subject of ‘‘cold fusion’’, nowadays known as Low
Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), was announced with great
fanfare, to the chagrin of many people in the scientific commu-
nity. However, the significant claim of its discoverers, Martin
Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, excess heat without harmful
neutron emissions or strong gamma radiation, involving elec-
trochemical cells using heavy water and palladium, has held
In recent years, LENR, within the field of condensed matter
nuclear science, has begun to attract widespread attention and is
regarded as a potential alternative and renewable energy source
to confront climate change and energy scarcity. The aim of the
research is to collect experimental findings for LENR in order to
present reasonable explanations and a conclusive theoretical and
practical working model.
The goal of the field is directed toward the fabrication of
LENR devices with unique commercial potential demonstrating
an alternative energy source that does not produce greenhouse
gases, long-lived radiation or strong prompt radiation. The idea
of LENR has led to endless discussions about the kinetic
impossibility of intense nuclear reactions with high coulomb
barrier potential. However, recent theoretical work may soon
shed light on this mystery.
As a result of the New Energy Technology Symposium at the
American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City in 2009, the
symposium organizers (K&M), were invited to write a summary
of the presentations given at this meeting and overall to intro-
duce and briefly review the topic of Low Energy Nuclear
Reactions. The article titled ‘‘A New Look at Low-Energy
Nuclear Reaction Research’’ mainly includes and discusses
a range of experimental results in light of LENR effects with
access to new sources and theoretical explanations.
With this
writing we intended to give insight into this controversial subject
and to help the audience re-evaluate their perspective on LENR
for a possible alternative energy source and to create appropriate
Energy Sustainability Concepts.
In the following we respond to the critiques K. Shanahan has
revealed in his rebuttal of our paper.
2. Discussion
2.1 Calorimetry
Shanahan manufactured beads for LENR calorimetry experi-
ments in conjunction with EarthTech (Austin, Texas) in the mid-
90s. Swartz noted in his published analysis of the experiment
that EarthTech may have ignored evidence of excess power and
a possible Optimum Operating Point (OOPs) manifold.
manifolds also correlate input power, excess output power and
the generated de novo helium-4.
Nearly fifteen years later, Sha-
nahan followed this up with a commentary comprised of
unsubstantiated blanket statements critical of the field. He
reasons by syllogism from particular examples (often misunder-
stood) to general conclusions that clearly cannot apply in all of
the examples of anomalous heat production observed in a wide
variety of experimental configurations involving different kinds
of calorimeters, e.g. isoperibolic, Seebek, and mass flow. To
explain the excess heat in these experiments, Shanahan invokes
what he calls a Calibration Constant Shift (CCS). This CCS is
nothing more than a hypothesis and should be stated as such
(CCSH). There is no experimental evidence that it occurs, espe-
cially at the level of 780 mW stated by Shanahan. Furthermore,
Shanahan does not specify mechanisms by which a calorimeter
thermal calibration can change in such a way that, just during the
periods of putative excess thermal power production, the cali-
bration constant is different from its initial and final calibrated
value. He employs the calibration constant shift hypothesis
(CCSH), unquantified, with the logic that if this can happen in
one experiment or calorimeter type, then it must be presumed to
happen in all. To dispel this notion, the excess heat results
Dr Marwan Chemie, Rudower Chaussee 29, 12489 Berlin, Germany.
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obtained using two completely different types of calorimeters will
be discussed.
The excess power measurements done at China Lake used an
isoperibolic-type calorimeter. Periodic calibrations over a five-
year period showed no significant changes in the heat transfer
coefficients for the China Lake calorimeters.
In addition, the
isoperibolic calorimeters used by Miles at the New Hydrogen
Energy Laboratory (NHE) in Japan incorporated an automated
Joule heat pulse. The calorimeter was calibrated at least once
every second day. From this, the coefficients of thermal calibra-
tion are deduced by backwards integration fitting of the calo-
rimeter response to this known input thermal power pulse.
Calibrations were performed before, after and during the
production of excess thermal power. The excess power measure-
were summarized by the following six conclusions:
(1) The excess power effect was typically 5 to 10% larger than
the input power. The largest excess power effect was 30%
(2) The excess power in terms of the palladium volume was
typically 1 to 5 W/cm
(3) Long electrolysis times ranging from 6 to 14 days were
required before the onset of the excess power for Pd rod cathodes
(4) Excess power production required a threshold current
density of 100 mA/cm
or higher
(5) Overall, only 30% of the experiments produced excess
(6) The success ratio in obtaining excess power varied greatly
with the source of the palladium
It would be nearly impossible to obtain these conclusions if the
excess power was due to Shanahan’s random CCSH. Further-
more, SRI obtained very similar conclusions using a totally
different type of calorimeter over this same time period.
SRI calorimeter was based upon mass flow in which the thermal
efficiency reflects the fraction of the total heat removed by
convective flow, i.e.,
] (1)
A Mass Flow Calorimeter designed with high thermal effi-
ciency, F, can operate as a first principles device with no calo-
rimeter specific calibrations. Nevertheless, the calorimeter was
periodically calibrated using an internal resistor. The maximum
error was determined to be 50 mW. For a mass flow calorimeter
with F¼99%, only 1% of the measured heat output is subject to
the vagaries of geometric effects on conduction and radiation.
The remaining 99% is determined solely from temperature, mass
flow rate and the heat capacity of the convecting fluid. None of
these measurements are subject to calibration drift and can be
measured and calibrated independent of the calorimeter. Thus
the CCSH can account for an excess power of at most (and
actually much less than) 1% of the output power in the example
given. Reported excess power numbers are typically >10% of the
input electrical power. The CCSH can thus be shown quantita-
tively to fail in all cases of excess power reported in mass flow
calorimeters. The SRI results typically yielded 5 to 10% excess
power with a maximum of 28% excess power; the excess power
was 1–5 W/cm
on the average; the initiation time was on the
order of 300 h for 1–4 mm Pd rods; the threshold current density
ranged from 100–400 mA/cm
; and the success rate varied greatly
with the source of the palladium.
Two laboratories working
completely independently using different types of calorimeters
(isoperibolic vs. flow) could not arrive at these similar conclu-
sions if the excess power was due to random calibration
constants shifts.
Like Miles of China Lake, the SRI group showed that the rate
of heat production is dependent on applied current. However,
the SRI group also discovered that heat production correlates
with the average D/Pd ratio of the cathode. A similar correlation
between these variables and energy production has been
observed in every subsequent study done world-wide when such
measurements are made. This consistency in the behavior of two
independent variables shows that in many cases the anomalous
energy is not the result of error in measurement. Additional
excess heat production replications are summarized in books by
and Storms.
Since the CCSH has no reason for bias in sign it may equally
increase or decrease the measured output and thus excess power.
In no case that we are aware of have significant ‘‘negative excess’’
powers been observed in calorimetry experiments except in
transient departures from the steady state. Unless a reason is
given for asymmetry in the hypothesized mechanism (or any
mechanism given and quantified at all), then the CCSH logically
Finally, this isn’t the first time Shanahan has raised these
spurious arguments. He’s applied them twice before, in 2002
and 2005,
prompting a published response from Storms in
In his response to Shanahan’s criticisms, Storms notes,
‘‘The assumptions used by Shanahan to explain anomalous heat
claimed to result from cold fusion are shown to be inconsistent
with experimental observation.’’ Shanahan’s assertions are no
more true now than they were five and eight years ago.
2.2 Heat after Death (HAD)
The poorly-chosen term ‘Death’ referred to the termination of
input electrical power in Pons’ cell, which by definition occurs in
the HAD region. In the original ‘‘HAD’’ reported by Pons and
Fleischman, the electrolysis cell had finally run out of heavy
water (due to the electrolysis) thereby unintentionally and
inadvertently creating the region of no further input electrical
power, because the electrical circuit was ‘open circuited’.
Shanahan first mis-characterizes this as a phenomenon of
a thermodynamically open cell in which ‘‘the electrolysis cell is
allowed to lose enough electrolyte via evaporation,entrainment,
and electrolysis that electrical contact is broken and current flow
stops.’’ The phenomenon is more generally the observation of
continued heat generation after the cessation of electrochemical
current generation by any means (normally, disconnecting the
power supply). While not common, this phenomenon is suffi-
ciently well-observed, clear and distinctive to have evoked
comment by several researchers.
Shanahan seeks to account for a putative mis-measurement of
heat in a single 1993 example of HAD cited in the K&M review.
This he does in terms of his ad hoc Calibration Constant Shift
hypothesis (CCSH) and/or as the result of the catalyzed burning
of (previously) absorbed deuterium, neither of which does he
trouble to quantify, leaving the impression that this is ‘‘common
sense’’ – although not common or sensible enough for the
experimenters who actually observed it, to be aware of it. He then
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argues from this (mis)analysis of one example of HAD to
a general claim that all must be false.
In the 1993 example addressed by K&M and Shanahan, the
anomaly observed and reported by Fleischmann and Pons was
simply (but remarkably) that the temperature sensed close to an
exposed cathode stayed high for a period longer than was
previously experienced or anticipated. The significant point of
this experiment (unmentioned by Shanahan) was that the elec-
trolyte had evaporated by boiling with input electrical power far
less than was needed to do so by simple Joule heating. If Sha-
nahan had troubled to calculate the energy needed to evaporate
a significant fraction of the cell electrolyte volume before the
cathode was exposed, or added to it the energy required to
maintain the cathode at elevated temperature after exposure he
would have found that, even though the former is much greater
than the latter, both exceed by large factors the heat of formation
of D
O from cathode-absorbed deuterium.
Miles had an experiment that produced the ‘‘heat-after-death’’
(HAD) effect when he was at the New Hydrogen Energy (NHE)
laboratory in Japan. This experiment used a Pd-B rod cathode
prepared by M.A. Imam of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
(NRL), and complete details of this experiment are available.
An excess power greater than 9 W was observed prior to the cell
being driven to dryness (see Ref. 13, Fig. A.22). Furious boiling
and swirling actions were observed that were centered around the
Pd-B cathode indicating that the cathode was the hottest point in
the cell. During this boiling phase, most of the gas in the cell
would be D
O vapor rather than hydrogen and oxygen as stated
by Shanahan. Furthermore, the gases exiting the cell were con-
ducted through about two meters of glass tubing to a balance in
order to continuously measure the amount of D
O that had
boiled away. The excess power continued at about the same level
after the cell boiled dry and then gradually decayed over several
hours. Shanahan’s argument for explaining this HAD fails
because there would be very little oxygen in a cell filled with D
vapor. If this HAD effect depended upon oxygen, it would
initially be small when the cell first boiled dry and then increase
as air is gradually drawn back into the cell through the two
meters of glass tubing. This was not observed,
thus Shanahan’s
hypothesis for the HAD effect is invalid.
2.3 Transmutation
With regards to transmutation, Shanahan impugns the work
done by both Mizuno et al. and Iwamura et al. Figure 9 in the
K&M review
shows Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy
(EDX) analysis done, by Mizuno et al., on a Pd rod before and
after it produced excess heat during electrolysis. In his critique,
Shanahan suggests that the observed new elements on the Pd rod
are the result of contamination. Shanahan contends that metals
from the cell components leach into the solution and are trans-
ported onto the cathode. What Shanahan does not indicate is
that Mizuno et al.
used very pure and carefully analyzed
materials in their experiments. During the course of the experi-
ments, electrolysis was done at 150 C under pressure in an
electrolyte containing D
O + LiOH after it had been pre-purified
for seven days by electrolysis using sacrificial platinum elec-
trodes. Furthermore, the stainless steel cell was sealed and pro-
tected by a thick coating of Teflon. In these experiments,
electrolysis was continued for 32 days. Upon completion of the
experiment, the palladium cathode was analyzed using EDX,
AES (Auger electron spectroscopy), SIMS (secondary ion mass
spectrometry) and EPMA (electron probe microanalyser). The
Figure 9 in the K&M review only shows the EDX results. The
other analytical methods confirmed this analysis and found other
elements such as As, Ga, Sb, Te, I, Hf, Re, Ir, Br and Xe, several
of which had abnormal isotopic ratios. While Shanahan might
argue that the chromium (Cr) and iron (Fe) came from exposed
stainless steel, this cannot explain the copper (Cu) and titanium
(Ti), which were not found initially in the materials, and which
showed abnormal isotopic ratios. Nor can it explain the anom-
alous isotopic distribution observed for Cr.
Iwamura and his co-workers conducted gas permeation
These experiments used sandwich structures
consisting of alternating thin layers of CaO and Pd. On one side
of the sandwich, Iwamura et al. deposited a thin elemental layer.
This elemental layer is referred to as the ‘source element’ in the
K&M review.
The sample was then mounted in a vacuum
chamber, with the elemental layer facing the upstream side of the
diffusion barrier. The sample was heated to 70 C and D
allowed to diffuse though the structure. During the course of the
experiment, the elemental composition of the ‘source element’
layer was monitored in situ and in real-time using X-ray photo-
electron spectroscopy (XPS). As the D
passed through the
sandwich structure, the elemental composition of the thin ‘source
element’ layer was observed to change as a function of time. As
the concentration of the source element decreased, the amount of
product element increased.
Shanahan states these transmutation results were due to
contamination. However, either Pr or Mo was only observed
when Cs or Sr, respectively, was deposited on the Pd/CaO
multilayer prior to permeation. Neither was otherwise observed.
Furthermore, if Mo came from vacuum chamber contamination,
then it should be observed with bare Pd instead of only with a Pd/
CaO multilayer, but it wasn’t. This effect did not occur when
CaO was replaced by MgO, or when H
, was used even though
the other conditions remained unchanged. Hence, the deuterium
permeation of a Cs or Sr layer in the Pd/CaO multilayer was
necessary for elemental transmutation.
Shanahan also referenced NRL’s assertion that the inner wall
of Iwamura’s balance, and nowhere else in his laboratory, was
contaminated with Pr. Iwamura used the balance twice for each
sample for 10 s each time. If Pr from the inner wall of the balance
contaminated the Pd sample, the lower part of the Pd multilayer
sample should also have been contaminated: it wasn’t. Praseo-
dymium should have consistently contaminated both control
samples and multilayer samples, but it didn’t.
The ion implanted Cs concentration continuously decreased
from the surface. There was no Pr in the sample prior to
permeation, but after deuterium permutation, the Cs concen-
tration decreased in inverse proportion to the increased Pr
concentration found in the top 10 nm of the surface. Prior to
permeation, the Cs depth profiles in both samples were nearly
equivalent, and thus, Cs atoms didn’t diffuse. It is unlikely a Pr
contamination impurity migrated as Pr was only found within 10
nm of the surface. Consequently, neither NRL’s contaminated
balance hypothesis nor Shanahan’s suppositions account for the
observations of elemental transmutation.
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2.4 Energetic particle detection using CR-39
In their review, K&M
discuss the results of an SRI replication of
a Pd/D co-deposition experiment done using CR-39, a solid-state
nuclear track detector. In his critique, Shanahan implies that
little or no control experiments had been done to test conven-
tional origins for the tracks observed in the CR-39 detectors used
in the experiments. He further suggests that the tracks that have
been observed in the CR-39 detectors are due to either O
or ‘shockwaves’ resulting from explosions due to D
bination on the Pd surface. He also states that the triple track
shown in the review article is actually overlapping tracks.
In actuality, SPAWAR had done an exhaustive series of
control experiments that showed that the tracks were not due to
radioactive contamination of the cell components nor were they
due to mechanical or chemical damage.
The time duration of
these control experiments were the same as that used in the Pd/D
co-deposition experiments. Also, the experimental results
summarized in Fig. 1 rule out both O
attack and shockwaves as
the source of the tracks. It was reported that when Pd/D co-
deposition was done on Ni screen, in the absence of an external
electric/magnetic field, no tracks were observed on the CR-39
Instead the impression of the Ni screen was observed,
Fig. 1a. The observed damage is consistent with X-ray/gamma
ray damage. When Pd/D co-deposition was done on Ni screen in
the presence of an external electric/magnetic field, tracks were
observed, as shown in Fig. 1b. A high track density is observed
inside the eyelets of the Ni screen where the Pd plated out. In
contrast, tracks in CR-39 were observed in Pd/D co-deposition
experiments done on Ag, Au, and Pt wires in both the presence
and absence of an external electric/magnetic field.
The effect of
cathode material on the generation of energetic particle tracks in
CR-39 is still not understood. Recently, Pd/D co-deposition
experiments were done on a composite electrode, Fig. 1c, in the
absence of an external electric/magnetic field. The composite
electrode was a Ni screen. As shown in Fig. 1c, half the Ni screen
is bare. Metallic Au has been plated on the other half. At the end
of the experiment, the detector was etched and analyzed. The
results show that no tracks were obtained on the bare half of the
cathode, Fig. 1d. The impression of the Ni screen is observed.
However, tracks were obtained on the Au-coated Ni screen,
Fig. 1e. Both halves of the cathode experienced the same chem-
ical and electrochemical environment at the same time. If Sha-
nahan’s suppositions were correct that the pitting in CR-39 is
caused by either explosions due to chemical reactions or to O
attack, those reactions would have occurred on both the bare Ni
and Au-coated Ni halves of the cathode and both halves would
have shown pitting of the CR-39 detector. This was not observed.
Triple tracks in CR-39 are diagnostic of the carbon breakup
reaction due to interactions with $9.6 MeV neutrons and is the
most easily identifiable neutron interaction with the detector.
These triple tracks have been observed on both the front and
back surfaces of the CR-39 detectors.
They have not been
observed in CR-39 detectors used in either control experiments
or blanks. The triple track shown in Figure 12 of the K&M
review is similar to those observed in CR-39 detectors that have
been exposed to a DT neutron source. Fig. 2 compares Pd/D co-
deposition generated triple tracks with those created upon
exposure to a DT neutron source. Both sets of tracks are indis-
tinguishable. Fig. 2a and b are examples of symmetric triple
tracks while those in Fig. 2c are asymmetric triple tracks.
2.5 Temporal correlation between heat and
The China Lake experiments on the correlation of heat and
helium-4 production carefully ruled out contamination.
Fig. 1 CR-39 results for Pd/D co-deposition done on Ni screen cathodes. (a) Photogragh of CR-39 used in an experiment performed in the absence of
an external field. The impression of the Ni screen is observed. Photograph was obtained from S. Krivit, New Energy Times. (b) Photomicrograph of CR-
39 used in an experiment performed in the presence of an external magnetic field, 20magnification. Tracks are observed inside the eyelets of the Ni
screen. (c) Photograph of the composite electrode used in a Pd/D co-deposition experiment done in the absence of an external electric/magnetic field. The
top half of the cathode is bare Ni screen, the bottom half is Au-plated Ni screen. (d) Photomicrograph of CR-39 in contact with the bare Ni half, 20
magnification. The impression of the Ni screen is observed. (e) Photomicrograph of CR-39 in contact with the Au-coated Ni half, 1000magnification.
Tracks are observed.
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Control cells were run in the same manner as the cells that
produced excess power. Excess helium-4 was measured in 18 out
of 21 cells that produced excess heat. None of the 12 control cells
yielded excess heat or showed excess helium-4 production. The
random probability of obtaining the correct heat/helium-4 rela-
tionship in 30 out of 33 studies is 1 : 750,000 (see Appendix C of
Ref. 5). Furthermore, it is very unlikely that random errors due
to contamination would consistently yield helium-4 production
rates in the appropriate range of D + D fusion of 10
s per watt of excess power.
reported production of extra energy by nano-particles
of palladium on the surface of charcoal when the material was
exposed to D
gas at temperatures up to 175 C. McKubre et al.
replicated the claims. The results of this experiment are shown in
Fig. 3a. This is the Figure 6 in the 2004 report prepared by
Hagelstein et al.
that Shanahan discusses. This plot illustrates
the real-time correlation between excess heat and the growth of
He concentration in a metal-sealed, helium leak-tight vessel that
was observed in the SRI replication of the Case experiment. In
his critique, Shanahan briefly touches on the quantitative and
temporal correlation of excess heat and
He production with an
odd argument posed as a rhetorical question: ‘‘If in fact there is
no excess heat,then what exactly is being plotted on the Y axis?’’
Where does the ‘‘fact’’ that ‘‘there is no excess heat’ come from? It
comes from the strained logic that the CCSH ‘‘explains all excess
heat results.’’ As discussed above, CCSH has no validity. Plotted
on the X-axis of Fig. 3a is the increased level of
He measured in
samples drawn from a helium-leak-tight vessel. Again in his
critique, Shanahan asks: ‘‘If there is no proof that the observed He
is not from a leak,then how does one know that is not what is being
plotted on the X axis?’’ This is easily explained. The shape of the
He vs. time curve is quantitatively different from that
of a convective or diffusional leak of ambient
He into the closed
cell. The measured and plotted [
He] first remains constant (no
leak), then rises approximately linearly to roughly twice the
ambient air background level. A shape consistent with the
hypothesis Shanahan proposes would be exponential with
greatest slope at time zero and rising asymptotically to the
environing background level (5.22 ppmV). So an explanation
invoking an in-leak from the ambient can be seen to fail quan-
Fig. 3b shows plots of the
He concentration, [
He], measured as
a function of time. This is the Figure 12 that Shanahan discusses in
his critique of the SRI replication of the Case experiment. In his
critique, Shanahan questions the decrease in [
He] after day 30.
The original experimenters also noticed this, questioned it, and
sought the explanation experimentally, quantitatively and with
reference to the literature. At elevated temperatures
He absorbs
Fig. 2 Comparison of Pd/D co-deposition generated and DT generated triple tracks.
Fig. 3 Summary of SRI results on the Case replication. (a) Plot showing
correlation between
He and excess heat where Bare gradient data
points (y ¼18.36 x, R
¼0.99); is gradient Q ¼31 13 MeV/
atom; are differential data points (y ¼18.89x, R
¼0.95); is
differential Q ¼32 13 MeV/atom. (b) Helium-4 increase in sealed cells
containing Pd on C catalyst and D
) gas where is
He in
room air at STP; is SC1; Cis SC2; Bis SC3.1; -is SC3.2; ,is
SC4.1; and Ois SC4.2.
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or adsorbs to a modest degree into or onto carbon; the measure-
ments reported therefore reflect a slight systematic under-
measurement of the [
He] consistent with the measured Q value
correlation between the rates of heat and helium production.
Shanahan impugns the mass spectroscopist by pretending supe-
rior knowledge of the variability of [
He] in room air. The original
reports indicate that each helium data point was developed by
He in a D
standard, in the sample, and in room air.
All three measurements are made for each data point. There is no
fluctuation of [
He] in room air as any level of actual experience or
a simple calculation of the volume of helium needed would show.
Nor is there an ‘‘unknown and therefore uncontrolled systemic error
in the mass spectrometer results’’.
3. Conclusions
Despite Shanahan’s unsubstantiated allegations, LENR
researchers are well aware of the necessity for controls to verify
proper instrument function while eliminating more prosaic
explanations for the observed effects. Indeed, peer-reviewed
published papers and conference presentations have long dis-
proved Shanahan’s chemical/mechanical suppositions regarding
LENR observations. Furthermore, contrary to Shanahan’s
assertions, the observed effects are often several orders of
magnitude larger than the measurement errors. For example, in
a variety of experiments, the solid-state nuclear track detector
background was less than 1 track/mm
whereas the signal
exceeded 10,000 tracks/mm
! Both Swartz and a team at Ener-
getics have reported excess power an order of magnitude greater
than the input power in electrolytically driven systems.
Similarly, LENR researchers have replicated the LENR effect in
a variety of electrolytic and gas-loaded systems. First Miles, and
later both De Ninno and an exhaustive effort by SRI, correlated
He production with heat in electrolytically-loaded systems. Later,
SRI replicated the
He-heat correlation in gas-loaded systems with
Case’s Pd/carbon catalyst and Arata’s double-structured electrode.
Excess heat production in Szpak and Mosier-Boss’ electrolytic Pd/
D co-deposition system was first measured by Miles and then
replicated by Letts. Kitimura and Ahern have both replicated
excess heat from Arata and Zhang’s gas-loaded Pd/ZrO
structures. However, reproducible heat-production in bulk Pd is
still an issue, with much to be learned about Pd metallurgy and
batch-to-batch variability. Indeed, material irreproducibility
plagued the semiconductor field for decades and is still a concern
with high Tc superconductors. This is not a new phenomenon for
a new and emerging field. In conclusion, reproducible control of
LENR has been difficult to achieve because of multiple factors
including significant Pd/D loading, adequate loading times
(sometimesweeks), loading rate, deuterium flux, lattice prehistory,
and electrolyte/cathode compositions.
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2 M. Swartz and G. Vernon, The Importance of Controlling Zero-Input
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Solid State Anomalous Phenomena with the Quasi-1-Dimensional
Model of Isotope Loading into a Material, Fusion Technology,
1997, 31, 63–74.
4 M. R. Swartz, Survey of the Observed Excess Energy and Emissions
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J. Environ. Monit. This journal is ªThe Royal Society of Chemistry 2010
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... In any case, these remarks are clearly an attempt by the NASA group to protect themselves from the heat of the reputation trap. Forsley himself has long been a significant member of the cold fusion community, appearing with other major figures in the field as co-author of (Marwan et al 2010), for example. There is an excellent interview with him, discussing this recent NASA work, at (Hughes 2020). ...
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Many scientists have expressed concerns about potential catastrophic risks associated with new technologies. But expressing concern is one thing, identifying serious candidates another. Such risks are likely to be novel, rare, and difficult to study; data will be scarce, making speculation necessary. Scientists who raise such concerns may face disapproval not only as doomsayers, but also for their unconventional views. Yet the costs of false negatives in these cases -- of wrongly dismissing warnings about catastrophic risks -- are by definition very high. For these reasons, aspects of the methodology and culture of science, such as its attitude to epistemic risk and to unconventional views, are relevant to the challenges of managing extreme technological risks. In this piece I discuss these issues with reference to a real-world example that shares many of the same features, that of so-called 'cold fusion'.
We have performed Pd electrodeposition in both D2O and H2O electrolytes in the presence of a magnetic field using CR-39 solid state nuclear track detectors. These detectors were either immersed in the electrolyte or separated from it by a thin Mylar® film. We have found a statistically significant increase in the number of tracks measured in the D2O experiments when compared to the H2O experiments.
Technical Report
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The Pd/D co-deposition process has been shown to provide a reproducible means of manufacturing Pd-D nano-alloys that induce low energy nuclear reactions (LENRs). Cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic pulsing experiments indicate that, by using the co-deposition technique, a high degree of deuterium loading (with an atomic ratio D/Pd>1) is obtained within seconds. These experiments also indicate the existence of a D+ species within the Pd lattice. Because an ever expanding electrode surface is created, non-steady state conditions are assured, the cell geometry is simplified because there is no longer a need for a uniform current distribution on the cathode, and long charging times are eliminated.
Technical Report
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In the 26 years since the ill-named, and ill-timed, announcement of “cold fusion” by Drs. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons at the University of Utah critics have consistently raised five concerns: 1. Fusion neutron production isn’t commensurate with observed heat 2. Lack of a theory 3. Counter to “all that’s known in nuclear physics” 4. Irreproducibility 5. Lack of independent replication It can be argued that the phenomenon is neither “cold” nor “fusion”: but it is nuclear . Neutrons are not easily produced, nor, are they produced by purely chemical means. Hence, neutrons are the hallmark of nuclear reactions. Although neutron production isn’t commensurate with measured heat, several of our papers discuss neutron production. There is an abundance of contradictory theories, and hence, we’ve shied away from theory until we had data. Although the mantra, “theory guides, data decides”, doesn’t preclude experimental data, several voices outside the field refuse to recognize the phenomena unless there is a theory. However, our model-ing has provided guidance and suggests previously unrecognized magnetic and nuclear effects that clearly enable condensed matter nuclear reactions. The major “cold fusion” criticism has been the need to overcome the Coulomb Barrier between two positively charged deuterons at room temperature, 0.025 eV, as opposed to the hot fusion ion temperature of 5 keV (55 million K). However, low energy accelerator experiments with metal deuteride targets demonstrate enhanced electron screening that significantly raises the Gamow Factor thereby increasing the low temperature deuterium fusion cross-section. Other nuclear theories have been suggested to lower the Coulomb Barrier, though few of these are consistent with our data. Most important, the patented co-deposition protocol (US 8,419,919) discussed in these papers has shown independent reproducibility and replication across multiple laboratories in four countries negating two primary criticisms of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (CMNS): irreproducibility and lack of independent replication.
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On March 29, 1989, chemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced they had discovered an effect whose explanation was required to lie in the realm of nuclear reactions. Their claim, and those subsequent to it of roughly similar nature, became known as ‘cold fusion’. Research continues to this day on this effect, but what has become clear is that whatever it is, it is not a conventional fusion process. Thus the ‘cold fusion’ moniker is somewhat inappropriate and many current researchers in the field prefer the term “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR)”, although other terms have been coined for it as well. the results developed out of the LENR research do in fact show something is happening to produce signals which might be interpreted as supporting nuclear reactions (which is what encourages and sustains LENR researchers), but which can also be interpreted via a set of unique and interesting conventional processes. The focus of this document is to describe and address recent objections to such processes so that subsequent LENR research can be guided to develop information that will determine whether either set of explanations has merit. It is hoped that criteria delineated herein will aid the USDOE and other agencies in determining if LENR proposals are meritorious and worthy of support or not.
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Many elements on Pd electrode were confirmed by several analytic methods; reaction products with the mass number up to 208 are deposited on palladium cathodes, which were subjected to electrolysis in a heavy water solutionat high pressure, temperature, and current density for prolonged time. Thesemasses were composed of many elements ranged from hydrogen to lead. Extraordinary observations were the changes of their isotopic distributions inthe produced elements; these were radically different from the natural ones. For example, natural chromium is 4.3% Cr 50, 84% Cr 52, 9.5% Cr 53 and 2.4% Cr 54. But the Chromium found on the Pd surface was 14% Cr 50, 51% Cr 52, 2.4% Cr 53 and 11% Cr 54. Natural Isotopic distribution varies by less than 0.003% for Cr. Essentially the same phenomenon was confirmed eight timeswith high reproducibility at high cathodic current density, above 0.2A/cm².All the possibilities of contamination had been carefully eliminated by severalpretreatments for the sample and electrolysis system. It means that a nuclearreaction had taken place during the electrochemical treatment. It is indicating the role of new interactions discovered in the framework of a generalization of the usual quantum mechanics. Evidently such new interactions, due tothe mutual overlap of wavepackets, should explain the new phenomenologiesthat are experimentally observed in this study. © 1998, The Society of Materials Engineering for Resources of Japan. All rights reserved.
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The experimental evidence for anomalies in metal deuterides, including excess heat and nuclear emissions, suggests the existence of new physical effects.
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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: .
Both palladium heavy-water and nickel light-water systems appear to demonstrate the biphasic character of the production rates of excess heat and nuclear ash for increasing input electrical power drive. Plots of excess heat, or power gain as a function of input electric power drive indicate a narrow locus of optimal system operating points. At the center of the optimal operating point, the peak power gain may be at a relative maximum. Driving with electrical input power beyond this operating point yields a typical falloff of the observed power gain for increasing input power or current levels toward a power gain of 1 and less. The failure to reproduce the cold fusion phenomena may have occurred, in part, because many experimental systems may have been inadvertently or unintentionally driven outside of the optimal operating point envelope (manifold). It might simply be the failure to appreciate noise power. This paper describes the importance of zero point corrections along the electrical input manifold. Failure to make semiquantitative corrections to control zero offset may generate artifacts in the power gain curve.
Lattice assisted nuclear reactions (LANR) are real, and offer a clean, efficient potential new source of energy production. Two decades of LANR R&D have confirmed excess heat production, and other clearly nuclear phenomena, using electrolysis and other gas loading techniques. Requirements for success include incubation time, high loading of >90% PdDx, and other requisite conditions difficult to achieve. Several types of LANR now exist, as well as LANR metamaterials, and several types of triggering and control methods. In LANR, excess heat and helium-4 are the usual products, but charged particles, tritium, and the sequelae of neutrons can be sometimes detected. Excess power gains up to 200–400%+ have been reported. Given the prevalence of the fuel, and the incredible efficiency, LANR could be an important revolutionary technology. Keywords: palladium—excess heat—lattice assisted nuclear reactions—deuterium—deuterons—loading—flux—excess power gain—optimal operating point
In this communication, results obtained using CR-39, a solid state nuclear track detector, in Pd/D co-deposition experiments are described. These results show that pits occur on the surface of the CR-39 detectors where the Pd/D cathode was in contact with it. Control experiments indicate that the pits are not due to radioactive contamination of the cell components nor do they have a chemical origin. The presence of triple and double tracks on the surface of the CR-39, as well as the presence of tracks on the backside of the CR-39, are suggestive of neutrons.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors thank D. Miles of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWPNS) for many helpful computer,calculations and data analyses and R. Miles of E. G. and G. Rocky Flats Inc., Golden, Colorado, for expertise concerning radiation. We also express appreciation for American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Washington, DC, postdoctoral fellowships for D. Stilwell, K. Park, and G. Ostrom. We especially thank D. Stilwell for investigating various calorimetric techniques in 1989. The authors thank R. Hollins for encouragement,and support; J. Fontenot and J. France for financial assistance in obtaining supplies and equipment from 1989 to 1991; and R. Rhein and L. Liedtke for helpful discussions, all from NAWCWPNS. We also thank D. Dominguez, P. Hagans, M. Imam, S. Chubb, T. Chubb, W. O'Grady, and S. King from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, DC; M. Melich from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California; M. McKubre from SRI International (SRI) Energy Research Center, Menlo Park, California; R. Hart from Hart R and D Inc., Mapleton, Utah; H. Bergeson and S. Barrowes from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; and W. Hansen from Utah State University, Logan, Utah, for many helpful discussions. We thank J. Dash of Portland State University, Portland, Oregon; K. Mori of Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K. K., Kanagawa, Japan, for palladium sheet samples; S. Nezu of IMRA Material R and D Co., Ltd. (IMRA), Kariya, Aichi, Japan, for the loan of a palladium-silver alloy; and M. Imam of NRL for the palladium-boron alloys. We also thank M. Fleischmann and S. Pons of IMRA Europe, Valbonne, France, for the loan of electrode materials as well as helpful discussions. Special appreciation is extended to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for support of this work, and to D. Nagel of NRL for providing the funding to publish this report. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division This work was funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) as a collaborative program
Dr. Shanahan has published two papers (Thermochim. Acta 428 (2005) 207, Thermochim. Acta 382 (2002) 95) in which he argues that excess heat claimed to be produced by cold fusion is actually caused by errors in heat measurement. In particular, he proposes that unrecognized changes in the calibration constant are produced by changes in the locations where heat is being generated within the electrolytic cell over the duration of the measurement. Because these papers may lend unwarranted support to rejection of cold fusion claims, these erroneous arguments used by Shanahan need to be answered.