Comprehensive Review of Cold Fusion - It's not pathological science!

  • Thanks to David Nagel for spotting this very thorough and positive overview of the field, a considerable feat on the part of the authors. Note that the 'Appendix A ' link leads to a 3Mb Excel file with over 500 references to various cold fusion papers.…cle/pii/S1572665721008973 - open access.

    Review - Preliminary survey on cold fusion: It’s not pathological science and may require revision of nuclear theory

    Luciano Ondir, Andrade Delvonei Alves de

    After three decades, “cold fusion” field is alive with thousands of publications technologies. Nuclear reactions in solids are more complex than simple fusion. They also seem to need energy triggers like background radiation. The field does not fit in pathological science model. The field has potential to bring disruptive technologies.


    Since 1989 the announcement of “cold fusion” by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleishmann, “cold fusion” field has been surrounded by controversy. After three decades, this field is alive and has produced thousands of publications, most in dedicated periodic and conferences. This work aims at checking whether “cold fusion” fits in pathological science traits. For each type of experiment and year, this work counted the distinct research groups results (success or failure). Experimental results from many research groups suggest that nuclear reactions in solids are more complex than fusion (it is not only fusion) and that they need energy triggers like background radiation, meaning chemical configurations alone do not seem to generate nuclear reactions. Some types of experiments present rising trends (the field does not fit in pathological science model) and have potential to bring disruptive technologies. If confirmed, experimental results will require revisions of accepted nuclear models.

  • We had already posted a brief review of this paper by Brazilian Nuclear Engineer and ICCF 23 participant Luciano Ondir in the Last newsletter of 2021. It is really good so great that Dave Nagel has noticed it.

    Brazilian Nuclear Energy Researchers officially join the LENR field with a strong claim:

    A team led by Dr. Luciano Ondir Freire (Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN-CNEN/SP), Nuclear Engineering Center, São Paulo, Brazil) has published recently in the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry the review paper "Preliminary survey on cold fusion: It’s not pathological science and may require revision of nuclear theory". This extensive review paper has thoroughly assessed the 30+ years of LENR research to conclude that it is a valid and potentially ground breaking research field in spite of the controversy, and that it may lead to revise accepted nuclear models. Dr. Luciano Ondir participated in ICCF 23 as expositor with a Poster Presentation. You can join the discussion of this important paper at the following LENR-Forum thread: Brazil Joins the party- a survey of the LENR field.

    We have also a link to the paper

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • Put simply, they say one of the problems with the field, and their researching for their study, was that it is hard to find stuff. Something we have talked about over the years. That should change dramatically with LENR CANR/ChatGPT, and once other libraries such as BARC, University of Texas (Grimshaw) convert over to AI:

    The most recent works are in the Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (JCMNS) whose volumes are available at The site provides interesting resources, like most proceedings of International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF). The American Institute of Physics hosted a proceeding of a conference on Anomalous Nuclear Effects in Deuterium/Solid Systems in 1990 (AIP 228). India has a research center in Trombay (Bhabha Atomic Research Center – BARC), which produced many works on the field with many successful experiments, and many are assembled in a single volume “BARC-1500, available at Fusion Technology published many works in the period from 1989 to 2000 when George Miley retired. Additionally, the ancient articles reporting failure to replicate cold fusion phenomena received special attention. Cold Fusion journal articles were neglected because authors could not find most of them. Authors also included articles from library, which had about 4737 entries, including magazine articles, newspaper articles and interviews. However, only journal and conference articles presenting new empirical results counted for this work.

    There were also many conferences named “International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals”, but authors did not find most of the proceedings, except for the 8th and 12th. Other sources, like the books “Cold Fusion: The History of Research in Italy” and “Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook” were also considered.

    It was not possible to find and consider every work because authors could not find them or they were in other languages, like Russian or Japanese. In any case, authors found the downloadable links to the proceedings of Japan Cold Fusion (JCF) society meetings, from JCF-4 to JCF-20 at the site The proceedings of the Russian Conference on Cold Transmutation of Nuclei of Chemical Elements and Ball Lightning (available at were included in the analysis, except by the 23rd conference (not found). Nevertheless, it seems this work found most of the research groups and perhaps most of the important experiments, which seemed to be present in more than one publication.

    Authors also verified the works present in more than one database, reducing the duplication of records and adopted a metric (number of research groups instead of number of works) that is robust to record duplication (and to various publications for a single experiment).

    4.2. Identification of works already done in the field or similar fields

    Thousands of articles were listed in a table with authors, title, year, and research group. This database became the base of subsequent analysis. This work neglected articles in field proposing theoretical models or showing experiments on adjacent non-nuclear aspects, like metallurgy, deuterium solubility, conductivity.

    4.3. Skimming of experimental works to identify the types of experiments appearing over time

    The experiments became more diversified over time, starting with Palladium-Deuterium and Titanium-Deuterium systems and adding Nickel-Hydrogen, Tungsten-Hydrogen, Palladium-Hydrogen systems. Works involving other types of experiments also appeared, like cavitation induced fusion, piezo fusion, exploding wires, and biological transmutations. For a given system, many subtypes of experiments appeared over time, starting with electrolysis and gas loading, and adding glow discharge, plasma electrolysis, and high-pressure gas loading. Furthermore, for a given subtype of experiment, there are many types of triggering methods to improve repeatability, like laser application, magnetic field, electric field, X-ray radiation, gamma radiation, neutron radiation, pressure variations, temperature variations, electric current variations, co-deposition, and nanoparticles.

    4.4. Identification of research groups related to each work

    Many of the thousand works were produced by a few hundreds of research groups, which faithfully kept a steady scientific production in the field. Given the assumption of confirmation bias, it is fundamental to know how many independent groups reported success or failure in finding nuclear reactions evidence for each type of experiment. Every researcher that never presented a “cold fusion” work before is added to an existing group if any co-author presented a work in the field before. If none of the authors presented anything before, a new group is added. If there are co-authors of more than one pre-existing group, the work is assumed to belong to the group of the first author (each work belongs to only one group).

    4.5. Selection of main experiment types

    There is a large diversity of experiments, a detailed analysis of each subtype and, for each subtype, the analysis of each triggering method, would be too lengthy for an article. The authors judged that for a reader outside the field, who for now are the vast majority, an analysis per type would have great value. Even for people in the field such analysis may be relevant to direct research strategy. First, it is possible to classify experiments by the combinations of materials, like Palladium-Deuterium or Titanium-Deuterium. For each combination of materials, there are many possible subtypes, like electrolysis, glow discharge or gas loading, but this work neglected the subtype to avoid too much complexity for a reader that does not know this field. There are also some types of experiments that are not related to a specific material, like cavitation, piezo fusion and use of biological organisms to induce nuclear reactions. Such procedures seem not to depend on a specific set of materials, so this work adopted those methods as subfields to check the trend. Therefore, this work presents only analysis for the following types of experiments: Palladium-Deuterium, Titanium-Deuterium, Nickel-Hydrogen, Tungsten-Hydrogen, cavitation, piezo fusion and biological.

    4.6. Presentation of evolution of experimental groups working in the field over time for each type of experiment

    For each type of experiment, for each year, this work counted the distinct research teams publishing positive results (finding at least partial evidence of nuclear reactions not predicted by current accepted models) and the teams reporting negative results (no evidence of nuclear anomalies). For this count, this work considered the opinion of authors of each article and not the data presented. For instance, Fralick et al. [6] stated there are no nuclear reactions because they measured no neutrons, although data shows anomalous excess heat. This work considered this 1989 article as a negative result, even though data indicates a positive result confirming other research groups’ findings of neutron radiation near background levels. Objective truth is this same research group presented a more recent work [11] showing nuclear transmutations in the equipment used in 1989 experiments, meaning from the point of view of objective truth, both experiments seem to be positive. However, this work, as per assumption “5″, reports the subjective opinions expressed in the article conclusion, not an analysis of raw data from every research group.

    The count considered only one work for each team per year for each experiment type and result (successful or unsuccessful) because it seems the teams tend to publish the same experiment more than one time, for instance, in two conferences and one journal. If a given team produced two distinct experiments in the same year, the second experiment with the same type of result (successful or unsuccessful) was neglected. Conversely, if a team made an experiment and published data in three different years, this work counted one for each year.

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