As usual, thanks Longview for your precise contribution to this discussion. Your comment on tenses is right on. This goes back ~50 years. Would really like for someone to repeat this experiment and settle the question of whether fusion actually does occur.
Big question for me is why/how did I stumble on using silver in the hydrogen purification before interaction with the nickelous oxide? What's obvious to me now is that it's critical. Sulfur/sulfides must be completely removed from the catalytic reaction. Because of free machining consideration sulfur will be present in stainless piping and introduce trace levels of H2S. Combustion analyzers (Leco) are very useful for trace sulfur analysis. The catalyst must be sulfur free and should be checked before use.