The assumption that the LENR reaction involves nuclear reactions and fusion is why LENR is rejected by Science. Because of this assumption, LENR has become a laughing stock in Science. If LENR supported a fusion reaction, it would demonstrate neutrons, and gamma rays of a specific energy levels associated with the type of fusion that is occurring.
To the best of my understanding, nobody in the LENR community has ever explained why these tell tale fusion indicators were lacking in the LENR reaction. The assumption that LENR is a nuclear reaction is obviously invalid.
Surely BEC's electron capture model is appropriate enough to allow further engineering approaches?
I agree. Every single theory of CMNS anomalies predicts radioactivity. In the vast majority of theories this radioactivity is not observed and consequently is strong evidence that the model is fundamentally wrong. This is the elephant in the room which most people ignore.
Of course there are many other reasons why LENR is NOT explained by any fusion reaction. After 33 years of sterile searching, we need to take a step backwards and look at the big picture. I have systematically analyzed the major proposed mechanisms of LENR / CMNS and I presented at IWAHLM14 last year. In particular I covered
Heavy electron capture
Proton / Deuteron capture
Poly deuteron capture (Iwamura like reactions)
Exotic Neutral Particles (ENP)
I studied how these conjectured processes would interact with the 288 isotopes found in nature. The ONLY model which seemed to pass the test was the ENP model. Not only did the model predict radiation correctly, but it also explained why nickel, palladium, titanium, and other metals can produce heat without radiation.
Of course a model is only as good as the data on which it is based. Some of the claims of radiation seem to be tenuous at best. It's amazing how researchers use primitive methods such as dental X-ray film, Geiger counters, etc., but finding some anomaly, do not follow up with more specific measurements. No wonder LENR is rejected by Science!! Only nuclear measurements can identify nuclear reactions precisely. And if we cannot identify nuclear reactions, we will never convince the scientific community. It's the "get rich quick" mentality of developing a valuable anomalous heat device without the slightest coherent understanding how it works, which undermines the entire field.