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US Naval Research Laboratory

 The United States Naval Research Laboratory was founded in 1923 at the suggestion of the inventor Thomas Edison, with the purpose of developing naval and military technology and carrying out research activities. 

NRL is the corporate research lab for the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy and is focused on scientific research and development. Its headquarters are located in Washington DC. 

In 1992, the US Navy consolidated other research and development facilities into what we now know as the Naval Research Laboratory.  The institution was involved in cold fusion research for a long time after the theory was first presented in 1989 and discredited, later that year, due to inconsistent reproducibility of the excess heat.  The Navy work on cold fusion was carried out at different naval laboratories, that focused on specific aspects of the reaction and compared their results in order to get a clear view of the phenomenon. 

 

In addition to the US Naval Research Laboratory, cold fusion research was conducted at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego (SSC San Diego) and the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake. 

Their collaboration started in 1991, after the second International Conference on Cold Fusion took place and the attitude towards LENR started to prompt a more scientific approach. The basic goal of the collaboration between the naval laboratories was the investigation of the anomalous heat effect in the palladium-deuterium system. Their results would be a valuable addition to the existing empirical evidence, and their involvement in this project would count as a confirmation of LENR’s existence. 

 

Since the early ’90s, the researchers at NRL have been working with our without funding on experiments involving engineering materials that could help the reaction as well as establishing a theoretical model for the cold fusion reaction. Many of the hours sacrificed for this activity were personal time and underground experiments, due to lack of funding for many years in the cold fusion area. 

 

The scientists at the NRL focused their efforts on the metallurgy of palladium and its alloys, as well as the theoretical part of the cold fusion reaction.  Dr. M. Ashraf Imam was involved in the metallurgy research and produced Pd/B alloys that were used in LENR experiments by Dr. Melvin H. Miles. His experiments were mainly focused on quantifying the excess heat of the reaction. The alloys created by Dr. Imam boosted the reaction and produced a higher rate of thermal energy in a minimal incubation time of about 1 day.  

Dr. Scott R. Chubb was involved in the theoretical endeavors to understand the Fleischmann-Pons reaction and to develop a clear and comprehensive reaction model. 

 

Dr. Miles and his colleagues concluded from their experiments that the rate of excess heat is directly related to the quantity of helium in the gas stream. This correlation suggests that the cold fusion reaction is of a nuclear origin. 

The scientists found evidence of a nuclear reaction taking place and detected nuclear byproducts, such as neutrons, tritium, transmutation products and x-rays. Although a great step in establishing a theoretical model, these byproducts were not identified consistently and did not appear in large quantities. 

 

The first time when the cold fusion research activity at the US Naval Research Laboratory was made public is 2008, when the “Sixty Minutes” TV show on CBS featured a segment entitled “Cold Fusion is Hot Again” and aired a statement confirming that the NRL has experimentally verified the anomalous heat effect. 

 

The navy researchers were influenced to pursue experiments in this area by the time they spent working together with Fleischmann and the trust they had in his logical thinking and expertise. They continued the research activity and encountered multiple positive results in their experiments. The scientists acknowledged that the system comprised of a palladium electrode introduced in heavy water and stimulated by electricity, caused an unusual reaction to take place, generating thermal energy and no emissions or radiations. 

 

In 2008, the US Naval Research Laboratory joined a collaboration between ENEA (Italy), Stanford Research International and Energetics LLC that had started in 2004. The project is focused on developing an alternative energy source based upon the Fleischmann-Pons effect. 

After years of research, the institutions involved in this project are convinced of the existence of cold fusion and of it’s superior efficiency compared to conventional energy sources. 

Their findings have been presented at the EU parliament meeting in Brussels, in June 2013.  

 

Also in 2008, the 14th edition of the ICCF was held in Washington DC, and scientists from the US Naval Research Laboratory were among the key organizers. 

 

In 2009, the US Naval Research Laboratory attempted to verify the claims of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that they have managed to replicate the LENR reaction. The Japanese scientists have claimed to have produced praseodymium from transmutation of cesium during a low energy nuclear reaction.  Scientist David Kidwell and his collaborators have eventually concluded that the results were invalid, due to reaction spiking, by one of the employees working in the laboratory. 

 

The Mitsubishi experiment consists in a multilayered substrate of palladium and calcium oxide. The researchers would place atoms of various elements on the surface and pass deuterium gas through the substrate. The reaction would cause the element placed on the surface to decrease in quantity and a transmuted element to appear on the surface. During the reaction, the scientists observer x-ray emission and atomic changes.  

 

The Iwamura experiment was confirmed by multiple Japanese and Chinese laboratories and the Mitsubishi laboratory demonstrated the reaction with various element pairs, in addition to cesium and praseodymium. 

Although the reaction took place in a sealed environment, the NRL support their contamination claims. 

Mitsubishi support their findings by the gradual increase of praseodymium and decrease of cesium during the reaction,a s well as the isotopic shifts experienced. 

 

The NRL tried to replicate the Mitsubishi experiment in 2002-2003. Despite the scientists following the exact replication steps, they were unsuccessful in generating praseodymium and experiencing a cold fusion reaction. After the failed attempts, NRL started a collaboration with Mitsubishi in order to perform replications of their experiment. Once again, the scientist’s efforts were futile. 

Kidwell suggests an environmental survey, for the laboratory conditions to be tested and analyzes 25 swipes from various locations inside the Mitsubishi laboratory. This is when they find high levels of praseodymium in the mass balance of the Mitsubishi lab and declare the results invalid. 

 

At the International Conference on Cold Fusion held in Rome in 2012, Kidwell presented 2 possible scenarios when trying to explain the Mitsubishi/Iwamura research results. The first hypothesis is the contamination of one of the tweezers used by an employee, that caused the scientists to believe they have experimented cold fusion. The second scenario suggested that the praseodymium was present in the multilayered surface and migrated to the surface during the experiment, simulating the transmutation of elements and the reaction. 

 

In 2009, NRL researchers were among the attendees at the annual American Chemical Society’s meeting, and presented a report on their experiments with low energy nuclear reactions and their confirmation that the Fleischmann-Pons reaction can be replicated. 

Although the underlying physics model is still under review and the theoretical framework yet to be established, the empirical evidence is indisputable. 

One of the accepted theories is that when deuterium is electrolyzed, its molecules fuse and form helium, and high energy neutrons are generated from this reaction. And although these neutrons have not been identified in the experiments carried out, the anomalous heat effect has been replicated countless times. 

The researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory claim that the lack of neutrons in the reaction is caused by improper measurement instrumentation, that does not allow counting such a low number of neutrons as those produced in the cold fusion reaction. 

They suggest using a plastic neutron detector, the CR-39, that consists in co-deposition nickel and gold wire electrodes. The apparatus, when introduced into a deuterium and palladium chloride mixture, was able to identify the high energy neutrons generated by the LENR reaction. 

 

The US Naval Research Laboratory is supposedly the anonymous military customer that purchased Rossi’s E-Cat in 2011. The Italian’s inventor cold fusion reactor was displayed in Bologna on 28 October 2011 as a demonstration for a possible customer, whose representative was attending the meeting. One of the attendees was a NRL scientist, Paul Swanson, fact that gave room for speculations. When asked about his intentions and the possibility of a link between the US Navy and the E-Cat, Swanson declared that his participation in the demonstration was for personal reasons and had no connection to the US Navy. 

After the demonstration, the undisclosed military customer allegedly acquired the 1 MW E-Cat unit, and eventually ordered 12 more. 

 

March 2013, the University of Missouri Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance named Graham K. Hubler as its director. Hubler has a 40 years experience working as a nuclear physicist for the Naval research Laboratory and has been contacted by the SKINR in order to research unknown phenonomena under institute’s guidance. He is known to have been actively involved in the NRL LENR research for many years before retiring in 2012. 

The University announcement pointed out that Hubler will be responsible of leading a team of scientists that are involved in experiments including the low energy nuclear reaction, among other alternative energy sources. The focus of the announcement is on the cold fusion research and states that, although the reaction is difficult to replicate, there are many questions that need to be answered about the process and its theoretical framework. 

Hubler mentioned that the university and SKINR are well equipped and have all the resources necessary for further research. The Institute has a Research Reactor and a microelectronics fabrication facility that could prove invaluable during the experiments. The goal of this collaboration is understanding the reaction, increasing its reproducibility and establishing a theoretical model for the cold fusion phenomenon.  

SKINR appointing Hubler as its director is seen as a clear sign of collaboration between the US Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Missouri. 

 

In April 2013 the Naval Research Laboratory hosted a colloquium on the topic of cold fusion, hosted by the Plasma Physics Division. Professor Robert Duncan of University of Missouri is one of the speakers and an avid supporter of the theory. He is also the host of the annual International Conference on Cold Fusion that will be held at the University of Missouri. 

 

In June 2013, the EU Parliament in Brussels hosted a meeting on the topic of the Fleischmann-Pons anomalous heat effect. Among the presentations delivered, there was one titled “Anomalous Heat Results from the Naval Research Lab and the University of Missouri”, presented by Robert Duncan, Director of Research at the University of Missouri. This suggest a collaboration between NRL and the University in cold fusion research and the results are encouraging. The slides presented featured the details of one of the experiments carried out, that although required 10 hours for the reaction to start, produced 40 times more energy than the input. 

The meeting concluded that even if the reaction is still inconsistently reproducible and is hard to control, there is significant interest in the subject and the efforts of some of the largest research organizations and universities are focused on establishing a theoretical basis and perfecting the technology. Hopefully this meeting will prompt further EU funding for the cold fusion research. 

 

The experiments carried out at the US Naval Research Laboratory are documented by a large number of papers published by the organization. Their research confirms the anomalous heat effect in a palladium-hydrogen isotopes system and validates the nuclear nature of the cold fusion reaction. 

The scientists observed a correlation between the amount of helium resulting from the reaction and the excess heat, as well as other prerequisites that influence the reaction repeatability and efficiency.

The US Naval Research Laboratory scientists agree that cold fusion has the potential to revolutionize the energy world and provide us with clean, cheap and efficient energy. 

 
 

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