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The key is to not call it “cold fusion.” The current most popular term is Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR). The new phrase avoids not only the so-far empty promise of cold fusion, but helps deflect criticism of what are perceived to be alchemy-like scientific pursuits.

Thirty years after the disastrous Fleischmann-Pons press conference at the University of Utah announcing a cold fusion breakthrough, true believers old and new soldier on – this time carefully coached in qualifying terminology – and this new energy technology may be inching forward toward commercialization.

If wishing could make things true, we’d all have our homes heated by low energy nuclear reactors. Likewise, our cars would come from the factory with a mini-reactor that would run for three or four years, at which point it would need to be replaced or recharged. It’s the Jetsons vision of the future but people are still toiling to find a path to this vision. The promise of a low-cost, safe, renewable energy source still intrigues researchers around the world.

A Berkeley-based startup, Brillouin Energy, founded in 2005, made a subtle announcement more than a year ago. A well-respected testing company, Stanford Research International (SRI), had validated that the company’s hydrogen hot tube (HHT) technology could reliably produce more energy than was put into it. Since that initial low-key (made mainly to the LENR/cold fusion community) announcement, Brillouin has licensed its technology to two international companies. It sees licensing as the path forward to commercial.

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Category: Science