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The Secretary of Energy
Washington. DC 20585

April 24, 1989

Mr. John H. Schoettler
Energy Research Advisory Board
US Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585

Dear Mr. Schoettler:

In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of interest in the prospects for "cold fusion" based on experiments at universities in Utah and subsequent experiments performed elsewhere. At present, the apparent observations of cold fusion and significant quantities of energy from this phenomena are being investigated extensively. Because of the potential benefits from practical fusion energy, I request that the Energy Research Advisory Board (ERAB) assess this new area of research. Specifically, I would like the Board to:

  1. Review the experiments and theory of the recent work on cold fusion.

  2. Identify research that should be undertaken to determine, if possible, what physical, chemical, or other processes may be involved.

  3. Finally, identify what R&D direction the DOE should pursue to fully understand these phenomena and develop the information that could lead to their practical application. I request that the Board provide an interim report on the first item by July 31 and a final report on all items by November 15, 1989.



    James D. Watkins
    Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)


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