Skip to main content

Search for evidence of nuclear involvement in the fatal explosion of a “cold fusion” experiment


Forensic analyses of debris from the fatal explosion of an electrochemical “cold fusion” cell at SRI International were conducted at LLNL at the request of Cal-OSHA. One investigation focused on the possibility of conventional nuclear reaction mechanisms contributing to the total energy inventory of the incident. Selected metal components of the electrolysis apparatus were subjected to nondestructive γ-ray spectrometry with high-sensitivity, low-background Ge detector systems. The anticipated analytes in these studies were radioactivation products potentially induced in the explosion residue by either fast or thermal neutrons. The results of this investigation were negative within the temporal constraints of the incident and the analytical sensitivities of the instrumentation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. C. AANDERSON, Nature, 355 (1992) 102.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. D. P. HAMILTON, Science, 255 (1992) 153.

    Google Scholar 

  3. M. FLEISCHMANN, S. PONS, M. HAWKINS, J. Electroanal. Chem., 261 (1989) 301.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. O. PORT, J. CAREY, R. BUDERI, N. GROSS, Business Week, March 2, 1992, pp. 90–92.

  5. R. GUNNINK J. B. NIDAY, Computerized Quantitative Analysis by Gamma-Ray Spectrometry, UCRL-51061, 5 vols., LLNL, 1971–1972.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Grant, P.M., Whipple, R.E., Bazan, F. et al. Search for evidence of nuclear involvement in the fatal explosion of a “cold fusion” experiment. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Articles 193, 165–169 (1995).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Analytical Sensitivity
  • Total Energy
  • Detector System
  • Reaction Mechanism