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infinite energy

Critics Kill Prof. George Miley's Historic U.S. DOE Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Contract
(Published November, 1999 In Infinite Energy Magazine Issue #28)
Compiled by Dr. Eugene Mallove
Read the Issue No. 27 Article here.

In Issue No. 26 of Infinite Energy, we reported that Prof. George Miley's Low- Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) Group at the University of Illinois had been awarded a peer-reviewed U.S. Department of Energy contract— for an experimental study to verify previously tested electrolytic techniques to remediate radioactive nuclides. In Issue No. 27, we reported that Miley's grant was in danger of being eliminated by a chorus of cold fusion critics who protested to DOE officials about the award. The critics have now succeeded in getting the Miley grant killed.

Miley's funding of approximately $100,000 has been eliminated by DOE before one penny of it was transferred to the University of Illinois. A secret "review" of the science behind the award by an unnamed panel of six individuals (increased for some unknown reason from the original three panelists) did the killing. Other universities winning these NERI— Nuclear Energy Research Initiative— awards have received their funding already.

Infinite Energy's Eugene Mallove maintains regular contact with U.S. Senator Bob Smith's office, keeping Senator Smith and his advisors apprised of the current state of the cold fusion field. In this instance Senator Smith obliged with a thoughtful letter to the DOE, advising them not to be "closed to new ideas and approaches." We reprinted his July letter in our last issue. The DOE official, William D. Magwood, IV, who caved in and lowered the boom on Miley's grant, responded to Senator Smith with the following vacuous letter:

Dear Senator Smith:
   Thank you for your letter of July 28, 1999, to Mr. John C. Angell, expressing the concern of Dr. Eugene Mallove, Editor-in-Chief, Infinite Energy Magazine, over an article in the July issue of Science magazine stating that the Department of Energy is taking extraordinary measures to review a grant made to professor George Miley of the University of Illinois. You encouraged the Department to reconsider placing "additional impediments" in the way of this research project. Your letter was forwarded to the Office of Nuclear Science and Technology for reply.
   The proposal in question, selected for negotiation of an award under the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) is entitled Scientific Feasibility Study of Low Energy Reactions for Nuclear Waste Amelioration. This proposal was first reviewed by a peer review panel in the field of nuclear waste technology as identified in the proposal. We believe this review was appropriate. However, the unique and crosscutting nature of this proposal prompted us to conduct a further evaluation of the proposal by six independent peer reviewers specializing in the fundamental sciences, appointed by the Department's Office [sic] Science. This review, completed on September 7, 1999, did not recommend that this proposal be funded. As a result, there will not be a NERI award for this proposal in fiscal year 1999.
   We hope this answers the questions raised in your letter. Please contact us any time if you have any further questions.
William D. Magwood, IV, Director
Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology

As this issue of Infinite Energy goes to press, we are in direct contact with Ms. Hope Williams of the DOE's publicity office, in an attempt to have at least two major questions answered about this travesty: (1) Did the impetus to have Miley's grant reviewed come from outside the DOE or from within? and (2) What are the names and affiliations of the six panelists who killed the contract? DOE policy prohibits DOE managers from talking to the press without clearance by the DOE press office.

As reported in my last month's "Breaking Through" editorial, we have solid information from a DOE insider that one of the six panelists was Dr. John Huizenga of the infamous 1989 DOE ERAB Cold Fusion Panel. Huizenga could hardly be considered an unbiased reviewer. We wonder who were the other review panel participants. David Malakoff's article in Science, (September 24, 1999, "Thumbs Down," p. 2043) reports that "six new reviewers recommended that DOE spend its money elsewhere." According to an e-mail from Malakoff to Miley, this was a unanimous decision. NERI's John Herczeg notes to Science, "We'll be taking a closer look from now on."

Thus does a Federal bureaucracy work— quaking in its bureaucratic pants at the slightest whiff of "political embarrassment" threatened by the high-priests of official science. One would have hoped that "the unique and crosscutting nature of this proposal" referred to by Magwood in his letter would have made this a prized piece of research work that might have led to a window on revolutionary science and technology. Not so. The Federal government wants uniformity and incrementalism in its wasteful DOE funding.

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