1993 JASON Report to the Pentagon by Richard Garwin and Nathan Lewis Confirming LENR Excess Heat at SRI International

Report Obtained and Published by New Energy Times in 2004


"Neither Nate Lewis nor I has any reluctance to entertain and recognize a purely experimental discovery. We don't need a theory to make us believe our eyes. But we do need a significant, reproducible effect, and that is what McKubre and his colleagues are attempting to produce."

"... we held one [a cold fusion cell] in our hands and are now quite familiar with its construction. We also had extensive discussions of data from one of these cells, which according to a summary chart has provided about 3% excess heat. This is not a derived kind of excess heat, related to the minimum electrochemical energy required to electrolyze water to produce dihydrogen(g) and dioxygen(g), but an honestly phrased fractional excess over the total power delivered to the electrochemical cell itself."

"The uncertainty in excess power measurement is about 50 milliwatts, but the excess power appears to be on the order of 500 milliwatts or even 1 watt peak. [10:1 signal to noise ratio.] However, excess power is still a deduced quantity and depends upon the calibration of the calorimeter."   [Note: McKubre's first principles closed-cell, mass-flow calorimeter, features a 98% heat recovery and an absolute accuracy of < ±0.4%]

"... on cells L3 and L4, we note that a chemical reaction involving the Pd at perhaps 1.5 eV per atom would correspond to about 3.5 kJ of heat; this is to be compared with the 3 Mj [One thousand times greater] of "excess heat" observed, so such an excess could not possibly be of chemical origin."

"We believe that there are a few things (probably irrelevant) not very well understood by the experimenters.

"While cells that do not "load" the requisite 0.92 D:Pd level would indeed serve as controls, we believe it highly desirable to run a number of cells on light water equal to the number of experimental cells."

"This is a serious effort to obtain reliable calorimetric data on heavy water electrolyzed in a cell with a palladium cathode. It is larger in scale and has more electrochemical expertise than the work of Tom Droege of Fermilab, who obtains excellent data but no excess heat.

We have found no specific experimental artifact [i.e. error] responsible for the finding of excess heat, but we would like to see eventually (as would the experimenters) a larger effect and one that can be more reliably exhibited."


Unprocessed PDF


Dec. 7, 2010, Update by Steven B. Krivit:

In June 1998, the Electric Power Research Institute published Development of Energy Production Systems From Heat Produced in Deuterated Metals, Volume 1, TR-107843-V1, which provides a comprehensive overview of much, if not all, the SRI International LENR work. It includes detailed notes of the L-Series experiments, discussed in the Garwin-Lewis report cited above.

On the pdf page 188 (internally numbered 3-59), the authors explain a problem with cell L3 in detail and advise that, as a result, "the values of excess power displayed in figures [for L3] must be interpreted with caution."

For L4, the authors state, "The results, shown in figures [for L4], should be interpreted with the same caution as advised above for the results of experiment L3.”

Furthermore, according to this EPRI report, cells L1 and L2 did not show excess heat.

I discovered these facts on Dec. 6, 2010. Until then, my interpretation, as well as Garwin's interpretation, had been that the SRI researchers had accurately measured excess heat in the L3 and L4 experiments.

Garwin and Lewis, during their on-site examination and review of the SRI lab, had failed to find any artifact responsible for the measured excess heat.

Based on the newly uncovered information in the EPRI report, the results of cells L1-L4 no longer can be stated confidently as observations of excess heat. Based on my discussions with Garwin, I believe that he did not know the specific details of the artifacts for cells L3 and L4 until I found them in the EPRI report.

It is my conclusion therefore that Garwin and Lewis had believed for 17 years that the excess heat measured in those experiments was scientifically valid and accurate. But neither of them said so publicly.

To my knowledge, this is the first public notice of the detailed artifacts with cells L3 and L4. I thank Garwin for information that led to my finding of these facts.