I think that a self sustaining reactor should be the final "nail in the coffin" for the skeptics. Where does the energy come from if all other sources have been eliminated?
The fact that the one megawatt plant will use no input power (the vast majority of the time) is very important. This will be absolute -- beyond any doubt -- proof that the technology works as claimed. Simply put, the pathological skeptics and naysayers will not be able to refute that cold fusion is taking place. [emphasis added]
As for why it could work, the Bose Einstein Condensate Theory may check out. Several weeks ago, I recall seeing this observation about the phenomenon known as "cold fusion"
|"cold fusion is a surface effect phenomenon", http://youtu.be/gGJiLrG3fLY, at 46 minutes into video|
Now, let's look at the Bose Einstein Condensate Theory, put forth by Yeong Kim, Purdue Nuclear and Many Body Theory Group (PNMBTG) Preprint PNMBTG-6-2011 (June 2011)
(1) additives used (not disclosed in the patent application) form Ni alloy and/or Ni metal/alloy oxide in the surface regions of nickel nano-scale particles, so that Ni atoms/nuclei become mobile with a sufficiently large diffusion coefficient and (2) local magnetic field is very weak in the surface regions, providing a suitable environment in which two neighboring protons can couple their spins anti-parallel to form spin-zero singlet state (S=0). Relatively low Curie temperature (nickel has the Curie temperature of 631 oK (~358 oC)) is expected to help to maintain the weak magnetic field in the surface regions [emphasis added]
There may be some objections to the Bose Einstein Condensates forming at these temperatures, but the others who say it can happen. The theory has to be experimentally tested.
Returning to Mill's article:
Secondly, the nickel powder is processed in such a way that tubercles or protrusions form on it. After this processing, the nickel may resemble filamentary nickel.
This further supports the notion that it is a surface phenomenon. Filaments mean more surface area, I gather.
The high surface activity of T255 nickel powder's fine filamentary structure facilitates diffusion during sintering, ensuring high porosity with good strength, superior conductivity and long battery life.[http://www.incosp.com/products/type_255/]In a Bose Einstein Condensate, the coulomb barrier is suppressed, which allows the "cold fusion" reaction to take place.