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FUSION, FISSION: Y. CHEMIST SAYS FUSION RESEARCH IS WORTH THE EFFORT, WAIT AND COST

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The chairman of Brigham Young University's chemical engineering department says it may be some time before researchers discover a practical use for cold fusion, but the money and effort being put into cold-fusion research is still well worth it.

Speaking Friday as part of BYU's Homecoming Alumni Weekend, Douglas N. Bennion said that cold fusion is another step in man's search for a more abundant and affordable source of heat - the key to producing energy.Bennion gave a brief outline on the history of energy and said that most resources used to produce energy today are limited. He said researchers are excited about the possibility of producing heat from cold fusion because supplies of deuterium, the key element in cold fusion, are unlimited. Therefore, a discovery of a practical amount of heat from cold fusion could solve the world's energy problems.

However, Bennion said all claims of heat from cold fusion so far have been at levels far below any useful amount and have not been proven.

Bennion said the research needs to take place at a modest and patient rate. Results are usually more accurate when the process is not hurried, he said.

"People have to recognize that we're not going to see anything too fantastic too quickly," he said.