ENEL is Italy’s Torrealta_4major energy utility company, the second largest in Europe by market capitalization. So, it’s particularly interesting to illustrate its early behavior towards research on LENR, as shown from publicly available sources.

Formerly a state-owned monopoly founded in 1962 and with headquarters in Rome, ENEL is now partially privatized with Italian government control: the largest shareholder (31,2%) is the Italian Ministry of Economy & Finance. Today, ENEL manages the majority of the Italian electricity distribution network and is a multinational power company operating in 32 countries, with a particular focus in Europe and in Latin America.

As very well documented in a video broadcast on the Italian TV some years ago and also available on YouTube clicking here, in 2004 ENEL analyzed the opportunity to participate in the successful research program on LENR carried out, in Italy, by the ENEA (at the time, the Italian “National Agency for Alternative Energies”) at its laboratories in Frascati, near Rome, under the supervision of Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Laureate for Physics in 1984.

Indeed, the authors of the TV program “L’inchiesta”, conducted by the journalist Maurizio Torrealta (see the photo above), were in possession of an ENEL’s document dated February 2, 2004, in which the Company evaluated the possibility to come into play. Such program of investigative journalism, lasting about 25 minutes, was created in 2004 and has been broadcasted on the Italian state-owned TV channel RaiNews24, addressing over 100 topics.

We read, in this very interesting letter shown on TV: “The phenomenon does not seem to be totally a hoax, although its application in the field of power generation seems remote”. And the ENEL’s internal report, signed by G. Liberati, concludes with these words: “The decision on the possible financing must consider, alongside the scientific aspects, also the aspects regarding the image”. It was a bit like saying: be careful not to lose your face!


The cited conclusion of the analysis made in 2004 by G. Liberati on the ENEL’s possible participation in the financing of ENEA activities related to the cold fusion.

The management of ENEL got the message and, at the time, not even one euro was invested in this type of research, despite it was already knew – especially among the experts of cold fusion – that similar studies could have some impact in the energy field.

It is curious that the same TV program, some minutes before, had revealed that on March 4, 2003, the managers of Electricité de France (EDF) – the French energy giant – had met the heads of the French “Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission” (CEA), the institution which manages all nuclear activities in Paris, civil and military. In such summit, the French power company asked the CEA to return to work on cold fusion.

Antonella De Ninno – physicist leader at ENEA of an excellent research group on LENR including also Antonio Frattolillo – tells some details: “We received a strange call by the High Commissariat for Atomic Energy. Then we received a letter in which their chief invited us to go to Paris to hold a seminar on cold fusion. Scientists from the Commissariat for Atomic Energy listened the report of the ENEA’s physicists and decided to pursue the matter”.

De Ninno_3Antonella De Ninno, researcher at ENEA, Frascati, tells on TV the here cited story.

The three scientists invited in France by the CEA were Emilio Del Giudice (INFN, Milan), Antonella De Ninno and Antonio Frattolillo (ENEA, Frascati). But the CEA was not interested in a collaboration. It simply responded to a request by EDF to see what Italian scientists had done.

As Antonella De Ninno reports to the interviewer: “Three persons came here, were guests at ENEA for one day, visited the laboratory, made very detailed questions, took photographs, made drawings. We misinterpreted it as a willingness on their part to cooperate”.

Thanks to the information collected at ENEA in Frascati, EDF created in France a cold fusion laboratory in one of its research centers, located near Paris. On the contrary, almost in the same period the Italian ENEL had missed its first opportunity in this field…

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    • Gian Luca

    • February 19, 2015

    • 3:44 PM

    • Reply

    Do not forget that great responsibility on the decisions taken by ENEA and ENEL is due to Carlo Rubbia, seeing and hearing what Dr. Deninno says the same, never responded to what is written in the “report 32”, which he requested (subsidized with hundreds of millions of lire) scientists to Frascati, which stated that it was not a hoax what F & P had found.
    Why never responded to that communication?
    Why would not respond to nemmno giornalisiti who tried to interview him?
    And ‘so that a scientist behaves?
    This could be a starting point for a new book investigation ….. we explain how it is possible that the same thing in Italy is discarded outside (in this case France) is praised and developed.
    (Excuse me for translation with google but my English is not as complete)

  1. Nice piece, brava Vessela.
    I just want to give information about CEA ( Commissariat Pour l’Energie Atomique) of Paris, an institution strictly in connection with Areva.
    I had the honour to know two nuclear physicists that work there on the LENR, Dr Pierre Clauzon and Dr Jacques Dufour. They made a very good work with the LENR, visited repeatedly my factories in Bologna ( first) and in Ferrara ( eventually) and I learnt many things from both.
    I am convinced that from them something important will be born in France in the LENR field. Dr Dufour also made a research on this field for Shell. I am in constant contact with Dr Pierre Clauzon.
    By the way: he worked also in the Hot Fusion Caradache concern, but his intellectual honesty allowed him not to hold a hostile position toward my work, but, on the contrary, he has always been positive and collaborative. He also made a bet with some friends of him that within two years the E-Cat will be a commercial breakthrough. Don’t ask me how much he bet: an obscene sum.
    Warm Regards to all,

  2. Thank you Mats, I remember that part of your book because it was a scoop… 🙂 The story of ENEL and LENR is much longer and instructive, this was only the beginning… I think that all the major energy utilities in the world are considering the possibility to start researches in LENR, if they’re not not yet involved. ENEL is currently involved, but not directly. About EDF I have not information, but I remember that the person who decided to make this research in EDF, unfortunately, was killed. At that time, all the researches regarding the palladium line were de facto prohibited, in some way, due to the military applications, as explained by Emilio Del Giudice in his book “The secret of the three bullets”.

    • Nero

    • February 16, 2015

    • 4:42 PM

    • Reply

    Many are trying to replicate an Hot-cat … But the e-cat seems less dangerous and reliable … If the principle is the same, why not try this?

  3. I could add this piece from my book ‘An IMpossible Invention’:

    – – – –
    While working with Focardi in Bondeno, Rossi would again experience the impression that he did not get the support he wanted in Italy.
    In summer 2009 he contacted Italy’s major utility Enel—the second-largest in Europe—through his friend Giuliano Guandalini. Guandalini had a rich network of contacts among powerful people in Italy. Among others, he was closely acquainted with Enel Chairman Piero Gnudi and discussed with him whether Enel would be interested in evaluating Rossi’s technology. As a result, Enel had two of their engineers visit Bondeno to measure the E-Cat accurately. In early July 2009 they filed a positive technical report. Enel made an offer to Rossi but Rossi soon realized that he could not accept the terms. Guandalini explained why.
    “Enel had drafted a proposal for collaboration with Rossi and suggested that the company would finance the entire development cost. But Enel refused to recognize or pay for the work Rossi had already performed. The remuneration Rossi requested was modest. For years of study and for costs and investments, he specified an amount that Enel would not recognize and this was why contact between Enel and Rossi ceased.
    “I later called Dr. Gnudi again and said that I was sorry that Italy would miss such an important opportunity. Gnudi said that he could not do anything. He explained that at the operational level the CEO of Enel was more important than the chairman.
    “I never talked with the CEO, Dr. Fulvio Conti, only with an engineer, Livio Vido, Conti’s spokesman. Rossi heard directly from Vido, who manages development of new technologies and innovative energy sources. I was present. But obviously the announcement from Vido came directly from Dr. Conti, as CEO. In other words Dr. Conti took the unfortunate decision to terminate relations with Rossi, though the chairman tried to continue the project.”
    I contacted Enel to get a comment on this incident but I never got any response.
    – – – –
    (An Impossible Invention, chapter 7).

      • Salvatore Boi

      • February 19, 2015

      • 2:56 PM

      • Reply

      Thank you Mats, I remember very well this this big scoop that you’ve wrote in your book, but only you would can done what have you done. 😉

  4. Thanks for that historical perspective.

    I wonder what is now the EDF lab ? closed I imagine?

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