The “binuclear atom”– has been known but ignored since the early days of LENR. 
1991 to be exact. It is metastable, and that could be part of the problem. 

The metastability of the binuclear atom could disappear in a host matrix 
temporarily, and additionally could supply fast ions on decay - even without 
nuclear fusion.

More recently, there has been ongoing speculation about getting deuterons close 
enough (naturally by a densification process) so as to benefit from the strong 
force, in order to facilitate fusion. 

Protons are known to pair naturally, but as it turns out – way back in 1991 in 
an overlooked paper, the exact modality was clearly  identified and with some 
formalism  – the binuclear atom. There are several theories of dense hydrogen 
which may or may not depend on nucleon pairing, but this one – possibly the 
best one -  has been ignored until recently. In fact was not published online 
for 17 years after it was presented.

“(D+D+)2e− binuclear atoms as activated precursors in cold and warm fusion”

AIP Conference Proceedings 228, 668 (1991);

By G. F. Cerofolini and N. Re

Here is a piece on nucleon pairing:

More recently, this binuclear atom mechanism of deuteron pairing was revisited 
by Accomazzi.  Paolo  Accomazzi in the “ Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear 
Science” 25 (2017) 68–75. Available in the LENR-CANR library. This is the 
latest compilation from Biberian.

Amazing to realize  that this route for fusion  has received so little 
attention in the past.

 It can be understood to explain both cold fusion and also Mills and Holmlid, 
as the author (Accomazzi) implies. Notably Cerofolini and Re were not involved 
in LENR and moved on to other pursuits -  and that detail may indicate why 
their paper has been overlooked all these years.

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