Here is a revised version of the message I sent the other day. Villa reported no gamma emissions or other radiation significantly above background from the Rossi device. Celani, however, said that he did detect something. Here are the details he related to me at ICCF16, from my notes, with corrections and additions by Celani.
Celani attended the demonstration on Jan. 14. The device did not work at first. He and others were waiting impatiently in a room next to the room with the device. He estimates that he was around 6 m from the device. He had two battery-powered detectors: 1. A sodium iodide gamma detector (NaI), set for 1 s acquisition time. 2. A Geiger counter (model GEM Radalert II, Perspective Scientific), which was set to 10 s acquisition time. Both were turned on as he waited. The sodium iodide detector was in count mode rather than spectrum mode; that is, it just tells the number of counts per second. Both showed what Celani considers normal background for Italy at that elevation. As he was waiting, suddenly, during a 1-second interval both detectors were saturated. That is to say, they both registered counts off the scale. The following seconds the NaI detector returned to nomal. The Geiger counter had to be switched off to "delete overrange," which was >7.5 microsievert/hour, and later switched on again. About 1 to 2 minutes after this event, Rossi emerged from the other room and said the machine just turned on and the demonstration was underway. Celani commented that the only conventional source of gamma rays far from a nuclear reactor would be a rare event: a cosmic ray impact on the atmosphere producing proton storm shower of particles. He and I agreed it is extremely unlikely this happened coincidentally the same moment the reactor started . . . Although, come to think of it, perhaps the causality is reversed, and the cosmic ray triggered the Rossi device. Another scientist said perhaps both detectors malfunctioned because of an electromagnetic source in the building or some other prosaic source. Celani considers this unrealistic because he also had in operation battery-operated radio frequency detectors: an ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) and RF (COM environmental microwave monitor), both made by Perspective Scientific. No radio frequency anomalies were detected. I remarked that it is also unrealistic because the two gamma detectors are battery powered and they work on different principles. The scientist pointed to neutron detectors in an early cold fusion experiment that malfunctioned at a certain time of day every day because some equipment in the laboratory building was turned on every day. That sort of thing can happen with neutron detectors, which are finicky, but this Geiger counter is used for safety monitoring. Such devices have to be rugged and reliable or they will not keep you safe, so I doubt it is easy to fool one of them. Celani expresses some reservations about the reality of the Rossi device. Given his detector results I think it would be more appropriate for him to question the safety of it. When Celani went in to see the experiment in action, he brought out the sodium iodide detector and prepared to change it to spectrum mode, which would give him more information about the ongoing reaction. Rossi objected vociferously, saying the spectrum would give Celani (or anyone else who see it), all they need to know to replicate the machine and steal Ross's intellectual property. Celani later groused that there is no point to inviting scientists to a demo if you have no intentions of letter them use their own instruments. (Note, however, that Levi et al. did use their own instruments.) Jacques Dufour also attended the demonstration. He does not speak much Italian, so he could not follow the discussion. He made some observations, including one that I consider important, namely that the outlet pipe was far too hot to touch. That means the temperature of it was over 70°C. That, in turn, proves there was considerable excess heat. McKubre and others have said the outlet temperature sensor was too close to the body of the device. Others have questioned whether the steam was really dry or not. If the question is whether the machine really produced heat or not, these factors can be ignored. All you need to know is the temperature of the tap water going in (15°C), the flow rate and the power input (400 W). At that power level the outlet pipe would be ~30°C. Celani points out that the input power was quite unstable, fluctuating between 400 and 800 W, but it was still not large enough to explain the excess heat. Celani did not see the steam emerge from the end of the pipe, but he reported the whistling sound of steam passing through the pipe. (Dufour did not notice that but he says he is hard of hearing, especially high frequency sounds.) I think there is no question the water boiled, and much of it was vaporized, so there was massive excess heat. Celani complained that phase-change calorimetry is too complicated, but I think he exaggerates the difficulty. I agree that the actual calorimetric method could be improved, especially with a 5-minute test of steam sparged into a container of cold water. - Jed