That was surprising enough, but they also claimed to have done it with inexpensive equipment that could be found in most high school chemistry classes. It caused a big stir in the media and in science circles, but months and years passed without the promised cold fusion.
Physics professor Robert Park, in his book Voodoo Science (Oxford University Press, 2000), notes: "One reason Pons and Fleischmann had to be wrong was because the number of neutrinos they claimed to see was at least a million times too small to account for the energy they reported."
Furthermore, there were early indications that something wasn't right about the researchers' experiments. For one thing, the byproducts of deuterium fusion include neutron, tritium and gamma rays. In fact, their experiment would have produced lethal doses of nuclear radiation on a scale that approached Russia's Chernobyl reactor. It didn't.