I would like to emphasize one other aspect of LENR that is frequently overlooked: Fusion can be caused by two different mechanisms.
The common one, called hot fusion, involves applying high energy to the reacting nuclei. This approach takes advantage of the increased reaction rate applied energy provides. Science has ignored what happens when fusion takes place at low energy because the rates are too low to study the process.
Discovery of LENR, called cold fusion, has revealed how the fusion rate can be increased without using applied energy. However this process requires a unique condition I identify as the NAE. As many people have noted, the NAE acts like a catalyst so that applied energy is no longer required. This being the case, the essential understanding of the LENR process resides in the nature of the NAE. Creation of the NAE makes LENR possible and the unique fusion mechanism operates only within the confines of the NAE.
A condition is created within the NAE in which the Coulomb barrier can be overcome without applied energy, and mass-energy can be converted to heat energy without producing the high-energy radiation normally associated with nuclear interaction. The magic of LENR takes place in and only in the NAE.
This concept does not conflict with or violate any physical law because this unique condition has yet to be explored by science. This is virgin territory having no relationship to hot fusion or to the concepts obtained from studies of the hot fusion mechanism.
Therefore, identifying and describing the NAE is essential to creating a useful theory about LENR. Because the NAE is part of a chemical structure, the chemical conditions must be part of this understanding.
Unlike hot fusion, which occurs in plasma, cold fusion is strongly influenced by the chemical properties of the material in which NAE forms. Most theories mistakenly ignore the chemical requirements.
Without a chemical structure and its chemical behavior, the NAE cannot form and LENR cannot occur. Consequently, LENR is first and foremost a chemical process with nuclear consequences. Thus, the focus should be shifted from the nuclear consequences to those conditions required to form the NAE and to its role in hosting the nuclear reactions.
This idea might be a bridge too far for many theoreticians, nevertheless, I strongly suggest an effort be made to cross the bridge rather than keep trying to swim the river.