A scientific review of the work done at the National Cold Fusion Institute has been delayed, but the center's director says the remarks of four independent scientific analysts are "positive."

The scientists' report was to have been submitted Monday to the state Fusion Energy Advisory Council, which oversees the $5 million appropriation that created the institute.However, institute director Fritz Will said the report "has not been received in its entirety, and the state committee desires time to study the report before making a public statement."

The panel was to have met Dec. 20, but the meeting has been rescheduled for Jan. 8.

The institute was founded in August 1989 to continue the work begun by electrochemists B. Stanley Pons and British colleague Martin Fleischmann, who announced the previous March that they had achieved a sustained nuclear fusion reaction in a tabletop experiment.

However, financial concerns prompted members of the university's science faculty to demand an independent review of the institute's methodology, and four outside scientists were commissioned to conduct the review in November.

"The delay in furnishing this statement should not be construed as meaning the review has a negative undertone," Will said in a prepared statement Monday.