Department of Energy officials plan to visit the University of Utah next week to discuss plans for further experimentation with cold fusion.

DOE spokesman Jeff Sherwood told the Deseret News Tuesday that the visit by two DOE project grants officials will be a follow-up to a recent DOE decision to give the U. $322,000 to help continue research on cold fusion."It's a little unusual though, because they don't visit every grantee," he said. "But there is so much information developing so quickly that they want to keep on top of it and discuss plans for the future. It's safe to say that if there hadn't been so much excitement and interest about this, the trip might not otherwise have been made."

Also of interest, a story in the Washington Times Tuesday said the U. cold fusion experiment and its implications has caught the attention of White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, an engineer by training, and that the matter has been discussed with President Bush.

Unnamed administration budget officials were also quoted by the Times saying they are closely watching attempts to replicate the experiment to help them decide whether more federal funds should be directed toward future cold fusion research.