Los Alamos National Laboratory, which did much of the groundwork on the atom bomb, is having trouble confirming cold nuclear fusion.

"Siegfried Hecker (director of the government laboratory) said they have not duplicated the Utah experiment," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, reported Tuesday. "Dr. Pons is there to answer questions."University of Utah chemistry professor B. Stanley Pons, who surprised world scientists with his March 23 announcement on cold nuclear fusion, went to New Mexico Monday night to discuss possible collaboration. Los Alamos scientists, like others throughout the world, have been trying to duplicate Utah's cold nuclear fusion experiment.

Because the breakthrough could give a healthy boost to Utah's economy, Hatch is interested in Pons' visit to Los Alamos.

Hatch quoted the director as saying that in trying to duplicate the experiment, Los Alamos scientists have seen some things "they consider to be amazing."

"It is exciting to them," Hatch said. "But he said they have been excited about things before that haven't worked out."

The chemists remain optimistic; the physicists are still pessimistic, Hecker told Hatch. "They all were anxious to talk with Dr. Pons," Hatch said.