I think the author of the story hasn't completely understood. The phenomenon exists, that's quite clear.
Robert Duncan, Vice Chancellor for Research University of Missouri: "There have been great advances in this discipline over the last five years by research labs and private institutions around the world, and this work will be explored at ICCF-18. The Naval Research Lab (NRL), and many other excellent laboratories have confirmed that the excess heat effects reported by Fleischmann and Pons are real, and roughly one thousand times larger than can be attributed to a chemical process." http://iccf18.research.missouri.edu/welcome.php
Dennis Bushnell, NASA: "The current situation is that we now have over two decades of hundreds of experiments worldwide indicating heat and transmutations with minimal radiation and low energy input. By any rational measure, this evidence indicates something real is occurring. So, is LENR "Real?" Evidently, from the now long standing and diverse experimental evidence. And, yes - with effects occurring from using diverse materials, methods of energy addition etc. This is far from a "Narrow Band" set of physical phenomena. " http://futureinnovation.larc.nasa.gov/view/articles/futurism/bushnell/low-energy-nuclear-reactions.html
President of the Italian National Agency For Energy (ENEA): "In other words, two government programs – carried out in close interaction and with check of results – have proved the existence of this phenomenon in terms that are not ascribable to a chemical process." http://old.enea.it/produzione_scientifica/volumi/V2008_16_ColdFusion.html
(foreword of the book)
What the phenomenon is, that is still unknown.