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The story I'm thinking of is from the mid90s to early 2000s, featuring a group that suppresses dangerous technology. One character from that organization reminisces about the trouble they had suppressing cold fusion because (per the story) there were a lot of different ways to make cold fusion work.

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It's Madness Has Its Place by Larry Niven, published in Asimovs in 1990 (very soon after cold fusion was announced). The story is available here

One character from that organization reminisces about the trouble they had suppressing cold fusion because (per the story) there were a lot of different ways to make cold fusion work.

"If a lot of people know something can be done, somebody'll do it. We can suppress it and suppress it again—"

She pounced. "Like what?"

"Like . . . well, the usual example is the first cold fusion system. They did it with palladium and platinum, but half a dozen other metals work. And organic superconductors: the patents listed a wrong ingredient. Various grad students tried it wrong and still got it. If there's a way to do it, there's probably a lot of ways."

The organization is Niven's ARM (Amalgamated Regional Militias).

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If it were a full novel, it could be be Influx, by Daniel Suarez.

Physicist Jon Grady and his team have discovered a device that can reflect gravity—a triumph that will revolutionize the field of physics and change the future. But instead of acclaim, Grady’s lab is locked down by a covert organization known as the Bureau of Technology Control.

The bureau’s mission: suppress the truth of sudden technological progress and prevent the social upheaval it would trigger. Because the future is already here. And it’s rewards are only for a select few.

When Grady refuses to join the BTC, he’s thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison housing other doomed rebel intellects. Now, as the only hope to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age, Grady and his fellow prisoners must try to expose the secrets of an unimaginable enemy—one that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making.

From the book:

“Yes. And if not the U.S. government or BTC splinter groups, then a hundred other enemies.” Hedrick gazed up at the world on the screens. “It’s all spinning out of control. It’s getting harder and harder to contain all this technology.” He turned back to Morrison. “How many people in Hibernity have invented fusion now—sixty? Seventy?”

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  • I don't think this is it, but good catch
    – Andrew
    Jul 7, 2023 at 10:35

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