IX Power Names Dr. Otis (Pete) Peterson Chief Nuclear Reactor Designer

LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO, June 18, 2012 — IX Power CEO John R (Grizz) Deal announced today that Dr. Otis (Pete) Peterson has been named Chief Nuclear Reactor Designer at the firm. According to Deal, Dr. Peterson’s first assignment in his new role will be to lead a global team evaluating medium-size nuclear reactor designs for commercialization by IX Power.

Dr. Peterson was a co-founder and the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Hyperion Power Generation (now Gen4 Energy), which was founded in May 2007 by Deal, Peterson, Dr. Robert L. (Bob) Libutti, and Deborah Deal-Blackwell. Peterson’s revolutionary work in small reactor designs laid the foundation for Hyperion Power’s product offering which provided many in the United States, including members of Congress, with their first introduction to what would come to be known as SMRs: Small Modular Reactors.

In September 2011, Peterson, along with the other Hyperion Power co-founders plus Randall Wilson, former CFO and COO of Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC) formed IX Power to commercialize safe power and clean water technologies from U.S., U.K., and Russian national Laboratories.

“We are obviously pleased Dr. Peterson can focus 100% of his efforts on IX Power now,” said IX Power companies CEO John R. (Grizz) Deal. “His contributions and efforts to the nuclear power industry are one of the principal reasons there is now a modern, commercial Small and Modular Reactor (SMR) category of nuclear power plants.”

Since the inception of IX Power last summer, Dr. Peterson has been focused on evaluating and validating dozens of innovations at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). IX Power has a long-term Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with LANL for power and water technologies and is launching three LANL innovations during 2012 as fully developed products.

IX Power and the IX Power Foundation were formed to jump-start solutions to the global need for safe power and clean water. Bringing an experienced world-class team and technologies from U.S., U.K., and Russian national laboratories, the company is incorporating both fresh and proven innovations to create advanced solutions that can be rapidly developed and deployed. The IX Power team has been commercializing new technologies for over 20 years; turning ideas into products, securing “lead-launch” customers, and providing a platform to grow product lines into complete enterprises.

The company is based in Los Alamos, New Mexico, U.S.A. Its international headquarters is located in London and run by Dr. Edward (Ned) Swan.


Somebody Ought To Do Something About That: Medical Radioisotopes

When we first organized IX Power last summer, we agreed that too often people would say “somebody ought to do something about that” and that WE would be the company that WOULD do something.

As part of that initiative I am starting a new series here on the IX Power blog called, appropriately enough, Somebody Ought To Do Something About That.

The IX Power Staff isn’t capable of doing everything we find interesting, even in the safe power and clean water spaces on which we’re focused. So, my hope is one of our readers will pick up on things identified in this series and provide some perspective. Perhaps YOU can even “do something about it.” Continue reading

Read the letters to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Rod’s blog

Today I’d like to use this spot to draw attention to Rod Adams’ blog “Atomic Insights.”  Now, Rod’s blog posts are always fresh and interesting, but please read up on this one in particular:


The two letters to the Blue Ribbon Commission that are presented here – although they probably fell on deaf ears- along with all the comments, were excellent.  I have never been able to understand WHY this country doesn’t want to move beyond LWRs and reap the benefits of obviously better technology such as that offered by fast reactors.  

I beat my head on the walls in Washington, D.C. regarding this subject for 5 years at Hyperion Power. I believe just a relative few truly could admit they saw the potential – the rest were mired in their own political entanglements, ambitions, ambivalence, laziness, didn’t want to rock the boat, etc.
We must overcome this inertia in nuclear technology advances!  The U.S. is just getting further and further behind in nuclear energy leadership.  We will not prevent other countries from taking the reigns and leaving us in the dust.  Other countries are becoming more and more nuclear independent.  They will not NEED the U.S. anymore – our technology OR our permission.  The only way to monitor against  nefarious nuclear activity is to be on the ground, cooperating in every country, where nuclear energy is being pursued.  But, how can we do that if our own regulatory and political system prevents us from developing desirable improved technologies? 
Keep up the good work Rod – and all the rest of you that are standing up for fast reactors and true solutions for spent fuel. 
Deb Deal-Blackwell, APR       :-)

Fast Reactors are the Future of Nuclear Power (and They are Already Here)

Nuclear reactors. In a time when the safety image of the nuclear industry is still recovering from the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan this past Spring, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has just released a huge manual of information which should help disseminate information and encourage yet another type of power reactor. But this, to steal a phrase from home economic guru Martha Stewart, “is a good thing.”

The reactors that experienced problems in Japan were quite frankly old. They were still using old, what is known as “light water” technology. What the IAEA has just released is a compilation of information on “fast neutron reactors.” Fast reactors use what’s termed “liquid metal” as a coolant. The most popular of the “metals” right now is sodium, but lead bismuth, having been successfully utilized in Russian nuclear submarines, is also gaining momentum. 

An advantage of “fast reactors” is that they can reduce the total radiotoxicity of nuclear waste and dramatically reduce the waste’s lifetime. They can also be designed to utilize the useful fuel in nuclear waste. This of course, would cut down on the need to mine uranium.

Fast reactors can also run longer than light water reactors without refueling. This cuts down the amount of risk associated with refueling that occurs every 18 to 24 months for light water reactors.

The new manual from the IAEA compiles a lot of information and covers a lot of ground that nuclear power researchers and engineers will need to further develop fast reactors. What’s been holding back the development and further use of this technology is the lack of information available for sharing within the nuclear industry. A comprehensive report on fast reactors – now that’s a good thing

To access the report, “Status and Trends of Nuclear Fuels Technology for Sodium Cooled Fast Reactors,” go to: http://www-pub.iaea.org/books/IAEABooks/8333/Status-and-Trends-of-Nuclear-Fuels-Technology-for-Sodium-Cooled-Fast-Reactors

Deborah Deal-Blackwell