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Technology Deemed Outstanding

Compact Reactor Technology Deemed Outstanding by Federal Laboratory Consortium

Peterson portrait Dr. Peterson has won numerous awards during his career and was recently elected as a fellow in the Optical Society of America for his contributions to the development of laser technology.

A consortium of federal laboratories has recognized a compact reactor technology developed by Dr. Otis Peterson of Los Alamos National Laboratory as revolutionary in the areas of homeland security and alternative energy.

The technology recognized is a self-stabilizing nuclear power source invented by Dr. Peterson. It is a compact device capable of generating high levels of thermal power and is self-regulating to a constant temperature of operation. The thermal stability of the power module is built into the design and is achieved without any mechanical moving parts or other external controls. The constant temperature characteristic allows the device to regulate its output in relation to how much power is drawn so that it can automatically accommodate power production up to its maximum of approximately 10 megawatts of electricity. The absence of mechanical moving parts should make the reactor nearly maintenance free for months or years. The technology was selected for its timeliness in response to today’s current threats and alternative fuel needs.

Dr. Peterson was recognized for exemplary contribution in his scientific field at the Outstanding Technology Development Awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Mid-Continent Region at a recent ceremony in Oahu, HI.

The FLC was formally chartered by Congress in 1986 to promote and strengthen technology transfer activities. It is a nationwide network of federal laboratories that strives to link laboratory-developed technologies and expertise with the private sector. More than 700 major federal laboratories and centers and their parent departments and agencies are FLC members. The Mid-Continent region of the FLC includes fourteen states and over 100 laboratories. For more information: www.federallabs.org.


compact reactor image


This conceptual drawing shows what a buried reactor might look like. It is self-contained, completely self-regulating, and small enough that it could be dug up at the end of its useful life and taken back to a factory for dismantling and disposal. The beauty of the design is that it addresses many of the major concerns that plague current reactor designs, such as high operating costs and extremely complex safety requirements.

Dr. Peterson envisions that these small reactors would be buried at different points of need, for example, one per industrial complex or one for every 10,000 or more homes. Each unit would generate approximately 10MW or more of power.




Posted 10/03



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