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Charles Peterson
Charles Peterson

Legal Advisor

Charles Peterson is highly regarded in the international nuclear power industry as a market-leading expert and deal-maker with extensive experience in managing a wide array of legal, technical, and business issues relating to nuclear power. He is one of the few lawyers whose credentials include having advised on the UAE and Saudi nuclear power development projects, which are two of the largest modern nuclear projects to-date. Over the course of his long professional career, he has been a chief engineer on nuclear submarines, nuclear power plant engineer, energy business executive, academic, and advisor to various government agencies. In addition to project work, he has experience in litigation, arbitration, and mediation in the energy sector.


Mr. Peterson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1960, and after service as the chief engineer on several nuclear submarines, he received M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Stanford. He served as the General Counsel of General Electric’s Nuclear Fuel Department from 1975-1978. From 1978 to 1983, he served as Division General Counsel of GE Aircraft Equipment, where he was involved in sales of aircraft equipment to the United States and foreign governments. From 1983 to 1987, Mr. Peterson served as the first Executive Vice President of the U.S. subsidiary of Cogema, the French nuclear fuel company which became part of AREVA. From 1987 to 1995, he served as President and CEO of NUEXCO, Inc., where he oversaw NUEXCO’s rise to become the world’s largest nuclear fuel trading company. 


When Mr. Peterson entered private legal practice, he developed a practice based on drafting and negotiating contracts for the construction of nuclear power plants. He used the contracts he developed at General Electric and updated the contracts with the lessons learned from each new nuclear power plant. He started with the contracts for Mitsubishi’s and Toshiba’s nuclear power plants in the United States and extended that with the lessons learned from the Little Willow NPP Project for MidAmerican Energy (Warren Buffet) and the negotiation of the Akkuyu project in Turkey. In 2006, Mr. Peterson was engaged to help ENEC on the Barakah project. As one of ENEC’s top managers, he played a critical role in the development of the numerous contracts for the nuclear power program in the United Arab Emirates. He was one of ENEC’s lead negotiators for the purchase of the Barakah nuclear power plant and was formally recognized for his work with a commendation from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Between 2014 and 2018, he assisted K.A.Care in its efforts to develop a nuclear power program in Saudi Arabia.


Mr. Peterson was head of the international energy practice for the Pillsbury law firm for over ten years. He recently returned from teaching nuclear law in Seoul, Korea. In March 2019, he took a position as Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling in Silicon Valley. He is an active member of the nuclear industry community and has an extensive network of contacts at both industry and government levels in a number of countries stemming from his high-profile body of work and his continuing advisory and teaching roles. Mr. Peterson serves as instructor for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Nuclear Energy Management courses and maintains a consultative relationship with several governments and international nuclear companies.

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Andrew Whittaker


Nuclear Civil Engineering and Construction


Andrew Whittaker is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at UB. Whittaker is a licensed civil and structural engineer in California. Whittaker brings wide expertise in the field of nuclear structures and nuclear power plants; reinforced concrete and steel-plate concrete composite construction; regulatory guidance for analysis, design and testing of seismic isolation systems; and experience in modeling nuclear structures for beyond design basis loadings, including earthquake, air blast, ground shock and impact; numerical modeling; soil-structure interaction; fluid-structure interaction; seismic risk and safety assessment of nuclear structures; development of nuclear standards on analysis (ASCE Standard 4, ASCE Nuclear Standards Committee) and design (ASCE 43, ACI 349). Whittaker chairs the ASCE Nuclear Standards Committee. PI Whittaker has worked on projects related to RC and SC construction for the US National Science Foundation and DOE, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. His work on seismic protective systems for nuclear power plants was funded by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE, and the American Concrete Institute. 

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Bob Varrin


Nuclear + Chemical Process Engineering


Dr. Robert Varrin has 40 years of experience in the nuclear and chemical process industries. For 25 years, Bob was a Principal Engineer at Dominion Engineering, Inc. (DEI) in Reston, VA. He served as President of the company for 17 years. In addition to his management duties at DEI, Bob served as the lead investigator for a wide variety of projects in nuclear, chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering for both commercial and government clients. His work for the nuclear industry focused on laboratory research and development, economics of nuclear power, mechanical system design, advanced reactors, chemistry, corrosion, materials, and thermal hydraulics. About a third of his time over the past 40 years has been spent onsite at commercial and government facilities, providing both technical and management support. Bob has worked at over 80 nuclear plants in seven countries. Prior to his career at Dominion, he worked at MPR Associates, the Institute of Energy Conversion, and Foster-Miller. Bob holds over 25 U.S. patents covering mechanical devices, chemical processes, methods for enhancing nuclear fuel performance, robotics, semiconductor processes, and economic modeling algorithms. He is graduate of Princeton University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, and a graduate of the University of Delaware with a PhD in Chemical Engineering.

Andrew Whittacker
Bob Varrin
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