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.
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.
Dr. Richard Jefferys MA, PhD, MIMechE, C.Eng, FREng. His career spans over 40 years in energy, specializing in offshore structure analysis, design and projects, and subsequently, clean energy, including renewables, energy storage, carbon capture, storage and utilisation, and water technologies.
Rick was awarded undergraduate (Engineering) and PhD (Wave Energy) degrees by the University of Cambridge and subsequently worked in wave and tidal power research at CEGB (national utility). After six years as a lecturer (tenured) in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture at University College London he moved to work in offshore platform design, analysis and major projects at Conoco, based in London and Houston. To broaden his experience he worked as an economist in the Conoco Europe Gas and Power group, focusing on valuation of optionality in contract, gas market analysis and project economics. As a member of the Conoco Europe Sustainability team, Rick evaluated novel technology options, initiated projects in wind technology and contributed to company GHG policy formation.
After the Conoco-Phillips merger, Rick worked as a Technology Director in the ConocoPhillips Emerging Technology group, initiated projects in Carbon Capture, Compressed Air Energy Storage, and other clean technologies such as biochar. He was also deeply involved in planning for a major IGCC / CHP with carbon capture project at a ConocoPhillips refinery in UK. As a Technology Director in the COP Technology Ventures team, Rick evaluated a wide range of novel clean and conventional technologies, and reviewed numerous energy storage, CO2 capture (including mineralisaton), gas to liquids, and water related startups as potential investments. During much of this time, Rick was a judge for the ConocoPhillips (UK) St Andrews Prize for the environment, evaluating diverse projects in sustainability and development.
After retiring from COP, Rick worked for a year on the conceptual design and modeling of an energy storage system at the University of Edinburgh and is now an independent consultant, focused on energy storage, carbon capture, renewables, and offshore engineering. Rick has received best paper awards from OMAE and DOT conferences, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2016), and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh (2018)
Mike Middleton is the Director of Portinscale Consulting Limited in the UK. His diverse nuclear operations experience spans defence, waste and decommissioning, nuclear site management and new nuclear power. His expertise extends into integrated low carbon energy systems and the drivers which enable nuclear technologies to be cost effective within a low carbon energy mix.
For the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), Mike managed a range of projects from April 2013 through 2018, including a project investigating siting constraints of new power stations in the UK and a parallel project examining the UK economic and technical requirements for small modular reactors. Mike also delivered the ETI’s Nuclear Cost Drivers project; the associated report was released in April 2018 and is referenced in the UK Nuclear Sector Deal published by UK Government in June 2018.
Continuing from the four insight reports released by the ETI, Mike authored Energy Systems Catapult’s (ESC’s) Nuclear for Net Zero report which documents comprehensive techno-economic assessment of UK new nuclear technologies. This analysis combines the learning from the ETI’s Nuclear Cost Drivers project with ESC’s new Net Zero scenarios developed for its Innovating to Net Zero report released in March 2020.
From June 2018 to June 2020 Mike was the UK Government’s nominated representative on the nuclear cost reduction (REDCOST) project at the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency and led the international ad hoc project team in the development of its report on nuclear cost reduction which was released in July 2020.
Mike graduated from University College London (UCL) with a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. With the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors (RCNC) he completed an M.Sc degree with distinction in Marine Mechanical Engineering from UCL. Continuing with the RCNC, he later completed a further M.Sc degree with distinction in Nuclear Reactor Technology awarded by the University of Surrey as part of the Royal Navy’s Nuclear Advanced Course 34 at Greenwich.
His previous appointments include Facilities Director at the Clyde Naval Base and Infrastructure Director at Sellafield. He is a Chartered Engineer and was elected Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in July 2000.
Dr Jen Baxter
Dr Jen Baxter is an internationally recognised expert in energy system development and infrastructure, with specific expertise in co-generation and hydrogen production and use, industrial capabilities and clusters and the successful diffusion and commercialisation of new and emerging technologies and infrastructure. Jen provides advice and solutions on the likely suitability and risks associated with new developments for hydrogen projects and interconnected infrastructure.
Jen works part-time as Chief Engineer at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, as Head of Regulation for Protium Green Solutions and as an independent consultant. She is currently working on projects that investigate the future of air travel, shipping, hydrogen production infrastructure and industrial decarbonisation.
Jen has written a number of reports for IMechE, including recent reports on decarbonising passenger vehicles, shipping, train engines and fuels, hydrogen trains, fashion waste and gas use in the energy sector, with further short reports on Leaving the EU: Euratom Treaty as well as academic papers covering subjects as diverse as engineering out food waste, to perceptions of hydrogen futures and technological innovation systems.
Jen has a PhD from Cardiff University examining hydrogen from waste technologies, an MSc in Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy and a BEng in Environmental Engineering also from Cardiff University.
A Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, member of IOM3, Jen is a Chartered Engineer and Scientist.