What can venture capital bring to nuclear innovators?

August 25, 2022, 7:06AMNuclear NewsRod Adams

Rod Adams

In 1993, after a decade in the nuclear navy during which time I fell in love with nuclear power, I left the service and founded Adams Atomic Engines (AAE) to develop a small, portable engine powered by fission. Today, AAE would be seen as a venture developing an SMR, but back then, I couldn’t find enough investors who understood or believed in my vision.

That was deeply disappointing, but over the next several decades I stayed connected with other innovators who had similar visions. I found great satisfaction interviewing members of the industry through the Atomic Show podcast and publishing news about advanced nuclear developments on my website, Atomic Insights.

Fast forward, and the world is in a very different place. A few years ago, I was contacted by an investor who saw the potential of advanced nuclear designs to meet the world’s needs for a clean energy revolution, and I was thrilled. Even in 2019, there were almost no venture capitalists focusing on what was happening in the nuclear industry—probably because nuclear had never fit the venture capital model, which involves investing in the equity of a growing private venture.

The United States Navy: The unsung heroes of nuclear power

August 2, 2022, 7:02AMNuclear NewsJames Conca
America’s nuclear navy presently has 86 nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. All of them, and their predecessors over the last 60 years, have performed flawlessly, protecting America as well as their crews. Here, the nuclear submarine USS Seawolf leads the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the conventionally powered Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Oonami DD 111 during exercises in 2009. (Photo: United States Navy)

Just this last April, President Biden officially commissioned the USS Delaware, a new Virginia-­class nuclear attack submarine, the 18th built in that class and the eighth and final Block III Virginia-­class submarine. (The Delaware was administratively commissioned in April 2020, but the COVID-­19 pandemic caused delay of the ceremony for two years.)

ANS Naval Academy student section hosts dinner, receives landmark

April 12, 2022, 12:00PMANS News
The USS Enterprise (CVN-65)

The Naval Academy ANS student section, with support from the Washington, D.C., local section, held its semiannual dinner on March 29 in Annapolis, Md. The event was attended by more than 100 people, including midshipmen, professors from the U.S. Naval Academy, local ANS members, and ANS President Steve Nesbit.

The evening’s program was hosted by the student chapter president, Midshipman First Class Sara Perkins, and was headlined by the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, Rear Admiral (retired) Samuel Cox.

Remembering Vice Admiral Wilkinson on the 102nd anniversary of his birth

August 10, 2020, 6:58AMNuclear NewsAnn Marie Daniel Winters

We owe a debt of gratitude to Dennis Wilkinson, born 102 years ago today. Dennis did so much for the nuclear power industry—both in the Navy and in the commercial sector. When people first met him, he invariably stuck out his hand, grinned, and said, “Hi, I’m Dennis.” No pretense, no pomposity, no self-importance. Supremely confident and brilliant, he was also compassionate and warm with an engaging sense of humor. Many people he met became life-long friends, as he often said that “friendship is forever.”

Thoughts on THRESHER

April 10, 2020, 9:58PMANS Nuclear CafeWill Davis

As is the case on every 10APR, I find myself – even in the midst of the present national and, really, worldwide crisis – returning to thoughts of the USS THRESHER on this date in 1963. All of us who have been through the Naval Nuclear Power Program and served in submarines are aware to greater or lesser extent what happened; my experience, having served aboard one of the SUBSAFE boats whose development was a direct result of the accident, lends perhaps to more sustained reflection.

Ann Winters: On the 100th anniversary of Wilkinson’s birth

August 1, 2018, 9:10AMNuclear News

Winters

Dennis Wilkinson would have celebrated his 100th birthday on August 10, 2018. The life and career of the man who captained the first nuclear-powered submarine and the first nuclear-­powered surface ship and was the first president and chief executive officer of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) have been captured in Ann Winters’s book, Underway on Nuclear Power: The Man Behind the Words, Eugene P. “Dennis” Wilkinson, Vice Admiral USN.

Because of his inherent drive, Wilkinson was often called a cowboy, maverick, visionary, innovator, and superb leader. As the first commanding officer of USS Nautilus, he was a major player in revolutionizing underwater warfare. Nautilus and its crew were immensely popular, at home and abroad, and in the 1950s became what we now call “rock stars.” Nautilus gave nuclear power celebrity status at a time when the United States and the world were grappling with Cold War issues.