The fusion energy community lost a great friend recently with the passing of Pete Lyons.
Pete was a giant in the nuclear field having accomplished the public service trifecta of working in Congress as a senior aide to former Senator Pete Domenici, serving as a NRC Commissioner, and as Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at DOE. Few could match his knowledge and experience on nuclear technical matters. He was also a sage counselor grounded in humility and common sense.
Although much of Pete’s career focused on nuclear fission, he spent the last year of his life advocating for fusion energy. He appeared before NRC and other groups as a spokesperson for the private fusion industry, and on behalf of FIA, making a compelling case that fusion is fundamentally different than fission and should regulated in a much less prescriptive manner.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Pete. His association with private fusion provided our nascent industry with instant credibility and gravitas, especially with the NRC.
For more details on Pete’s well-lived life, you can read this appreciation from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as a distinguished scientist for 27 years.