General Atomics

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is a nuclear physics and defense contractor headquartered in San Diego, California. General Atomics' research into fission and fusion matured into competencies in related technologies, allowing the company to expand into other fields of research. General Atomics develops systems ranging from the nuclear fuel cycle to remotely operated surveillance aircraft, airborne sensors, and advanced electric, electronic, wireless and laser technologies.

General Atomics (GA) was founded July 18, 1955 in San Diego, California as the General Atomic division of General Dynamics "for the purpose of harnessing the power of nuclear technologies for the benefit of mankind".

GA's first offices were in the General Dynamics facility on Hancock Street in San Diego. GA also used a schoolhouse on San Diego's Barnard Street as its temporary headquarters, which it would later "adopt" as part of its Education Outreach program. San Diego voters approved the transfer of land to GA for permanent facilities in Torrey Pines and the John Jay Hopkins Laboratory for Pure and Applied Science was formally dedicated there on June 25, 1959. The Torrey Pines facility continues to serve as the company's headquarters today.

The initial projects were the TRIGA nuclear reactor and Project Orion.

  • 1967: sold to Gulf Oil and renamed Gulf General Atomic.
  • 1973: GA was again renamed as General Atomic Company when Royal Dutch Shell Group's Scallop Nuclear Inc. became a 50-50 partner in the company.
  • 1982: Gulf bought out its partner and renamed the company GA Technologies Inc.
  • 1984: Chevron took ownership of GA following its merger with Gulf Oil.
  • 1986: GA was sold to a company owned by Neal Blue and Linden Blue when it assumed its current name.
  • 1987: Former U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, Thomas J. Cassidy Jr. joined General Atomics.
  • 1993: GA was awarded the "Information Services" portion of the NSF contract for InterNIC functions and publishes Internet Scout Report.
  • 1993: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) was created, with Cassidy as President.
  • 1994: GA-ASI spun off as a General Atomics affiliated company.
  • 1995: GA's role as provider of InterNIC Information Services ends.

On March 15, 2010, Cassidy stepped down as President of GA-ASI, staying on as non-executive chairman of the company's management committee. Frank Pace, the executive vice president of Aircraft Systems Group, succeeded Cassidy as President of GA-ASI.

General Atomics is also developing a Generation IV reactor design, the Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR). In 2010, General Atomics presented a new version of the GT-MHR, the Energy Multiplier Module (EM2), which uses fast neutrons and is a Gas-cooled fast reactor.

Source: Wikipedia