Robert “Rob” F. Peacher, Consultant, Strata-G LLC, Knoxville, TN 37932
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has a legacy in isotope production and innovation. The lab produces, purifies, and ships more isotopes than any other place in the world—more than 300 isotopes for medical, industrial, research and national security. ORNL is building the Radioisotope Processing Facility (RPF) to address the growing demand for radioisotopes. The number of radioisotopes considered for long-term production by the Department of Energy’s Isotope Program has nearly doubled in three years. Yet ORNL and US isotope production infrastructure is already at full capacity, unable to meet the isotope needs of research institutions and government agencies. The limitations on aging facilities complicate the issue. To address this, DOE Office of Science has approved the mission need for the RPF to be built at ORNL. A new Hazard Category 2 nuclear facility will deploy modular hot cells. The modular design can be configured to meet isotope processing needs of today and the future. The RPF facility is planned to be fully operational by 2032. By building the RPF at ORNL, the nation will further utilize the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) capabilities along with ORNL’s extensive radioisotope expertise and existing radioisotope transportation infrastructure to meet the increasing need for radioisotopes.
Robert “Rob” F. Peacher
Consultant – Nuclear Operations Subject Matter Expert
Knoxville, TN 37932
Rob Peacher is a Nuclear Operations Subject Matter Expert with Strata-G, LLC. He is currently assigned as the Directorate Consultant for the Radioisotope Processing Facility (RPF) project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The RPF is Rob’s design concept which he developed, while employed at ORNL, to address the ever-growing demand for radioisotopes by the DOE Isotope Program.
Rob retired from ORNL in May of 2020, after 33 years of employment. His last role at ORNL was Nuclear Infrastructure Program Manager for Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate. He was responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans and projects to ensure long-term sustainability and modernization of ORNL’s aging nuclear infrastructure. Additionally, he led a multi-contractor planning effort for the transition of transuranic waste management responsibilities from DOE EM to the Office of Science, requiring strategic investments in ORNL’s nuclear infrastructure for transuranic radioactive liquid and debris waste management.
Rob has more than 40 years of nuclear experience which began when he enlisted in the US Navy Nuclear Power Program in 1979. He joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1986 as a Nuclear Reactor Controller (Reactor Operator) in Operations Division. He qualified as a Reactor Operator on the Oak Ridge Research Reactor, Bulk Shielding Reactor, and Pool Critical Assembly Reactor. As ORNL’s research reactors were decommissioned in the late 1980s, Rob transferred to the Analytical Chemistry Division, in the Physical Sciences Directorate, as an Analytical Chemistry Supervisor in support of chemical processing at the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center. He was subsequently tasked with the development of a nuclear training accreditation program for Chemical Sciences Division’s nuclear facilities operations. This ultimately led to his assignment as Facility Manager of the Transuranium Research Laboratory in 1995. In 2001 Rob was assigned to a team tasked with the development of the Non-Reactor Nuclear Facilities Division (NNFD), the organization that now manages ORNL’s non-reactor nuclear facilities. As a charter member of NNFD he served as a Core Team 1 Complex Facility Manager through 2005. Rob was subsequently tasked with developing a downsizing strategy for ORNL’s aging nuclear facilities, which led to the transitioning of nuclear operations out of several nuclear facilities in preparation for decommissioning. In 2006 Rob was deployed to Afghanistan with the US Navy Reserve as a Chief Intelligence Specialist where he served as a Collections Manager with a joint operations command. Upon return from deployment in 2007 he began serving as a Program Manager for Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division in support of Global Security Directorate and National Nuclear Security Administration programs. In that role he managed several classified projects and programs. Rob retired from the US Naval Reserve in 2010 as a Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist. In 2016 he was recruited into the Nuclear Infrastructure role. He retired from ORNL in March of 2020. He has since been a part-time consultant with Strata-G, LLC.