General Atomics

General Atomics

company_name = General Atomics
company_logo =| company_type = Private
foundation = 1955
location = San Diego, CA, USA
key_people = Neal Blue, owner
Linden Blue, owner
homepage = []

General Atomics is a nuclear physics and defense contractor headquartered in San Diego, California. Among other things, it is the manufacturer of the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).


General Atomics was conceived in 1955 at San Diego, California for the purpose of harnessing the power of nuclear technologies for the benefit of the United States of America. It was founded on July 18, as the General Atomic division of General Dynamics.

It was sold in 1967 to Gulf Oil and renamed Gulf General Atomic.

In 1973 it was renamed General Atomic Company when Shell was a partner in the company. Shell left the venture in 1982 and Gulf named it GA Technologies Inc. Chevron purchased Gulf in 1984.

In 1986 it was sold to a company owned by Neal Blue and Linden Blue when it assumed its current name.

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

In 2007, General Atomics was developing a next generation nuclear power plant design, the Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR).

Business groups

Business groups include:

* Advanced Technologies Group
** Advanced Process Systems Division
** Electromagnetic Systems Division
** Systems Engineering Division
** Nuclear Waste Management

* Energy Group
** Controlled Fusion
** Power Reactors
** Photonics

* Nuclear Fuels Group

Affiliated Companies

* General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI)
** Aircraft Systems Group
** Reconnaissance Systems Group
* General Atomics Electronic Systems (GA-ESI)
* ConverDyn
* Cotter Corporation
* Heathgate Resources Pty, Ltd.
* Nuclear Fuels Corporation
* Rio Grande Resources Corporation
* TRIGA International (with CERCA, a subsidiary of Areva)
* General Atomics Power Inverters


Government influence

General Atomics was the single biggest corporate underwriter of Congressional trips between January 2000 and June 2005, according to a nine-month study of congressional travel disclosure forms. The company spent more than $660,000 on 86 trips taken by members of Congress, their aides and families. Most of that was spent on overseas travel related to the unmanned Predator spy plane made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

The company said it had sponsored travel for members of Congress and their staffs "to promote enhanced understanding of General Atomics' technology research and product development." The company also noted that excursions were reviewed by "the appropriate Congressional ethics committees prior to travel."

In April 2002, for example, the company paid for Letitia White, who was then a top aide to Representative Jerry Lewis, and her husband to travel to Italy. White left Lewis' office nine months later, to become a lobbyist at Copeland Lowery. The next day, she began representing General Atomics. Lewis, her former boss, was at the time chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee. [ [ "Report: Trips buy 'access that you and I can't get'"] ] (see Jerry Lewis - Lowery lobbying firm controversy)

Other controversy

In 2001 the company was sued for allegedly overcharging the U.S. government for projects between 1992 and 2001. [ [ "General Atomics: Color It Blue"] ]

ee also

* List of nuclear reactors
* Tokamak
* MQ-1 Predator
* MQ-9 Reaper
* General Atomics Altus
* GNAT-750
* HT3R


External links

* [ General Atomics]
* [ about General Atomics]
* [ General Atomics Aeronautical Systems]

[NTSB Accident Report, Nogales, AZ, 25 April 2006 []

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