Per F. Peterson holds the William and Jean McCallum Floyd Chair in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California and performs research related to high-temperature fission energy systems, as well as studying topics related to the safety and security of nuclear materials and waste management. He was appointed in February 2010 as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future and co-chaired its Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology Subcommittee with Senator Pete Domenici. He has served as a member or chair of numerous advisory committees for the national laboratories and National Research Council.
He participated in the development of the Generation IV Roadmap in 2002 as a member of the Evaluation Methodology Group, and co-chaired its Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection Working Group from 2002 to 2010. His research in the 1990's contributed to the development of the passive safety systems used in the GE ESBWR and Westinghouse AP-1000 reactor designs. Currently his research group focuses primarily on heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and regulation and licensing for high temperature reactors, principally designs that use liquid fluoride salts as coolants.