The Nuclear Renaissance Grows: Areva Newport News

By October 24, 2008Energy

Exciting news from Virginia on Thursday, a major and necessary development for the U.S. nuclear renaissance to grow and take hold. From Areva and Northrop Grumman:

AREVA, Northrop Grumman join forces to create world-class facility in U.S. to manufacture heavy components for american nuclear energy industry

AREVA and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, a sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), have joined forces to build a new manufacturing and engineering facility in Newport News, Va., to supply the growing American nuclear energy sector. The joint venture, AREVA Newport News, LLC, with AREVA will hold 67% and Northrop Grumman 33%, will establish a world-class facility to manufacture heavy components for the U.S. EPR, AREVA’s Generation III+ nuclear reactor.

The 300,000 square-foot facility represents a significant investment of more than $360 million in the U.S. commercial nuclear and manufacturing industries and will bring more than 500 skilled hourly and salaried jobs to the Commonwealth of Virginia. AREVA Newport News will be the first full-scale manufacturing facility dedicated to supply heavy components, such as reactor vessels, steam generators and pressurizers to the U.S. nuclear energy industry. These components will supply the first new U.S. nuclear power plants to be built in 35 years. Industry experts have viewed limited production of heavy components positioned against rising demand as a constraint on nuclear energy’s expansion. 


It’s been nearly three decades since the last new nuclear power plant was built in the United States, and the inaction since then has led to a deterioration of the engineering knowledge, manufacturing base and skilled personnel needed for a vibrant nuclear power industry. Areva and Northrop Grumman’s announcement represents a big step toward their revival. Congratulations to all involved.




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