CNBC has completed its third annual review and rankings of the business climates in each state, it’s “America’s Top States for Business ’09.”
From VirginiaBusiness.com, reporting on yesterday’s big event for Virginia, manufacturing, and the future of the nuclear energy industry in the United States, “Areva, Northrop Grumman break ground on $363 million nuclear component plant“:
Calling it a significant step for the resurgence of nuclear power in the U.S, the CEO and chairman of France-based Areva NC joined 200 business and government leaders in Newport News this evening to break ground on the building of the first new nuclear component plant in the U.S. in 35 years.
Wearing a beige suit, Anne Lauvergeon stood out from the group of men wielding the silver shovels. “We intend to build a lot of new reactors in the U. S. We believe in the North American markets and the workforce,” she said. The more than 500 skilled manufacturing jobs that will eventually be created by the plant will go to American workers and not overseas, she said to applause.
Areva is partnering with Northrop Grumman to build a $363 million, 330,000-square-foot plant on land adjacent to the shipyard. Lauvergeon said in an interview with Virginia Business that the expertise of shipyard workers in building nuclear ships and the proximity to the Port of Virginia—where the heavy components can be shipped overseas—were key reasons why Areva chose Newport News for the project.
Note the infrastructure and trade angle. More from WAVY-TV, with good information about the workforce angle:
Skilled craft workers from Northrop’s Shipbuilding sector will help build steam generators and reactor vessels, and they have plenty of experience from more than a half century of building nuclear vessels for the Navy.
“Here at the shipyard our talented shipbuilders can build anything,” beamed Mike Petters, President of Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding.
A news release from Northrop Grumman and Areva, “AREVA and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding to Break Ground for Newport News Facility”:
BETHESDA, Md., July 20, 2009 – On Wednesday, July 22, AREVA and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, two leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry, will break ground on a new manufacturing and engineering facility located at the north of the Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding property located in Newport News, Virginia.
The joint venture, AREVA Newport News LLC, will construct a 330,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Newport News, Va., to build heavy components for new nuclear plants, a $360 million investment that will create more than 500 jobs. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. followed by an opportunity for media to speak with Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine, AREVA CEO Anne Lauvergeon, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding President Mike Petters, AREVA Newport News General Manager Chris Levesque, and Newport News Mayor Joe Frank.
The event is being broadcast via the Internet: www.tvworldwide.com/events/Northrop_Grumman/090722_areva/.
The Areva blog will also be following the event. It’s a very informative blog: http://us.arevablog.com/
- WAVY-TV, “New manufacturing facility coming to NN”
- Daily Press, “Gov. Kaine heading to Peninsula, Southside today”
- Daily Press, “Northrop, AREVA break ground today”
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.
- Wall Street Journal, “Areva Will Build Reactors in U.S.“
- Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine news release, “Governor Kaine Announces 540 New Jobs for Newport News“
- Newport News Daily Press, “540 jobs, $363 million in nuclear reactor deal“
Notwithstanding the anti-energy activism mentioned below, seems like higher energy prices have made the public receptive not just to more OCS drilling, but to nuclear power as well. From today’s Washington Post, the lead story on the Metro section, “Little Outcry on Nuclear Reactor Proposal.”
As Maryland regulators begin hearings tonight on a proposed third nuclear reactor in Calvert County, one element in the historically raucous debate over nuclear power is notably absent: widespread opposition.
This region could be a testing ground for the so-called nuclear renaissance. As the Public Service Commission starts a month of hearings on Constellation Energy Group’s initial application to add a third nuclear plant at its Calvert Cliffs site 50 miles southeast of Washington, Dominion Virginia Power, which supplies all of Northern Virginia’s electricity, is pressing ahead with plans to expand its reactors southwest of Fredericksburg.
As Constellation Energy notes, in March 2000 the Calvert Cliffs plant was the first plant in the United States to earn 20-year extensions of its operating licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC has the application and related materials for the Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 proposal available here.