By Katherine Berezowskyj
Yesterday the United States actually saw a clear step in the nuclear energy renaissance as AREVA and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding put shovels in the ground. The two leaders in the nuclear industry broke ground on what will be a 330,000 square-foot heavy components manufacturing facility in Newport News, Va.
AREVA Newport News LLC is the joint venture that the two companies formed last October to build this facility that will manufacture the heavy components for nuclear power plants. It’s the first heavy component manufacturing facility built in the U.S. in 35 years. These heavy components will be the “guts” of future AREVA U.S. EPR™ reactors as well as other EPR™ projects linking the supply chain all over the world.
“This is a significant and concrete step in the revival of the U.S. nuclear energy sector,” said Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA. “The path of certainty for the deployment of the EPR reactor in the United States goes through Viriginia.”
The project represent a commitment to the state as well as the industry. It will bring an investment of more than $360 million and 500 skilled jobs to Virginia—one that will provide green energy jobs and keep the regional economy strong.
The mayor of Newport News, Joe Frank, and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine were there to celebrate this great occasion for industry and energy in the region. Governor Kaine said, “AREVA Newport News and Virginia have launched a powerful partnership built on our shared goals of promoting green energy and energy efficiency.”
When AREVA Newport News comes online—expected in 2012—it will produce the critical EPR™ heavy components, including reactor vessels, steam generators, and pressurizers. As the AREVA EPR™ is the only Generation III+ reactor currently under construction today, the components represent a critical supply for meeting future, growing, and clean energy needs-particularly in the U.S.
To watch the webcast of yesterday’s groundbreaking, click here