PITTSBURGH, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Company celebrated the grand opening of its first United States Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Training Center and its second WEC Welding Institute on August 20, 2009 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The grand opening celebration, attended by 225 Westinghouse employees, BWR customers and invited guests, included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by site tours which featured 18 BWR tooling exhibits and welding demonstrations.
Nick Liparulo, senior vice president, Nuclear Services, cut the ribbon on the refueling bridge over the training center's full scale BWR mockup with the assistance of Shigenori Shiga, senior vice president and chief coordination officer, Westinghouse Coordination Office; David Howell, vice president, Field Services; Wayne Bentley, vice president, BWR Operations & Growth; and Bruce Phares, director, BWR Reactor Services.
In commenting on the new facility, Mr. Liparulo said: "Our investment here in Chattanooga is reflective of both the scope of the nuclear renaissance and our ongoing commitment to meet the diverse needs of our growing customer base. We see an exciting and long-term future for our industry, our company and this state-of-the-art facility."
The BWR Training Center will be used to train Westinghouse employees, customers and industry representatives on the safe maintenance and refueling of boiling water reactors in nuclear power plants. The BWR training facility is composed of a full-scale BWR cavity with vessel, internals, spent fuel pool, and refueling bridge; two 33-ton cranes, under-vessel mock-up and 65,000 square feet of shop floor. Combined, the welding institute and the BWR training facility will provide approximately 50 jobs for the city of Chattanooga.
The WEC Welding Institute offers a no-cost program that is equipped to train welders to perform work in both nuclear and non-nuclear plants. Currently, 10 students are enrolled in the program which has the capacity to train and graduate 288 welders per year. Westinghouse also has a WEC Welding Institute in Rock Hill, S.C. Together the welding institutes have the capacity to graduate more than 700 welders a year.
The Chattanooga WEC Welding Institute is equipped with 48 weld booths and certifies students after they complete an average of five months of hands-on training. After training, they can take the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) welding qualification exam. Once students pass the exam and receive certification, they must work for Westinghouse for 2,000 hours. They have the opportunity to work as apprentices at power plants or at any facility where Westinghouse is performing welding. Several customers work at the institute to pre-qualify the students to work during upcoming nuclear plant outages.
Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (Tokyo: 6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear power company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world's first commercial PWR in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. (USA). Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for more than 40 percent of the world's operating nuclear plants, including 60 percent of those in the United States. Information about Westinghouse Electric Company and the AP1000™ nuclear power plant is available on the company's web site at www.westinghousenuclear.com.
SOURCE Westinghouse Electric Company
SOURCE: Westinghouse Electric Company
Web site: http://www.westinghousenuclear.com/
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