AREVA, Northrop Grumman Break Ground on AREVA Newport News Facility, Marking Concrete Step in U.S. Nuclear Energy Revival
July 22, 2009
July 22, 2009
AREVA and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, a sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), marked a major step forward in the revival of the U.S. nuclear energy sector as the company’s AREVA Newport News, LLC, joint venture broke ground today on a heavy component manufacturing facility for new nuclear power plants.
Today marks the beginning of construction on a 330,000 square-foot facility that will manufacture heavy components for future AREVA U.S. EPR™ reactors in the United States and other EPR™ projects around the world.
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Newport News Mayor Joe Frank joined AREVA CEO Anne Lauvergeon, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding President Mike Petters and other executives at the site of the new facility to celebrate this important milestone.
“The start of construction at the AREVA Newport News manufacturing facility demonstrates that the march on the path of certainty for the deployment of an EPR™ fleet continues in earnest. With components from AREVA Newport News, U.S. EPR™ reactors will be made in America by American workers,” Lauvergeon said. “This facility in Virginia will provide a center of excellence for a new generation of reactors.”
Northrop Grumman’s tradition of excellence in engineering and heavy manufacturing, as well as its experience building U.S. Navy nuclear ships, is critical to the success of the project. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and its predecessors have been present at the Newport News site for more than 100 years.
“Our partnership with AREVA and entrance into the commercial energy market signifies an important and historic milestone for our 123 year-old business in Newport News,” said Petters, Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. “Just as our decision in the early 1950s to begin building nuclear ships made us pioneers in the shipbuilding business, joining AREVA in this venture enables us to grow and continue to invest in the talents and skills of the best nuclear shipbuilders in the world.”
The development of the AREVA Newport News facility represents an investment of more than $360 million and will create more than 500 skilled manufacturing and salaried jobs for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both AREVA and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding already employ thousands of Virginians at sites in Lynchburg and Newport News respectively. The project also represents a commitment to an investment in green energy jobs and manufacturing capabilities that will contribute to the region’s economic well-being and lead to additional reliable, CO2-free power generation for all Americans.
“AREVA Newport News and Virginia have launched a powerful partnership built on our shared goals of promoting green energy and energy efficiency,” said Governor Kaine. “With the Commonwealth’s history of supporting the nuclear industry and shipbuilding, I’m confident Virginians will continue to benefit as this important project grows in the years to come.”
The project will be lead by AREVA Newport News President Chris Levesque and is expected to be operational in 2012. When AREVA Newport News comes online, joining the company’s existing Chalon/St. Marcel manufacturing plant in France, it will significantly increase global production of EPR™ heavy components, such as reactor vessels, steam generators and pressurizers. The AREVA EPR™ reactor is today the only Generation III+ technology under construction.