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THE NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE The Carolinas are taking a leadership role in the coming expansion of the nuclear industry through a convergence of opportunity, education and the expertise of an established group of nuclear suppliers. SPONSORED BY:


THE NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE The Carolinas are taking a leadership role in the coming expansion of the nuclear industry through a convergence of opportunity, education and the expertise of an established group of nuclear suppliers. SPONSORED BY:

On the cover: Pictured is the EPR™ reactor being constructed in Okliouto, Finland, by AREVA. Its design and engineering work has been done in part in the AREVA office in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo supplied by AREVA)

ENERGIZED is produced in partnership by:

Red Hand Media LLC Harris Plant, New Hill, N.C. Progress Energy

Publisher Ben Kinney Project Editor Arthur O. Murray Design/Production Director Moira Johnson Art Director Manny Marquez Red Hand Media LLC 5605 77 Center Drive Suite 101 Charlotte, NC 28217 Telephone: 704-523-6987 Fax: 704-523-4211

FEATURES 2 Introduction 4 Q&A Session 6 Development of a Cluster

Publisher Grady Johnson • gjohnson@scbiznews.com Special Projects Editor Allison Cooke Oliverius • aoliverius@scbiznews.com Senior Copy Editor Beverly Morgan • bmorgan@scbiznews.com Art Director Ryan Wilcox • production1@scbiznews.com

8 Educating the Nuclear Workforce 14 Used Fuel as a Resource 16 Vendor Numbers Up in the Carolinas

Senior Graphic Designer Jane Mattingly • production2@scbiznews.com

18 Construction Generates Jobs and Power

Contributing writers Dan Arnell Mark Fecteau Pete Bosak Marsha Guerard Scott Carlberg Shelia Watson

20 Licensing Streamlined But Still Rigorous

SC Biz News 389 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 Telephone: 843-849-3100 Fax: 843-849-3122 All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Red Hand Media, LLC and SC Biz News, LLC.

22 A Vision for 2020 24 Homegrown Expertise Matters 27 Nuclear Cluster Membership


WELCOME TO ENERGIZED!

This is the story of the nuclear industry in North and South Carolina. You probably know there are nuclear power plants in both states. You might know that there are seven plants housing 12 reactors in the two states. But there likely is much that you don’t know about the industry that you ought to. Here are some of those things. Right now, nuclear plants provide more than 50% of South Carolina’s electricity and about 32% of North Carolina’s. Those numbers are likely to grow, as utilities in the two states have applied for permission to build six more reactors. In South Carolina, SCANA, through its S.C. Electric & Gas subsidiary, and Santee Cooper have begun construction on two reactors at their V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. But here is what you most need to know about nuclear power in the two states: A vibrant cluster of industries that build and supply nuclear plants has developed. Some of the biggest names have operations here — Westinghouse, The Shaw Group and URS are just a few of them. Smaller companies also are learning how to become part of the cluster. Aside from providing carbon-free electricity, the nuclear industry offers the Carolinas a chance to establish a global niche that can fuel economic development in both states for years to come. This publication will look at how the industry’s history, its present and its future offer unbridled promise. We hope you enjoy it.

A WORD FROM OUR PLATINUM SPONSORS:

LOOKING TO A BRIGHT FUTURE

Lonnie Carter President & CEO

Santee Cooper generates low-cost, reliable and environmentally protective power for 2 million South Carolinians. We are working with SCE&G to build two new nuclear units at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, which opened in 1983. America needs reliable, emissions-free electricity, and South Carolina is leading the way to the obvious solution: new nuclear energy. That brings significant opportunities for training, jobs, economic development and a bright future. We’re proud to play a role.

Bill Timmerman Chairman & CEO

SCANA Corporation is pleased to contribute to this inaugural publication that captures a holistic view of the importance of the nuclear industry. For 160 years, SCANA has been an energizing force in the Carolinas by bringing power and fuel to homes and businesses while enhancing the communities we serve. Our nuclear operations have long played a major part in our history and will continue to do so as we meet our customers’ growing energy needs well into the future.

Dr. Aris Candris President & CEO

The nuclear energy renaissance is energized in the Carolinas, adding to our significant presence. The 12 existing reactors, combined with projects planned for Wake County, N.C., Cherokee County, S.C., and Fairfield County, S.C. (each creating up to 700 permanent jobs), will boost the economy. Each of these selected the Westinghouse AP1000 technology, and along with several new engineering and manufacturing facilities, will be a global economic engine for the Carolinas.


SPECIAL

THANKS TO OUR

SILVER SPONSORS Life. Powered by Duke Energy. At Duke Energy, we’re committed to providing you with reliable and affordable energy, while delivering new energy solutions that can save you money and make life easier.

www.duke-energy.com


QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION:

POWER TO GROW

Dhiaa Jamil Duke Energy

Jim Scarola Progress Energy

Jeff Archie S.C. Electric & Gas Co.

Nuclear plants play a major role in generating electricity in the Carolinas, and that role is likely to grow. Three executives at Carolinas utilities — Dhiaa Jamil, group executive, chief generation officer and chief nuclear officer of Charlotte-based Duke Energy; Jim Scarola, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of Raleigh-based Progress Energy, and Jeff Archie, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at S.C. Electric & Gas, the principal subsidiary of Cayce-based SCANA — recently took part in a forum on nuclear generation. Following are their answers, edited for brevity and clarity. Characterize the role and importance of nuclear energy in the Carolinas’ portfolio of electric generation. Jamil: Nuclear energy plays a significant role in providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity for Carolinians. In the Duke Energy Carolinas’ service area, 50% of the electricity produced comes from the seven nuclear generating units we operate. Nuclear energy is a key factor in our customer rates being below regional and national averages, and it is the only large-scale, carbon-free generating source currently available in our area. Nuclear stations provide thousands of direct and support jobs, as well as significant tax revenue for use in community betterment. Scarola: Nuclear energy annually accounts for nearly half of the electricity we provide to our customers. It’s our best and most efficient means of keeping fuel costs low and reliability high. Not only does a nuclear plant fuel the economy with low-cost, reliable, clean energy, it also provides a significant number of 4

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high-paying jobs both at the plants and also the supply chain. In addition, nuclear plants contribute, on average, $20 million through taxes to their respective communities each year. We have also been able to fuel our educational institutions with excellent engineering programs at several public universities across the Carolinas. Archie: This proven technology started in 1964 when SCE&G and a few other utilities began the commercial operation of Parr Nuclear Station, which became the prototype for other reactors used to generate civilian power. As we add more nuclear energy to our fuel mix, one of the greatest advantages will be the reduction in carbon emissions. But nuclear isn’t just good news for the environment, it’s good news for the economy. In addition to the current and future jobs created by our nuclear site, SCE&G boosts the local economy with a significant annual property tax payment for the V.C. Summer Station. Adding two more nuclear units will increase the tax base substantially.

The “nuclear renaissance” has been widely publicized. Where does it stand? Jamil: Work to bring the next fleet of nuclear stations online is moving forward and receiving support, thanks to the solid performance of current fleets. Companies are taking deliberate actions for adding new nuclear capacity. While no new licenses have been issued yet, applications are in queue, including those for six new units in the Carolinas. Nuclear energy is competitive, with low fuel costs and high reliability, and it remains an important national resource. New plants are capital intensive, making long-term financing and cost recovery assurance critical in continuing to move the renaissance forward. Scarola: The renaissance is well under way. A key part of the renaissance is ensuring that our existing fleet continues operating safely and efficiently to meet our customers’ needs in the future. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved license extensions for each of our three nuclear plants in the Carolinas, and we


plan to operate those plants for many years. We also have plans, but no final decisions, to build new nuclear plants in the future in North Carolina and in Florida. And, we are evaluating opportunities for jointly owned nuclear plants in our region as a means of leveraging nuclear benefits as efficiently as possible. Archie: SCE&G is not just considering building new nuclear plants — we’re doing it. It’s driven by the growing energy demands of our customers. Our new nuclear reactors will provide a reliable energy source at a reasonable cost, while substantially reducing carbon emissions. With that focus, we applied for our combined construction and operating license with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2008 and received approval from the S.C. Public Service Commission in 2009. We expect to obtain our license from the NRC in late 2011 or early 2012, continuing our history of demonstrated excellence in operations.

What are the competitive advantages of the Carolinas regarding the nuclear energy industry? Jamil: Duke Energy, Progress Energy and SCE&G all have sound nuclear operations in the Carolinas, collectively operating 12 nuclear units at seven plant sites. These stations offer reliable electricity at competitive prices, providing economic advantages for customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as helping attract business and industry to the region. There are also many nuclear support companies with significant presence in our area, including AREVA, B&W, General Electric, Shaw, Siemens, Toshiba, URS and Westinghouse. Together, we are making the Carolinas the hub of nuclear expertise. Scarola: There are a number of factors that give the Carolinas an advantage. They include the following: One, North and South Carolina have balanced, future-focused utility regulatory agencies

that understand the importance of nuclear power as part of a dependable and responsible generation mix. Two, the collaborative business environment encourages large-scale investment. Three, the companies that own and operate the plants routinely share best practices and lessons learned. Four, we are all committed to safe, efficient and reliable operations of our plants. Archie: South Carolina gets more than 50% of its electricity from nuclear generation. Not only does this speak to nuclear power’s proven track record, it is a testament to the strong public acceptance, wide legislative support and healthy regulatory environment that nuclear energy has in South Carolina. Further enhancing our competiveness is our close collaborations with institutions of higher learning. SCE&G works with universities and technical colleges throughout the state to grow the next generation of nuclear employees. ◆

Energize your career. “Our customers are counting on SCE&G to provide clean, reliable energy for the future. My work today focuses on South Carolina’s energy needs 10 years from now. The reality is as our population continues to grow so does the need for more electricity. That’s why we’re building additional nuclear generation.” SCE&G will hire hundreds of employees over several years for its new nuclear project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. You can be a part of South Carolina’s future by joining a company built on demonstrated industry excellence.

Johnnie Waller, SCE&G Engineer

Dedicated people. Dedicated energy. sceg.com


THE CAROLINAS NUCLEAR CLUSTER:

HOW IT ALL BEGAN By Scott Carlberg, coordinator of the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster a unique competitive advantage in an industry that is a carbonless path for baseload electricity needs: nuclear energy. The Carolinas can be the go-to source for a global nuclear renaissance. We are building that go-to status through the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster. THE CLUSTER CONCEPT The S.C. Council on Competiveness, better known as New Carolina, began a process in 2003 to build clusters as a way to increase the incomes of our citizens and strengthen our economic base. The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster works under that umbrella. What is a cluster? A cluster is a group of businesses in a region that focus on a specific industry. Companies within clusters come together to increase efficiency and innovation within that industry,

boosting the overall economy in the region. They do this by supporting new-business development, enhancing existing business, recruiting companies to an area and helping companies within the cluster identify workforce needs and marketing strategies. Good clusters have an inherent upstream and downstream value chain. Well-run clusters spur corporate and educational innovation. They are a forum

DUKE ENERGY

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he Carolinas Nuclear Cluster coalesced around a major strength: Companies in the two states are world leaders in the design, construction and supply of electricity from nuclear energy. The Carolinas supply 11.5% of the nation’s nuclear energy. They are home to four publicly traded power-generation companies and major energy-engineering firms. Currently, North Carolina has five nuclear reactors in operation, which provide 32% of the state’s total electricity generation, and has two potential new units are in the application process. South Carolina has seven operating reactors, providing 52% of the state’s total electricity generation, with four potential new units in the application process. The headlines about energy supply, economics and cleanliness align in an energy imperative, and the Carolinas have

Catawba Station, York County, S.C.


Imagine to support industry issues. Robust clusters lead to strong industry collaboration, gains in efficiency and a stronger presence in the market. Examples of robust clusters include Silicon Valley, which is known for its concentration of computer-related businesses, and Napa Valley, which is known for its vineyards. Along these lines, the Carolinas have nuclear energy. The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster is a robust organization with the goal of capturing and extending our global leadership in nuclear energy capabilities.

REGION PROFILE We are part of the AikenAugusta MSA with a population of more than 500,000 and a workforce of more than 245,000.

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The Aiken & Edgefield County area is a modern community of cutting-edge manufacturing, world-changing research and development, and an unbeatable quality of life. We have a stable workforce drawn from a population that is young and growing. We are within three hours of Atlanta and Charlotte, as well as the ports of Savannah and Charleston. Aiken & Edgefield also offer quality and value in housing, health care, recreation and education.

Aiken & Edgefield counties South Carolina

GENESIS OF A CLUSTER Since 2003, New Carolina has built a track record of successful cluster startups in such areas as automotive, tourism, advanced security and insurance technology. New Carolina paved the way for defining and starting industry clusters in South Carolina. That success drew the attention of nuclear-energy professionals in the Carolinas. They recognized that their industry had a significant presence, though it was undefined across the two states and across corporate lines. When a core group of nuclear energy experts met with New Carolina, a new group took root: the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster. The companies conducted an analysis of their industry and developed a strategic plan in 2008. That plan outlined five topic areas for building a stronger industry: economic development, workforce development, technology development, public policy and communications. Each area has its own task force in the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster. Leadership comes from within its own ranks. Duke Energy provided the inaugural chair for the cluster; Westinghouse provides the chair today; and a representative from URS will take over in September 2011. The cluster is 44 organizations strong, and its roster is a blue ribbon group of industry experts. Like the facilities these companies design and operate, the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster is an efficient machine because of the care and thought that nuclear professionals bring to their jobs every day. ◆

A place where tradition meets technology

Research | Manufacturing | Quality of life

TARGET INDUSTRIES CHEMICALS | PLASTICS | AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY | HYDROGEN TECHNOLOGY

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Fred E. Humes

– or –

Will Williams

Director

Associate Director

fhumes@edpsc.org

wwilliams@edpsc.org

Visit us today at www.edpsc.org

471 University Parkway | Aiken South Carolina 29801 | 803.641.3300

We respond to the needs of the

nuclear power industry

The nuclear power industry is growing across the Carolinas. Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) offers a variety of training programs that help prepare individuals for jobs in nuclear plant construction, operation and maintenance. These include:

· A.A.S. degree in Non-Destructive Examination · Diploma in Nuclear Power Plant Inspection · A.A.S. degree in Integrated Systems Technology · A.A.S. degree and certificates in Welding Technology · A.A.S. degrees in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Technology · A.A.S. degree in Electrical Technology · Electrical Physical Designer certificate · Nuclear quality assurance training courses, in partnership with Global Quality Assurance, Inc.

For more information, visit www.cpcc.edu/energy.


UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

EDUCATING THE NUCLEAR WORKFORCE:

THE NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE

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uclear energy never died in the United States. As of August, the country’s 104 nuclear reactors produced more than 20% of the electricity used in the country. They accounted for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity. But there’s no denying the industry went into a coma beginning March 28, 1979. That’s the morning a double-tone claxon sounded in the control room of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, just downriver from Harrisburg, Pa. It sounded the call for what was the worst accident ever to strike the U.S. nuclear industry. And it nearly delivered a death blow. No new nuclear reactors were ordered in the United States for nearly 30 years. But the industry is snapping out of that long coma, and some key parts of the recovery are ongoing in the Carolinas. S.C. Electric & Gas, a subsidiary of Cayce, S.C.-based SCANA, and Santee

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Cooper, the state-owned utility based in Moncks Corner, S.C., are building two reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C. The state is home to seven reactors at four nuclear power plants. North Carolina has five reactors at three locations. Its two utilities, Raleigh-based Progress Energy and Charlotte-based Duke Energy, also have applied for permission to start new projects. Progress has filed an application to build two more reactors at its Shearon Harris plant in Wake County. Duke has filed an application to build a nuclear plant, with two reactors, near Gaffney, S.C. They could get help from an unlikely source — environmentalists, who have long opposed nuclear power. The co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, has come out in favor of nuclear power as a way to avoid climate change. Both utilities have positioned their nuclear growth plans as a way to lessen their carbon emissions.” If

we as a country are going to address global climate change consistent with what has been proposed in the House and Senate, we’re going to have to retire coal-fired plants and replace them with emissionfree plants,” says Progress spokesman Mike Hughes. Duke likewise says it is looking at nuclear as it tries to scale back use of coal, spokeswoman Rita Sipe says. She and Hughes say their companies haven’t committed to new units even if they receive permission. Duke doesn’t expect a decision from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before 2013. Hughes says Progress is open to a number of powergeneration options, including building and operating a plant with another utility. “At some point, there will be a convergence of regulatory changes, technology changes and cost changes that will create the right climate for moving forward with a multibillion dollar investment. We believe it will be a vital part of our resource mix.” ◆


Westinghouse nuclear power plants

release zero greenhouse gases while producing electricity.

Greenhouse Gas-Free Electricity Production Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

21.7% Hydroelectric 72.3% Nuclear 6.1% Solar, Wind & Geothermal

Westinghouse and its more than 15,000 global employees are helping to provide future generations with safe, clean and reliable electricity. Check us out at www.westinghousenuclear.com

W E S T I N G H O U S E E L E C T R I C C O M PA N Y L L C

Nuclear energy provides electricity for one out of every five homes and businesses without producing greenhouse gases. In fact, nuclear energy is a proven solution to climate change — accounting for 72% of greenhouse gas-free electricity production.


UNIVERSITIES:

STUDENTS AGAIN CONSIDER NUCLEAR CAREERS

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workforce strategy, spokesman Mike Hughes says. “The nuclear renaissance, whatever form it takes, whether it’s continuing operations of what we have or opening new plants, is going to require new employees. We’re working to develop that curricula to inspire a new generation of engineers to move into that field.” In addition, top universities in both states are contributing to the cause, including Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and S.C. State University, as well as N.C. State University and UNC Charlotte, among others. These universities are among pioneers in the field. N.C. State, for example, in 1953 developed the first university-based research reactor in the country. But that was then. This is now, and those colleges and others are preparing to turn out highly skilled researchers, engineers and other employees for the industry. Following is a quick look at some of what’s going on at the universities: Clemson University: The Nuclear Environmental Engineering and Science program is a graduate-only curriculum that focuses on the environmental aspects of

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

hen the Three Mile Island accident stalled the U.S. nuclear-power industry for more than three decades, it did more than stop construction plans. It also caused interest to flag in nuclear jobs — and in education for those jobs. Many universities scaled back nuclear engineering and other programs that generate the trained workforce needed to keep plants functioning. As a result, the industry is facing a crisis. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Nuclear Energy Institute, nearly 38% of U.S. nuclear industry workers will be eligible for retirement by 2014. Couple that with applications for 28 new reactors in the United States. When those reactors come online, they will put further demands on the workforce. Utilities already are concerned about finding a supply of workers. In the Carolinas, they’re looking to universities to step up the number of graduates in nuclear and nuclear engineering fields. “That’s something we’ve been looking at, not only for new generation but for existing plants,” says Rita Sipe, spokeswoman for Charlottebased Duke Energy. She explains that all seven Duke reactors have had their original 40-year operating licenses extended for 20 additional years. The utility also has filed an application for a new plant, which would have two more reactors, near Gaffney, S.C. “We’ve worked with local community colleges and universities, both on partnering existing programs and starting new ones. For example, we have worked with Spartanburg Technical College in developing a radiation-protection-technician program. We have some of our Duke folks teaching part of that curriculum.” Likewise, Raleigh-based Progress Energy, even as it is sorting through its construction options, is formulating a

nuclear technology, including radiation protection, the nuclear-fuel cycle and environmental remediation. NEES is part of the school’s Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences department, which is ranked in the Top 20 programs of its type by U.S. News & World Report. N.C. State University: The university is part of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, one of three Energy Innovation Hubs funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Paul Turinsky, a nuclear engineering professor at N.C. State, is the consortium’s chief scientist. It is producing a virtual model of a reactor to demonstrate how science-based modeling can address technology issues in nuclear energy. Furthermore, the student population in the university’s Department of Nuclear Engineering is growing. The number of undergraduates has increased from 66 in 2000 to 192 while the resident graduate student population has increased from 29 to 57 over the same time period. S.C. State University: The university offers a nuclear engineering curriculum in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin. The program will be housed in a 21,000-square-foot engineering and computer science building under construction at the Orangeburg, S.C., campus. The university received two donations totaling $180,000 for the buildings from Fluor and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, which manages the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. UNC Charlotte: The university has teamed up with members of the nuclear sector in Charlotte for applied research projects. Through a modeling project,

USC faculty students conduct research on advanced coated particle fuels; shown is a fluidized bed chemical vapor deposition reactor for coating fuel kernels with pyrolytic carbon and zirconium carbide.


http://EngineeringOnline.ncsu.edu researchers at the school developed methods for dampening harmonics, which distort energy production at nuclear and other power plants. It also has worked on projects for The Shaw Group to improve high-density polyethylene pipe used in power plants and to upgrade a device to aid in the removal and installation of vertical feedwater manway covers. University of South Carolina: Researchers are working on next-generation fuels and materials for advanced reactors. More robust fuels and materials will help improve the economics of nuclear power and improve safety margins for existing reactors. Hand-in-hand with this work is modeling to predict performance. The graduate nuclear engineering program began in 2003, with the first master’s degrees awarded in 2005 and the first Ph.D.’s in 2007. To date there have been nearly three dozen graduates, all of whom have gone on to work in the industry. But the big schools don’t have a monopoly on supplying workers. Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., has had a health-physics program since 1981. Health physics is the science of protecting people from the effects of radiation. FMU has graduated 86 students in the field, making it the largest producer of healthphysics bachelor’s degrees in the Southeast. The training doesn’t stop in the classroom. The V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C., has partnerships with Clemson, USC and S.C. State, including summer internship programs in engineering and health physics. The station is owned and operated through a partnership of Cayce, S.C.-based SCANA, through its S.C. Electric & Gas subsidiary, and Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper, Likewise, Duke believes in working with students. “We have an internship program in the summers where we bring in engineering students,” Sipe says. “In many instances, we end up hiring them. It gives them an opportunity to look at the industry and get some hands-on experience. In the end, it’s mutually beneficial to all parties.” ◆ N

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ENGINEERING ONLINE Providing Quality Graduate Degree Programs in Engineering ∙ Online Master’s Degrees ∙ Online Graduate Courses ∙ Computer Programming Certificate ∙ Professional Development Courses

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COMMUNITY COLLEGES:

MEETING THE DEMAND FOR NUCLEAR WORKERS

CPCC Non-Destructive Examination graduate Scott Pope performs ultrasonic testing on a mechanical part at Lowe’s Cos. headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. 12

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Faced with that reality, community colleges in the nuke-heavy regions around Charlotte, Columbia and South Carolina’s Upstate have been updating their course offerings and thinking creatively about partnerships. In Fairfield County, home to S.C. Electric & Gas Co.’s V.C. Summer nuclear power station, plans for two new reactors also brought about plans for an expansion at Columbia-based Midlands Technical College. Midlands Tech’s Quick Jobs Center in Winnsboro is scheduled for a ceremonial opening in October and will begin offering classes in January. “This is the first footprint of a Midlands Tech campus in Fairfield County,” says Terry Vickers, president of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce. “That’s something that had been worked on for a number of years and has come about because of the nuclear construction and the jobs available during and after construction.” SCANA pitched in $100,000 toward the project, which Fairfield County officials hope will expand into a full-blown technical college campus. The creative

arrangements don’t end there. The utility has worked with Midlands Tech to create a two-year associate degree in nuclear-systems technology, and an internship program has been introducing local high school students to the energy industry since 2008. This interest in the role of education demonstrates the expanding role of community colleges. Yes, the nuclear power industry needs engineers, but engineers can come from anywhere. For blue-collar, local workforce jobs, industries typically turn to community colleges, and multicampus flagships like Columbia’s Midlands Tech and Charlotte’s Central Piedmont Community College represent educational institutions and enormous economic development tools. Richard Zollinger, Central Piedmont’s vice president for learning, straddles both roles. Talk of the revival in the nuclear industry eventually found its way into discussions by the Charlotte Regional Workforce Development Partnership, on which Zollinger serves. Those discussions ultimately produced a survey of all the

TOM COVINGTON / CPCC

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n its surface, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent outlook report for nuclear power jobs seems out of step with signs of an accelerating nuclear renaissance. Despite dozens of applications for new reactors since 2007, the bureau sums up America’s nuclear employment future as having “little or no change.” But appearances can be misleading. There’s an enormous demand for skilled workers in the nuclear-power industry, and its looming workforce requirements are creating educational and economic development opportunities in the Carolinas. Two factors drive today’s nuclear labor market. First, the industry didn’t create many jobs after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, and second, cost cutting in the 1990s hit younger workers disproportionately. Consequently, as the nuclearpower industry plans for its biggest expansion in decades, many of its most valuable workers are planning for retirement. “Even if we don’t build another plant, we’ve got 104 (nuclear plants) operating in the United States ... and it’s critical that people enter these fields, because we’re going to need them to keep those plants operating,” says Jay Potter, dean for the applied technologies division and construction technologies division at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. In other words, if the federal job growth projections prove too conservative — and they could, as there are applications for 28 new nuclear reactors pending before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — the first crisis of the nuclear renaissance could be a labor shortage.


relevant training programs at community colleges in the Charlotte region’s 12-county, two-state area. Central Piedmont led the way in that sample with more than a dozen associate degrees it considers directly related to the nuclear industry, plus 18 related diploma or certificate programs. Other colleges offer some of those programs, but there’s no sense of competition within the Charlotte region or neighboring areas, he says. “There’s enough for all of us.” For example, Central Piedmont offers a sought-after degree in nondestructive examination, while nearby colleges in the S.C. Upstate offer specialized courses in radiation-protective technologies, radiation medicine and inspection via X-rays. “That’s why we don’t do radiation. That’s Greenville and Spartanburg.” Of course, many of the “directly related” programs are generic to the energy industry. The skills that separate a nondestructive welding inspector from a nondestructive welding inspector who works on reactor containment vessels are so specialized that few community colleges can teach them in a cost-effective manner. Further complicating matters, the Carolinas’ community colleges are likely to face double-digit budget cuts in 2011 as the echo effects of the bad economy ripple through state governments. American companies have spent the past 20 years leveraging economic benefits to transfer job-training costs to taxpayers via the community college system. Will the pressing demand for nuclear workers in the Southeast help reverse that course? Zollinger sounds cautiously optimistic. “If your workforce is aging out in five years, you are motivated to help us with the (workforce-training) pipeline.” In Fairfield County, where SCE&G is already pumping resources into the local workforce development infrastructure, Vickers, from the Chamber of Commerce, sees good things all around her. “They are an outstanding corporate neighbor. We’re very excited to have these opportunities because of the nuclear power industry.” ◆ N

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One possible coincidence of the graying workforce issue in the nuclear industry: It could be one of the better opportunities for older workers who lost jobs because of the bad economy. Community colleges in the Carolinas offer relatively affordable two-year degrees in trades the nuclear companies covet. Richard Zollinger, Central Piedmont Community College’s vice president for learning, recalls conversations with energy company executives concerned about finding workers for nuclear plants. Would they be interested in workers starting over in a new field? “The companies said age doesn’t matter,” Zollinger says. “We can use the 55 (year-old) who has the skills. That’s how much the demand is.” He says many people have 85% of the skills needed to work in the sector. “For the other 15%, we could provide training so that they could transition into

TOM COVINGTON / CPCC

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

that new job. We are offering certification courses, and we use these national, accredited competencies in our curriculum.” Zollinger also has been in contact with displaced white-collar workers with master’s degrees. Whether that group makes a good match for the nuclear power industry remains to be seen, but Jay Potter, a dean at Central Piedmont, says much of what makes for a good plant operator boils down to a personality type that takes responsibilities seriously. “If you’re somebody who wants to fly by the seat of their pants, that’s really not a job you want to be in.”


USED FUEL AS A RESOURCE :

MANAGING THE LEFTOVERS

Above and right, the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C., converts waste from weapons and reactors for storage. expertise includes work at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico, Westinghouse’s Research and Development Center and Service Technology Division, and the Savannah River Co. and the Savannah River National Laboratory. From his vantage point, the issue is less about technological capabilities than about government policy. “In 1976, [President] Gerald Ford issued an executive order that suspended work on all reprocessing out of concern for proliferation,” Wolfe says. “When [President] Carter came in office, he extended the order and took away the

Nuclear waste payments Illinois, the state that uses the most uranium, also makes the largest contributions to the federal nuclear waste fund. Payments are based on a state’s nuclear plant generation. Metric tons of uranium (000s)

State

Waste fund contributions (millions)

Illinois

7.7

$1,889.7

Pennsylvania

5.7

1,650.8

South Carolina

3.8

1,295.6

North Carolina

3.3

877.7

California

2.7

855.8

New York

3.4

845.2

Florida

2.8

799.6

Alabama

2.9

793.1

Virginia

2.3

726.3

Georgia

2.4

716.3

Used-fuel data is as of February 2010; nuclear waste fund contributions are as of March 31, 2010. Source: ACI Nuclear Energy Solutions and Department of Energy

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

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esigning, building and operating a nuclear reactor is a massive undertaking, fraught with complex issues of licensing, scheduling, funding, battling of naysayers and convincing of skeptics — all while keeping up with rapidly changing technology. Once that task is accomplished and the plant is up and running, there remains the issue of what to do with the spent fuel — nuclear waste with a shelf life of hundreds of years. That’s longer, in fact, than current storage methods can be guaranteed. Spent fuel is a conundrum all its own, worthy of an entire subcommittee on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, a federal agency created earlier this year “to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle” and to provide recommendations for alternatives for storage, processing and disposal. Clint Wolfe, executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, a grass-roots organization in Aiken, S.C., testified at the Blue Ribbon Commission’s Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology subcommittee meeting in August. His

funding. That put an end to the U.S.’ involvement in reprocessing. Later, [President] Reagan rescinded the order, but he didn’t put the money back.” Essentially, there is no policy against recycling the spent fuel. However, without government support, particularly funding, the spent fuel will have to be stored rather than reprocessed for additional use. Aside from finding appropriate and safe storage for nuclear waste, Wolfe says some feel it would be more efficient to reuse the spent fuel rather than continuing the oncethrough process currently in effect. “There are places where spent fuel rods are stored, and they’re safe and secure, and it’s not urgent that we do anything about them,” he says. “But in some locations, they’ll eventually have to create more space for storage. In the meantime, the spent fuel could be a tremendous energy source. That’s what I’d love to see the government focus on.” “It’s not a technology issue,” says Laura Varn, vice president of corporate communication for Santee Cooper. “France has been reusing spent fuel for years and gets 40% energy out of it. And we have years of expertise and experience in working with nuclear fuel. But it’s a policy issue. Our position is that it’s not up to us to state


AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGIES Some of the newer reactors, including some of the nextgeneration models, could have recycling capabilities built into the design.“There are some exciting nuclear reactor concepts that are being developed,” says Clint Wolfe, executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. “It’s possible with some of these that a reactor could go 60 years without refueling just by reusing the spent fuel.” Wolfe would like to see more research and development, as well as demonstrations of the technology to see what the strong and weak points are. In addition, the only mixed-oxide fuel fabrication plant in the country, located at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C.,

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it takes a crisis of some kind to make us do something. Oil is not really a competitor for energy production, but it is something that seems to trigger our angst to do something.” For example, if gas prices rose to $4 or $5 per gallon, people might want a car that runs off of nuclear energy. “We tend to get inspired to do something when we’re upset,” he says. “We’re so tied up in red tape in this country that it may take

something that will jar the consciousness of the public.” Wolfe praises Secretary of Energy Steven Chu for his support of the issue, but he remains less optimistic about the chances for a reworking of policy any time soon. “I don’t think the current president and administration are opposed, but they’ll have to do something about it or kick the can down the road to the next administration.” ◆

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what the policy is; that’s the policymakers’ job. Ours is to follow policy. And as much as we’d like to see the process be more efficient and spent fuel put to use, we’ll continue to do what current policy is.” Wolfe says changes to policy will remain daunting until there is reasoned judgment from those with the courage of scientific convictions that this is the right thing to do. “I equate it to putting a man on the moon. When the Russians launched Sputnik, we decided we couldn’t let them beat us. There wasn’t a pot of gold up there, but there was the technical supremacy with other world leaders for us to achieve. When it comes to nuclear power, that challenge has been out there for 30 years. Other countries are using our technology and they’ve surpassed us.” Wolfe says that issue came up at the recent subcommittee hearing. Testifying at the Blue Ribbon Commission, Alan Hanson, vice president of technologies and usedfuel management at Areva’s U.S. subsidiary, noted other countries’ focus on recycling of spent fuel. “The recycling process invented in the United States has benefited from decades of lessons learned and continuous improvements in technology. A new recycling facility would not simply replicate facilities from France, the U.K. or Japan, but rather would employ state-ofthe-art technologies and processes.” Getting the government to refocus on the issue could take a significant catalyst, Wolfe says. “I hate to be cynical, but often

could prove a model for recycling. “What these units do are recycle specifically from surplus nuclear weapons,” says Jim Giusti, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Energy office at the Savannah River Site. “It’s safe, and it can produce some commercial reactor fuel, and it’s similar to the concept of recycling spent fuel, but it’s with different materials.” Wolfe is enthusiastic about the prospects of finding a new use for the weapons fuel. “The idea of taking old weapons and converting them into power is appealing. And it would be so much better than converting and then putting that potential power into storage.”


SIEMENS

Siemens, which has a major operation in Charlotte, makes steam turbines used in nuclear power plants. It is one of a group of industry suppliers in the Carolinas.

SUPPLY CHAIN :

VENDOR NUMBERS UP IN THE CAROLINAS

S

onaspection International is the quintessential niche manufacturer. The company produces flawed specimens — materials such as pipes that have defects purposely built in to help train welders and other technicians to spot problems in real components. “This is the part we play in the industry,” says Roy Duce, U.S. operations manager for Sonaspection, which has offices in Concord, N.C., and Lancaster, England. The Concord office opened in 2002 specifically to work with Electric Power Research Institute, known as EPRI, a research and development company that consults with the nuclear industry, among others. EPRI has several offices across the country, including one in Charlotte. The supply chain link with EPRI was forged, Duce says, “because we set up a product that wasn’t immediately available in the industry.” Sonaspection’s work in the nuclear industry accounts for about 60% of the company’s revenue — a case study of the opportunities to be had for companies of all sizes in the Carolinas. Its link to EPRI and EPRI’s to the nuclear industry is but

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a sliver in a big pie. A 2009 study by Clemson University on the economic impact of the nuclear clusters in the Carolinas says purchases from nonfuel vendors, which include a range of products and services, add up to more than $1 billion annually. South Carolina’s slice of the pie was about $192 million; North Carolina’s was about $109 million, leaving $760 million in the hands of vendors from outside the area. “And that’s only looking at those companies that are supporting currently operating facilities,” says Ernie Chaput, who works with the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield Counties and has been working with the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster on initiatives to help companies in the Carolinas link onto the supply chain. “One of the initiatives of the cluster is to take a look at what can be done to increase participation by North and South Carolina suppliers. We’re looking at how to encourage them and help them to more effectively compete for the work.” Not all of the companies have the niche advantage that Sonaspection has, but

Chaput says there are plenty of opportunities. “It’s true that the nuclear industry has some pretty exotic suppliers, but it also has the standard business needs that any company has.” A few examples include waste management and remediation services — $19 million per year; services to buildings and dwellings — $8 million; and investigation and security services — $71 million. However, becoming a vendor can be daunting. “Working in the industry means working with the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and they have some very specific regulations,” Chaput says. The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster hopes to educate companies with a series of workshops that will show how to sell into the nuclear industry. “We’re trying to get the word out on what it takes to do business in the industry,” says Scott Carlberg, executive director of the cluster. “We’re trying to answer the questions the companies have: What are the trends you need to know if you’re interested in doing business? Once you know, what are the processes in place to become a supplier?” ◆


ASCO VALVE It’s a point of pride for ASCO Valve’s 350

JAMES C. WHITE CO. For nearly 60 years, James C. White Co.

WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CO.

employees that one of the products manufac-

has operated in Greenville, S.C. The company

tured at the Aiken, S.C., plant was instrumental

provides the trays that support the tubes and

far as China, yet its corporate commitment is as

in controlling the oil spill this summer in the

cables connecting instruments and controls in

local as the 1,500 employees who work in the

Gulf of Mexico. If a substance flows — wheth-

nuclear power plants. Jim White became a

Carolinas. The company is based in Pittsburgh,

er it’s oil, air, water, gas or steam — ASCO

manufacturer when he invented Tubetrack, the

but its fuel-manufacturing headquarters is

produces the valves that control that flow.

instrument-support tray found in countless major

in Columbia, S.C., while its operations in

Many of these instruments are crucial in the

construction projects. The renaissance in the

Spartanburg and Rock Hill, S.C., and Charlotte,

operation of the world’s nuclear plants. ASCO

nuclear-power industry has meant a major uptick

N.C., offer repair, engineering and project-man-

has worked with nuclear design firms to supply

for the company. It is upgrading its quality-assur-

agement services for nuclear plants. Westing-

products since its inception. ASCO partners

ance program as well as its manufacturing

house technology is the basis for about half the

with customers to pursue new technologies

capabilities. James C. White Co. supplies

world’s operating nuclear plants, including 60%

to be more efficient on the plant floor and

standard catalog and custom-made components

of those in the U.S. The first of its latest-genera-

otherwise meet industry needs.

to nuclear customers, as well as other industries.

tion plants are under construction in China.

DUBOSE NATIONAL ENERGY SERVICES Nuclear suppliers come in all kinds of

EPRI Charlotte is home to one of the four principal offices and laboratories of the

Westinghouse Electric’s reach extends as

SHAW POWER GROUP When it comes to nuclear energy, Shaw

locations. Take DuBose National Energy Services

Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit

Power Group, based in Charlotte, pretty much

in Clinton, N.C. For 34 years, the company has

that conducts research and development on

does it all. The company, part of Baton Rouge,

been a supplier and fabricator of steel products

the generation, delivery and use of electricity

La.-based The Shaw Group, engineers, designs

for nuclear plants. Products include structural

for the benefit of the public. EPRI, which also

and builds nuclear power plants. More than

steel, steel pipe and tubing and instruments. It

has offices in Palo Alto, Calif., Knoxville, Tenn.,

1,000 of its 4,500 employees work in Charlotte,

also sells fasteners and components to larger

and Lenox, Mass., combines scientists, engineers

and it does work all over the world. It is

companies such as Westinghouse. According to

and experts from industry to address problems.

conducting preconstruction activities at the V.C.

President Carl Rogers, more than 90% of the

Its nuclear research includes work on equipment

Summer Nuclear Station project under way in

company’s business is with nuclear customers.

and fuel reliability and advanced technology.

Jenkinsville, S.C., with more than 600 workers

About 100 people work at the Clinton plant,

Ken Berry is senior project manager for advanced

on site. Showing its global reach, the company

and the company also has sales offices near

nuclear technology in the Queen City, where

also is working with China on the construction

Charlotte, Cleveland and Exton, Pa.

EPRI held a conference in spring 2010.

of four nuclear power plants.


SCANA

The 13-story module assembly building at the V.C. Summer plant will be used to prepare nuclear components for installation when construction begins on the new units.

CONSTRUCTION :

GENERATING JOBS AND POWER

N

uclear plants generate more than power in the Carolinas — they create thousands of jobs and pump billions into the local economy. While there are six nuclear reactors in the planning stages for the Carolinas, the closest to actual construction are two units at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C. They are being built for South Carolina Electric & Gas. Shaw Group, based in Baton Rouge, La., but with a major subsidiary in Charlotte, has more than 600 people on site for preconstruction activities and about 900 on site altogether. “And that will reach 3,000 to 3,500 people once construction really ramps up,” says Jeffrey S. Merrifield, senior vice president at Shaw’s Power Group, based in Charlotte. “When plants get put online, in terms of jobs, you end up with about 800 jobs for people living near the plant, generating power.” Shaw, a leading force in the nuclear power industry, has 1,100 employees in the Queen City alone. Those jobs in Jenkinsville will continue for at least five years, the usual construction period required before fuel load, Merrifield says. That plant is expected to become

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operational in 2016, according to a Clemson University study on the economic impact of the nuclear cluster in the Carolinas. Construction of these projects, experts say, already is having a tremendous impact on local economies. Merrifield says they have generated as much as $450 million in economic activity. Of that, about $40 million is labor income. Municipal governments surrounding nuclear plants also benefit greatly, he says. Plants generate nearly $20 million per year in local tax revenues. “That allows communities to build terrific schools, town halls and staff excellent police forces,” Merrifield says. “And that’s why you see such extraordinary support. There are exceptions to that, but it is generally the rule.” Charlotte-based Hendrick Construction is working on an architectural package and building laboratories at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. When construction ramps up later this year, Hendrick President Roger Hendrick expects to have 50 people working on site. “We subcontract somewhat,” Hendrick says. “But even if they’re not directly on our payroll, we’re still creating jobs.”

Ernest Chaput, a director at the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield Counties in South Carolina, says construction of the two new V.C. Summer reactors already is having a strong economic impact on the region. “It really has a positive and beneficial effect. There is a very profound impact in terms of labor and supplies, materials, within the area of the plant. In addition, hires tend to be local hires. And they are long-term.” Chaput, who is leading a supply-chain development study for the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster, estimates that construction of nuclear reactors such as those at V.C. Summer inject nearly a half a billion dollars into the local economy. “It’s not just jobs. It’s supply chain as well. A lot of it is run of the mill stuff – lumber, rebar, piping, wiring.” But the jobs cannot be ignored, both Merrifield and Chaput say. “When a plant is complete and online, 500 to 800 fairly good jobs come into the area,” Chaput says. “Those are fairly large numbers when you consider the areas in which nuclear power plants tend to be located in, often times more rural areas.” ◆


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SCANA

THE LICENSING PROCESS:

STREAMLINED BUT STILL RIGOROUS

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hat a difference a few decades make. That’s the consensus of those involved in the licensing process for nuclear reactors, for one main reason: The process has been streamlined in the nearly 30 years since a new reactor was being designed and built. “In the old days, you’d go through a process for construction permits and a separate process for building and design,” says Joey Ledford, a spokesman at the Atlanta office of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “But sometimes there were delays and having to go back and redo something, which meant you were building a reactor you didn’t have a license for, so there were issues with getting an operating license. There were a lot of problems.” For SCANA Corp. subsidiary S.C. Electric & Gas Co., which is going through the new process along with Santee Cooper to build a reactor at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, the streamlined method removes much of the red tape. SCANA owns 55% of the new reactor, which will be located in Jenkinsville, S.C. The utility experienced the double applica-

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tion process first hand for the existing units at V.C. Summer, says spokeswoman Rhonda O’Banion. “It took several years just to get the construction permit, yet there was no guarantee that you could operate the plant. That was an entirely separate process that took another several years.” Combining the applications allows for a more definitive time frame for the many detailed reviews and approvals that are required on the path to receiving a construction and operation license, she says. Laura Varn, vice president of corporate communications for Santee Cooper, says the extensive Energy Policy

Act of 2005 includes regulations that allowed the process to be combined. “This puts it all in one basket, so upfront there are the plans, what type of equipment will be used, the design, everything. Although it’s still a rigorous schedule, the new process removes a huge time constraint.” The new process has other benefits besides efficiency. “It’s far less complex now, which is good,” Ledford says. “It’s also better for investors, because there is a considerable investment in building these plants. To go forward with construction without having the license would create more of a risk for investors and utilities.”

BUYING IN TO NUCLEAR The timing might be perfect for achieving public support for nuclear power, especially following years of mistrust in the wake of the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl disasters. A Gallup poll conducted in March 2010 showed that a majority of Americans favor using nuclear power to provide electricity, with total support at 62% and strong support at 28%, the highest reported since Gallup began the poll in 1994.

And politics might have little to do with the shift in view. Despite the Obama administration’s award in March of $40 million for design and demonstration of next-generation nuclear power plants, the Gallup poll noted that Republicans are significantly more supportive of nuclear power than Democrats are, with an increase (from 71% to 74%) for Republicans and a slight decrease (from 52% to 51%) for Democrats over the past year.


GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy A concrete batch plant was constructed earlier this year in Jenkinsville, and another will be added next year. Most of the concrete for the project will be produced on site. Licensing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to be completed for the V.C. Summer reactor by late 2011 or early 2012. The S.C. Public Service Commission, the state’s licensing counterpart to the regulatory commission, has also streamlined its process. The applications were filed in 2008 under provisions of the Base Load Review Act, a state law enacted in 2007. The Public Service Commission conducted a thorough analysis of the application, including a three-week-long public hearing. “During the process, SCE&G had to demonstrate that our new nuclear project is necessary to meet the future energy needs of our customers and that we prudently conducted our planning for the project,” O’Banion says. The Public Service Commission approved the new nuclear project in February 2009. South Carolina was the second state — after Georgia — to apply for licensing for a new reactor after the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The applications came after a gap of nearly 30 years since the last nuclear reactors were built in the country. Although the new licensing process puts SCE&G and Santee Cooper in somewhat of a trailblazing position, both companies have a solid history of working with nuclear reactors. “We have already demonstrated nearly 30 years of safe operations of our existing nuclear plant,” O’Banion says. “V.C. Summer Unit 1 has been in commercial operation since 1984, producing almost 175 million megawatts of net generation during this time. That’s enough to provide energy for more than 500,000 homes each year. This is done safely, cleanly, reliably and economically — in a way that only nuclear can do.” Unit 2 is scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2016, and Unit 3 is scheduled to start commercial operation in 2019. ◆ N

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WESTINGHOUSE

NUCLEAR ENERGY AND THE CAROLINAS:

A VISION FOR 2020 By Mark Fecteau, chair, Carolinas Nuclear Cluster Managing director, Change Leadership, Westinghouse Electric, Columbia, S.C.

T

he nuclear energy industry has been serving our states for decades, safely, securely and reliably generating carbon-free electricity, jobs and a solid base for economic development for Carolinians. Most people know that seven plant sites with 12 reactors produce electricity in the Carolinas. What few people recognize is the tremendous positive economic impact this industry has within our communities. Our industry provides more than 37,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Carolinas and pays more than $2 billion in payroll, an economic value that makes its way to grocery stores, car dealers and other businesses. Our industry contributes more than $750 million in annual state and local taxes, money that sustains our local schools, police and fire departments and communities. And these are just the numbers associated with the nuclear stations in operation, along with Savannah River and the Barnwell sites and their direct supply chains. We’ve not counted the additional

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economic impact of our industry’s products and services that are exported beyond our states’ borders. But that’s today. What about tomorrow? The vision of what our nuclear energy future can be is 20/20. Clear as can be. I chair the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster, 44 organizations working together to grow this local industry. The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster is part of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, better known as New Carolina, a public-private partnership that spurs economic growth. The “nuclear renaissance” offers tremendous potential for the Carolinas. We have four new plants already in the planning or commitment stage, and two more just across our borders. By 2020, those facilities will bolster a long-term competitive advantage for our states by securing a future of steady, economical baseload electricity. New construction also brings good news for employment. In addition to our current nuclear workforce, employment at the peak of new construction in the

Carolinas could add more than 50,000 workers. The operation of the reactors could provide more than 17,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs. The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster supports our carbonless, safe and reliable energy wherever the world needs us. We deliver power in the Carolinas. We also help other states and nations plan and operate facilities, and in the process, we bring back paychecks to the Carolinas. We can’t look ahead to 2020 alone, however. We are part of — and support — the business community in the Caroli-


3TAFÚNGTHE%NERGY)NDUSTRY nas, and we need the support of the business community. Here’s how we can work together: We want other Carolina companies to come on board. Our industry needs suppliers such as industrial supply companies, valve manufacturers, motor and pump makers, designers and maintenance companies as well as services such as security and laboratories. In short, we want a robust supply chain. We want a sustainable pipeline of good people. One estimate says that half the energy engineers employed today can retire within a few years. Our craftlevel workforce has the same challenges. Having a well-trained and ample nuclear workforce is essential to our future, so we’re working with our technical colleges and state universities to grow our reputation as the place to go for nuclear-related education and training. You can help by encouraging young people to look at nuclear energy as a career choice. The policies of state and national governments affect our ability to site, build and finance new plants and reactors. Demonstrating support for policies that open the door to move ahead efficiently on planning and construction are critical to maintaining our availability of ample and clean power. We want to foster an environment that encourages further development of this important industry. The Carolinas are in an enviable spot. We have a solid nuclear power industry that provides low-cost electricity and well-paying jobs. We have the opportunity to expand on that competitive advantage in our two states. At a time when the economies of so many places are challenged, we can take comfort in having this industry as a solid part of our economic foundation. Let’s share a 20/20 vision of our electric energy future. Let’s make sure we build on our strength in nuclear energy. ◆ To learn more about the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster, contact New Carolina at www.NewCarolina.org. N

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SCANA

V.C. Summer Unit 1, Jenkinsville, S.C.

OPERATIONS :

HOMEGROWN EXPERTISE MATTERS

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he evolution of nuclear energy — from discovering uranium to exploring the atom to identifying the neutron — can be viewed as a progression of important events. The science of atomic radiation and nuclear fission was developed from 1895 to 1945. Within that time came one of the most important events, the launch of the Manhattan Project in 1939, when the nation’s best minds came together to develop the atomic bomb. From 1945 through the 1950s, during the Cold War, the focus was on using the energy for naval propulsion and electricity. From the late 1950s on — despite stagnation in the industry from the late 1970s to about 2002 — attention has been given to developing the technology to run nuclear power plants. South Carolina was at the forefront of the power revolution, with the ground breaking of the first commercial nuclear power plant in the Southeast at Parr, S.C., 24

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in 1960. Rhonda O’Banion, spokeswoman for Cayce-based SCANA, says the Parr Nuclear Station was the first U.S. heavywater power reactor, and it became the prototype for other reactors used to generate civilian power. “The knowledge we gained about how to operate a nuclear power plant continues to bear fruit even today.” Parr closed in 1967, but other reactors soon came online in South Carolina, including seven light-water pressurized reactors — three at the Oconee plant in Seneca; two at the Catawba plant in Clover; one at the Robinson plant in Hartsville; and one at the V.C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville, just a stone’s throw from the old Parr facility. Today, V.C. Summer is the location for one of the newer, more efficient reactors. And again, in keeping with the state’s leadership in the nuclear renaissance, it will be among the first reactors built in the country in three decades. “V.C.

Summer Unit 1 has been in commercial operation since 1984, producing almost 175 million megawatts of net generation during this time,” O’Banion says. “That’s enough to provide energy for more than 500,000 homes each year.” SCANA, through its subsidiary S.C. Electric & Gas, is a majority partner in the new Summer reactors. For it and Santee Cooper, which owns 45%, the investment is all about meeting customer needs for energy well into the future in a way that is safe, clean, reliable, proven and affordable. And customer need is on the rise. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, electricity generated by nuclear plants in the United States rose tenfold from 1970 to 2009. Generating 800,000 megawatt-hours, capacity factors averaged more than 90%, up from 49% in 1974, when there were half as many units. Laura Varn, spokeswoman for Santee Cooper, points to the extensive Energy


Policy Act of 2005 and its encouragement of a revival of construction and deployment of nuclear power plants as the impetus for partnering to build at V.C. Summer. Among those encouragements are loan guarantees of up to 80% of project cost and production tax credits of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour for new nuclear capacity beginning operation by 2020. “Our state was one of the first to apply for a license,” she says. “The rest of the world has been building nuclear facilities, and we haven’t built any for 30 years.” But it will have been worth the wait. The new reactor will be the Westinghouse AP1000, touted as the latest and greatest among several designs. “Over the years since the last reactor was built (in 1978), technology has been advancing,” Varn says. “The technology in this reactor is safer, more efficient and more economical.” In addition, O’Banion says, the Westinghouse reactor is “designed to utilize more efficient construction techniques much like those used in the shipbuilding industry. Activities that had to be done in a specific sequence in the past will now be performed in parallel. This reduces the construction schedule significantly.” Westinghouse Electric designed and built the first fully commercial pressurized water reactor at Shippingport, Pa., in 1957. The company’s new product also is the plant technology of choice for locations in Levy County, Fla., the Vogtle plant near Waynesboro, Ga., and several other U.S. sites. The company and its consortium partner, The Shaw Group, have signed contracts to provide four AP1000 units in China, where initial construction is under way. In August, Shaw signed a contract with China’s State Nuclear Power Technology to provide technical support services for additional AP1000 power plants in that

SCANA

South Carolina’s experience with nuclear power plants began with the Parr Nuclear Station, right. Here, workers lower the dome on the station, which was closed in 1967.

country. According to the World Nuclear Association, China plans to build 30 new reactors by 2020. Partnership has other benefits, among them the ability to learn from construction that is several years ahead of the United States. “We have a program that is similar to an exchange

student program where the Chinese are going to several power plants and watching and reviewing how these utilities work, and we go over there and observe,” says Westinghouse spokesman Scott Shaw. “This way, we can avoid mistakes and incorporate best-practice techniques.”

CHINESE TECH TRANSFER Fred Hughes, vice president and V.C. Summer consotium project director for Westinghouse, outlined the three aspects of his company’s program for exchanging ideas and technology with China: 1. In a type of “job shadowing,” a group of Chinese officials came to South Carolina in September to spend about two months familiarizing themselves with Westinghouse and observing on site at Unit 1 at V.C. Summer. The goal is for the group to be exposed to how the unit works, what procedures are used and how shift activities are done in an active plant. Another group is scheduled to visit early next year. 2. SCANA executives and project managers have made three trips to China to discuss problems with the construction and observe how the plants are being built there. “It’s a chance for them to kick the tires and see how things are progressing so we can minimize similar problems,” Hughes says. 3. Hughes’ counterparts on the China projects are creating a database of lessons learned. “China is three years ahead of us,” Hughes says. “It makes sense to gain what we can from their experience.”


MINI REACTORS, BIG SOLUTIONS Education has been such an important focus that SCANA and V.C. Summer have established partnerships with several universities and colleges. They’ve set up internships in engineering and health physics with Clemson, S.C. State and the University of South Carolina. And they’ve also worked with technical schools, including Aiken Technical, Spartanburg Technical and York Technical colleges, to create two-year associate degrees in nuclear systems technology. By far the biggest advantage is the economic impact. “From a historical perspective, having the plant here has provided tax revenue that wouldn’t have existed,” says Tiffany Harrison, director of economic development for Fairfield County. That’s not to mention the jobs. About 3,000 workers will be hired for construction, which will last three to four years. When the units go online, the plant will require between 600 and 800 full-time workers, in addition to the 800 already there. ◆

Not all development in the nuclear industry is on as large a scale as the AP1000. A small modular power unit is set for development at the Savannah River National Laboratory, which is operated by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions for the U.S. Department of Energy. In September, the laboratory and Hyperion Power Generation signed an agreement that could lead to the development of mini nuclear power reactors at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. Hyperion Power claimed the mini reactors can produce 70 megawatts of thermal energy, which, when connected to an electricity generating system, will produce enough energy to power a U.S. military base or a large government complex. “Technologically advanced small nuclear reactors providing clean, consistent power that’s available 24/7 is a concept that’s time has come — and it’s catching on all around the world,” says John Deal, CEO and co-founder of Hyperion Power, who signed the memorandum of understanding along with Garry Flowers, president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. The unit will be roughly the size of a refrigerator and stored underground for extra security. The entire plant will occupy less than an acre. The agreement outlines collaboration with the Department of Energy on several technical and policy issues, along with funding provided by private sources. “The Savannah River Site has a unique combination of laboratory expertise, infrastructure, safety culture, location and other factors that make this a natural fit,” Flowers says. “This is another logical way to maximize the nation’s return on 60 years of investment in SRS.”

NUCLEAR POWER – bringing reliable electricity and economic growth to our area.

Our area counts on nuclear power for reliable electricity and for reliable economic growth. Here in the Carolinas, nuclear energy is an important energy source for homes and businesses as well as the generator of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue. Progress Energy is proud to be a part of this area’s nuclear industry and the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster. Learn more about our commitment to nuclear power and the area’s energy and economic future at progress-energy.com.

©2010 Progress Energy Carolinas, Inc.

THE PROGRESS ENERGY SERVICE AREA


MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION Carolinians are world leaders in the design, construction and supply of electricity. The Carolinas supply 11.5% of the nation’s nuclear energy. Our states are home to four publicly traded power generating companies and major energy engineering companies. Our two states have a strong nuclear supply chain and we are strengthening that supply chain. WHAT OUR ENERGY EXPERTISE MEANS TO US: The headlines about energy supply, economics and cleanliness align in an energy imperative: The Carolinas have a unique competitive advantage in nuclear energy. The two states, through the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster, can be the go-to source for a global nuclear renaissance.

nuclear energy industry base. 2. Develop and support an ample, sustainable energy oriented workforce. 3. Conceive and support innovative nuclear energy technologies and services. 4. Define the economic development proposition of the industry in the Carolinas and develop support businesses for industry growth. 5. Market the effectiveness of the states’ nuclear energy expertise.

ANCHOR COMPANIES: • Duke Energy • Progress Energy • Savannah River Nuclear Solutions • SCANA/SCE&G

VISION The people, services and products in the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster fortify our states’ economy, create environmentally friendly electricity, contribute to our energy independence and are the world’s center of nuclear energy excellence.

SUPPLIERS/CONTRACTORS: • AREVA • ASCO Valve/Emerson • Brillig Systems • Electric Power Research Institute • Engenuity • Fluor • GEL Laboratories • Global Quality Assurance • Hendrick Construction • Jacobs Engineering • J-E-T-S Nuclear Consultants • Pegasus Nuclear • RCS • Shaw Group • Siemens Energy • Tindall • Toshiba America Nuclear Energy • URS • WEC Welding and Machining • Westinghouse • Zachry Nuclear Engineering

MISSION The organization collaboratively strengthens workforce, services, products and policies to extend our global leadership. STRATEGIC RESPONSES 1. Drive positive policy for the Carolinas’

EDUCATION PARTNERS/OTHERS: • Aiken Technical College • Central Piedmont Community College • Citizens For Nuclear Technology Advancement

WHAT IS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CLUSTER? An economic development cluster strategy builds on a foundation of comparative advantages. Well-run clusters spur corporate and educational innovation. Robust clusters lead to strong industry collaboration, gains in efficiency and a stronger presence in the market. A cluster can be an economic development magnet. The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster is based on:

Clemson University Economic Development Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield Counties • Francis Marion University • Midlands Technical College • N.C. Community College System • N.C. Department of Commerce • N.C. State University • S.C. Department of Commerce • S.C. Research Authority • S.C. State University • S.C. Technical Colleges • S.C. University Research & Education Foundation — SUNRISE • SRS — Community Re-Use Organization • UNC Charlotte • University of South Carolina • York Technical College •

SELECTED CURRENT ACTIVITIES: • Completed an economic development impact study of generators to better understand and extend our financial impact on our states. Phase two of this study to measure the supply chain is being planned. • Conducted five supplier sessions to introduce our industry to small businesses so we can build the Carolinas’ economy. • Assessed engineering workforce needs that will help our universities prepare professionals who will lead our industry. • Conducting a leadership program to train upcoming nuclear industry leaders; the third year of that program is being recruited now. • Building a technology development network connecting industry and education. • Meeting with policy makers to build their understanding about — and ability to help — the nuclear industry. MEMBERSHIP INVESTMENTS: • 2011 cost (January-December): Companies with more than $100 million in revenue — $5,000; $25-100 million in revenue — $3,500; Up to $25 million in N

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revenue — $1,200. Nonprofits and education — $250. • Associate membership is available for organizations that provide a service or product to support the industry, though nuclear is not their main area of interest. ATTENDEES HAVE: • Expertise: Have technical expertise in the nuclear energy industry, or provide a critical service or product in a very closely aligned industry, because members are asked to participate in engineering and energy issues. Individuals who are purely

sales representatives are not aligned with the organization’s action items. • Organization position: Management; has budget /decision-making authority. • Active participation: Each member takes a take role in a task force: Economic development, workforce development, public policy, tech development or communications. The coordinator works with new members for the best fit.

that have products or services that are identified in the supply chain for the industry, but who are not core participants in the industry. •

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster has an associate membership for organizations

Benefits of membership: – Associate members will be part of a future online directory. – Participate in a once-per-year large-group cluster meeting that provides opportunities to interact with core members. – Be part of a quarterly e-newsletter for supplier and industry updates. – Be eligible for set-aside slots for the Leadership Energy Carolinas program. – Be included in selected New Carolina networking activities.

Cost: $750 per calendar year starting in 2011. For the September-December 2010 period, the cost is $300 if the 2011 membership is paid at the same time.

• Associate member requirements: 1. The associate member’s organization’s product or service has to be identified as a need in the NEI supply chain or a cluster supply chain. 2. If there has been prior industry involvement for the supplier, the organization must be in good standing with core members’ procurement departments and managements. 3. Application via e-mail includes: Key contact information, Carolinas office and manufacturing locations, number of Carolinas employees, a description of the firm’s products or services, years in business and a list of nuclear quality certifications. 4. Review and approval of the cluster’s leadership team is required. ◆ Contact/more information: Scott Carlberg, Nuclear Cluster Coordinator, 704-841-7649 28

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Profile for SC Biz News

2010 Energized  

The Carolinas are the hub of nuclear expertise supplying more than 11% of the nation’s nuclear power production. Energized helps grow the nu...

2010 Energized  

The Carolinas are the hub of nuclear expertise supplying more than 11% of the nation’s nuclear power production. Energized helps grow the nu...

Profile for scbiz

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