Westinghouse Electric Co. is taking advantage of a global boom in nuclear plant construction by expanding its operations into a new facility it is planning to build in Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs. Just months after getting the award to build four nuclear powerplants in China, Westinghouse announced plans to build a 775,000-sq-ft, $140-million nuclear energy campus. At least 1,000 new workers will be hired in the expansion into the new campus in Cranberry, a bedroom community north of Pittsburgh.


Westinghouse officials see great prospects for growth in nuclear plant construction in the years ahead. Westinghouse/Shaw Consortium has an agreement with China's State Nuclear Power Technology Co. to build four AP1000 pressurized-water reactors in China. The companies are working to finalize the contract.

“We signed a preliminary contract with China two weeks ago,” says Westinghouse spokesman Vaughn Gilbert.

In October, Shaw acquired a 20% interest in Westinghouse and became a part of the AP1000 Consortium with Westinghouse. Through the acquisition agreement, Shaw obtained certain exclusive opportunities to perform engineer-procure-construct services and supply piping for future Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear projects.

The new Westinghouse headquarters will consolidate operations from Pittsburgh’s eastern suburban communities of Monroeville and Churchill, and bring the 2,150 workers at those sites to the new facility. Construction of the facility will start this spring. The first wing of the facility is scheduled to open in 2009.

The company is procuring long-lead material for the China project. Westinghouse also is working on final designs for the China project, as well as working on staffing the project and finalizing contracts with subcontractors, Gilbert says.

To meet the growing demand for nuclear facilities, the first employees to staff the new Pittsburgh facility will be the company’s nuclear people, Gilbert says. “We’ve also been identified for 12 plants here in the U.S. We’re now in the process of negotiating contracts on those plants,” he said.

The final contracts for the four plants in China, to be constructed at the Sanmen and Haiyang sites, will be finalized by mid-year. Construction of the first unit should begin in 2009 and the first plant will go on-line in 2013, says Emmy Roos, spokeswoman for Shaw Group.

The company is as bullish as Westinghouse about its opportunities in the nuclear market.

Shaw has good prospects for pipe work on approximately 20 to 30 reactors that are in various stages of planning, Roos says. Shaw has the largest pipe fabrication capacity worldwide and has supplied piping supply to 58 of the 103 nuclear power units in the United States.

“We are certified by ASME to perform all activities required for construction of ASME nuclear components including piping systems at nuclear generating facilities,” Roos says.