Nuke power slowdown cited in Cheswick job cuts
Changing global demand in the nuclear power industry prompted Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Co. to eliminate 29 jobs at its Electro-Mechanical division in Cheswick, the company said.
The plant, which employs about 800 people, designs and makes pumps that circulate water around nuclear reactor vessels, as well as generators and other equipment. The positions cut at Cheswick last week affected workers in nearly every department.
Spokeswoman Sharon Dey said Curtiss-Wright reduced the work force because of "shifts in the overall global business climate, including the long-term impact of Fukushima," a reference to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in northern Japan in March 2011 that followed a tsunami and flood.
While those reactors were not designed by Westinghouse Electric Co., Curtiss-Wright's business with the Cranberry company "has been impacted" by the tragedy in Japan, as well as by the sluggish U.S. economy generally, Dey said without elaboration.
Curtiss-Wright is the sole supplier of coolant pumps for Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. Curtiss-Wright is shipping the first two of 16 pumps to China this month under a $298 million contract with Westinghouse to equip four AP1000 reactors being built there.
Westinghouse spokesman Scott Shaw said his company's business with Curtiss-Wright is "not slowing down," noting it has similar pump supply contracts for AP1000s planned for utilities in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
But caution is in the air. Progress Energy Florida Inc., for instance, said on Tuesday it would not place into service the first of two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors slated for Levy County, Florida, until 2024, instead of 2021. The delays are due to lower-than-expected power demand, the slower economy and nuclear power's competition from low natural gas prices.
"There's a bunch of factors that are playing a role in slowing down the whole nuclear renaissance," Shaw said.
In addition, the Japanese disaster affected business "around the world" for building nuclear power plants, he said. The last of that nation's 50 operable nuclear power plants are scheduled to be taken off line on Saturday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Renowned strength coach set to visit Kittanning
- Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
- Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
- Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- Steelers notebook: Gay respects ‘anything’ referees call
- Allegheny County district attorney prosecutors move on to state office
- John Browne: Care act isn’t affordable for Americans, economy
- Georgia prosecutor Yates tapped for No. 2 post in Justice Department