Westinghouse opens boiling water reactor training center

Pittsburgh, August 27, 2009 — Westinghouse Electric Co. celebrated the grand opening of its first United States Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Training Center and its second WEC Welding Institute on in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The BWR Training Center will be used to train Westinghouse employees, customers and industry representatives on the safe maintenance and refueling of boiling water reactors in nuclear power plants.

The BWR training facility is composed of a full-scale BWR cavity with vessel, internals, spent fuel pool, and refueling bridge; two 33-ton cranes, under-vessel mock-up and 65,000 square feet of shop floor. Combined, the welding institute and the BWR training facility will provide about 50 jobs for the city of Chattanooga.

The WEC Welding Institute offers a no-cost program that is equipped to train welders to perform work in both nuclear and non-nuclear plants. Currently, 10 students are enrolled in the program which has the capacity to train and graduate 288 welders per year. Westinghouse also has a WEC Welding Institute in Rock Hill, S.C. Together the welding institutes have the capacity to graduate more than 700 welders a year.

The Chattanooga WEC Welding Institute is equipped with 48 weld booths and certifies students after they complete an average of five months of hands-on training. After training, they can take the American Society of Mechanical Engineers welding qualification exam.

Once students pass the exam and receive certification, they must work for Westinghouse for 2,000 hours. They have the opportunity to work as apprentices at power plants or at any facility where Westinghouse is performing welding. Several customers work at the institute to pre-qualify the students to work during upcoming nuclear plant outages.

Westinghouse Electric Co., a group company of Toshiba Corp., is a nuclear power company and is a supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first commercial PWR in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for more than 40 percent of the world’s operating nuclear plants, including 60 percent of those in the United States.


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