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Moyock Casting breaks ground on plant to build nuke-fuel containment units

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Currituck County and state officials join Marlin Stoltz, director of fleet asset management for AREVA TN (center), for a ground breaking ceremony for the new Moyock Casting Facility plant in Moyock, Thursday. The plant will manufacture the concrete components used to make the containment units that house spent nuclear fuel.

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Barry Ward
Staff Writer

Thursday, February 25, 2016

MOYOCK – State and local officials helped a Maryland-based company break ground Thursday on a new plant that will build containment units for spent fuel from nuclear power plants.

State Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, and state Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, joined members of the Currituck Board of Commissioners for the ceremonial turning-of-soil ceremony for the new Moyock Casting Facility plant at 117 Windchaser Way. 

Moyock Casting Facility will produce the concrete components that make up the containment units used to house dry-shielded canisters of spent nuclear fuel. The Moyock plant will make the roofs and walls of the containment units, also known as concrete forms, and ship them to nuclear power plants where they’ll be assembled. No nuclear material will be on Moyock Casting’s plant site.

Marlin Stoltz, director of fleet asset management for AREVA TN, Moyock Casting’s Columbia, Maryland-based parent company, said Thursday that construction of the four-acre facility could begin as early as Monday.

Stoltz said Moyock Casting's contractor, Whitehurst Sand Co. of Hertford, expects construction of the plant to take up to six weeks, depending on the weather.

Moyock Casting will employ 20 workers, two-thirds of whom have already been hired, Stoltz said. The jobs at Moyock Casting range from administrative positions to labor jobs.

Some of those hired are currently undergoing training, while others have the experience to start work immediately, he said. The plant’s workers are from Camden, Grandy, Elizabeth City and Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia, he said.

Stoltz said if the plant is successful, Moyock Casting will double or quadruple its current workforce.

AREVA TN provides fuel storage for nuclear power plants across the United States and Canada. The company is a division of AREVA, Inc. of Charlotte, the North American headquarters for AREVA's global operations which include production of low-carbon power generation, including both nuclear and renewable energy.

Currituck County Economic Development Director Peter Bishop said the county did not provide any incentives to entice AREVA TN to open a plant site in Moyock. 

He said Moyock Casting officials approached the county in November to see if Moyock was a conducive location for making concrete forms.

Jean Tullier, marketing director for AREVA TN, previously said Moyock was selected for the Moyock Castings plant site because the unincorporated community is home to the concrete dispatch unit for Commercial Ready Mix, a Winton-based company. The Moyock Castings plant in fact will be built next door to the dispatch site.

Tullier said another reason AREVA TN selected Moyock is its proximity to the coast and to ports, in particular the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. She said most of AREVA TN's clients are based on the East Coast.

Currituck also has adequate railroad infrastructure that gives Moyock Casting another way besides trucks and ships to transport its concrete forms to customers, Tullier said. 

Local and state officials celebrated Moyock Casting’s arrival in Currituck during Thursday’s ceremony.

Currituck Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Vance Aydlett said while the county is known as a tourist destination, officials have also worked to strengthen employment opportunities for residents.

“We've worked hard to diversify our economy and add businesses on our mainland,”Aydlett said.

Steinburg said Moyock Casting's arrival demonstrates the work he and Cook are doing in Raleigh is bearing fruit.

“We want to create an environment that is business-friendly and job-friendly,” Steinburg said.

Cook said a new business is always a sign of economic growth.

“We need to grow this state, particularly in the northeast,” said Cook.

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