Company, local officials welcome nuke fuel container firm
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
MOYOCK – Currituck County welcomed Moyock Casting Facility to the community Monday during a ribbon-cutting at the new firm’s location here.
“It's a big celebration for us,” said Marlin Stoltz, deputy of the Moyock Casting Facility. Stoltz said the company has been operating in Currituck County since January.
“We're not a walk up business, but we actually poured the first component the third week of January this year,” he said. “That was six weeks after we broke ground.”
Stoltz said the company, located at 117 Windchaser Way, employs 25 people who live in northeastern North Carolina and Hampton Roads, Va.
Moyock Casting Facility makes concrete roofs and walls, also known as concrete forms, to be shipped by barge or train to nuclear power plants across the country where the parts will be assembled to create a concrete storage unit. The units house a dry shielded cylinder canister in which used spent nuclear fuel is stored. Moyock Casting Facility does not store any nuclear material.
Michele Curlee, senior event manager for AREVA TN, parent company of Moyock Casting, described the process of making the concrete roofs and walls as putting structural rebar, or reinforcing steel bar, in a form and pouring concrete on it to create the concrete cast.
State Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, keynote speaker for the event, said, “Creating jobs is something everybody will be on board with.”
Steinburg said he grew up in a town with three nuclear power plants in upstate New York.
“For a while, nuclear power was kind of on a hiatus,” he said. “You didn't see a lot of nuclear power plants being built in the last 15 years or so.”
He said everything he reads now points to a public more embracing of nuclear power again, particularly in the southeastern part of the country. Steinburg said he hopes after this year's elections in November the federal government will become more friendly to advancing the nuclear energy industry.
“Nuclear power is clean energy,” said Steinburg. “There is really no other form of energy that can deliver the kind of punch and energy to customers that nuclear power can in a clean and efficient, and safe manner.”
AREVA TN, a Columbia, Md.-based company, 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 nuclear power plants and renewable power.
Currituck County Commissioner Paul Beaumont said it is great to see Currituck County's hard work in investing in economic development come to fruition. He said the opening of Moyock Casting is a result of industry working with the county.
“Currituck County is committed to helping industry get started,” said Beaumont.
Moyock Casting Facility's location next to railroad tracks was one of the reasons the company sought out Currituck County as a site, according to Currituck Economic Development Director Peter Bishop.
Bishop said at Monday's ribbon-cutting that Moyock Casting reached out to his office about opening the concrete forming facility in Currituck County.
Another reason Moyock Casting was interested in Currituck was because the Windchaser Way location is next door to Commercial Ready Mix, Inc.'s concrete dispatch site, a Winton-based company that makes concrete.
During his opening remarks, Stoltz thanked the Moyock Casting Facility crew for all their work.
“None of this would be here without them (the crew),” said Stoltz.
The employees in attendance said they enjoy working at Moyock Casting.
Sampson Jones Jr. and Bam Bryant described the atmosphere on the job as “wonderful.” Jones’ job is to tighten the rebar, or reinforcing steel bars, together at the site. A resident of Eastern Shore, Va., he learned about the position from a friend.
Bryant said he learned about his current position from family members. The Newport News, Va., resident said he works as a finisher, helping to prepare the concrete modules to be shipped to its destination.
Dave Culp, general manager of nuclear fuel engineering at Duke Energy, mentioned AREVA TN is one of many suppliers to Duke Energy's operations. Culp said Duke Energy uses AREVA TN's concrete storage units at its plants across North and South Carolina.
“We look forward to the prospect of getting more product out of this facility to the facilities we operate in the Carolinas,” said Culp.
He said some of the benefits for Duke Energy of having Moyock Casting located in Currituck include more timely reporting, and being closer to its headquarters in Charlotte.
Greg Vessey, vice president of AREVA TN Americas, during his remarks Monday, said he is amazed at how fast Moyock Casting Facility got up and running since its initial groundbreaking earlier in the year. Vessey said a willingness on Currituck County's part to work with them brought Moyock Casting to the community.
Stoltz said the company is already looking to expand. He said it's too early to say how or when the expansion will take shape, but Stoltz said he hopes it will bring a 50 percent increase in jobs.