make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Update: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy wants to bring Uranium enrichment plant to Wilmington

READ MORE: Update: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy wants to bring Uranium enrichment plant to Wilmington
NEW HANOVER COUNTY--GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy wants to bring a uranium enrichment plant to Wilmington. Right now, GE gets enriched uranium from outside companies. The company wants to enrich its own uranium. The plant would bring plenty of jobs and environmental concerns. Employees of GE/Htachi, a panel from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and curious residents gathered at UNCW Thursday night. The topic of discussion was GE's desire to build an enriched uranium plant next to their current buildiing off Castle Hayne Road. The processed uranium would be used to produce energy for GE's nuclear plants. President of GE hitachi Tammy Orr says it's safe. "We know how to handle it we know how to manage it and we're going to continue to build off of our safety record because at GE safety is our number one priority." The first step is submitting an application to the NRC for licensing. Thursday's meeting was to ease concerns of local residents in how the process works. GE plans to submitt the application by the end of the year. From there it will take the NRC at least two years to review. The NRC has to make sure the air, soil, water and workers' health won't be compromised. Some residents praised NRC for their detailed process. "I'm very impressed, I think the process is a wonderful process." A New hanover county resident told the NRC. Others are more wary like Dorothy McCaskill. "The health consequences and the distance that it is from residences, it's very much in our community right in our back yard." Despite the NRC's role as an independent agent, McCaskill is not convinced that the uranium plant is a good idea. "I feel like I came here to learn more," McCaskill says, "and I am still of the opinion that I had when I came here that it's not a good thing." If you would like more information about the NRC's process, log on to or you can contact NRC's Licensing Project Manager, Tim Johnson at 301-492-3121 Elizabeth Kuronen, a spokesperson for GE/Htachi can be contacted at 910-675-6121

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I work for GE and I can

I work for GE and I can assure everyone that they are one of the best companies to work for. They really are concerned about health and safety and would not do anything without properly weighing out the consequences first. And no, I am not a big wig in the company, just a common man. Nuclear energy is the future and it is cleaner and cheaper than coal or cement or many other industries that we have.

I am a NC resident who has

I am a NC resident who has worked in the nuclear power/nuclear energy field for more than 30 years. I have worked at Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion facility in Piketon, OH where a uranium enrichment facility was operated. They employed, in the most part, mostly local personnel who were trained to operate the facility and its equipment. Most of the people working there were 2nd and 3rd generation people who found that a very good living came from doing an excellent job for the company they worked for. The facility operated for many many years with no impact on the local environment or populous. As long as GEH operates in compliance with USNRC regulations and oversight it would be very beneficial to the Wilmington area and a bonus to the personnel selected to work there.

I work in Aircraft and when

I work in Aircraft and when the hard rain falls the ceilings leak and water hits electrical panels/makes the floor slippery, etc. Have brought this to the attention of supervision/safety rep. and it still leaks, and has for the past year and a half along with all of the mentioned hazards. No, I'm definitely not a big wig either, but if I were I would see to these hazards getting eliminated and forget about cutting cost for once! It's always "wait until someone gets hurt, then have a meeting about it and how to prevent it from happening". Seen it too many times over the years! That's the real truth about their safety concerns in Aircraft. Maybe they should have Nuclear bring their safety group on over and observe and ask employee's questions about safety.

Water Torture

I'd let management perform water torture me on a daily basis just to even be taunted with a chance at getting a job out there. Count your blessings.

very simple

That has a very simple answer. File a complaint with OSHA. They will investigate and if a violation is found, will force changes to be made. OSHA They will respond quickly.

Just How Many Are Local...

These tax incentives are largely based on the fact that new jobs are created locally...but in reality the "new jobs" are typically filled by employees being "transferred" to the area. Although this does help our economy locally with new home sales, etc., the message is deceiving. These jobs are not "vacant". In other words, local people will be hired to do the administrative things, but the "suits" will be brought in from other locations. The $50K plus positions. Please, prove me wrong.

Re: Just How Many Are Local

The last 2 "incentives" were merely consolidation of the nuclear business. These were jobs located elsewhere in the US that were brought here under the guise of job creation. Most required an engineering degree. Some slipped in with previous nuclear experience such as the Navy. Many were filled through Granite (GE owned) Temporary Staffing. Locals were left out of the non-Granite jobs except for a half dozen Administrative Assistants. As for the new laser enrichment facility, I doubt very seriously that hourly jobs (Tech School and Community College Grads) will be offered outside. They will fill through cut backs in other areas on site and Granite staffing. Still, no matter how viewed, good for the area. No argument here.

it will make local jobs

yes there will be people in from outside at first, they have a knolage base, but NC State grads will be there, also once the project is up and running locals will be trained, GE-H has started a program at CFCC to support the project to train locals... the building is done by local as well. As for the 50k jobs... the starting rate is about 27/hr with ot... you do the math.

No Doubt...

No doubt this is good for the local uneducated folks to receive a great paying job with fabulous benifits. Let's just gather all of the "knolage" we can about this project to make a knowledgeable decision. By the way, those NC Grads aren't necessarily coming from New Hanover County, where the incentives are being given....let's just hope LOCAL kids are given first chance to the program at CFCC. These are the things our LOCAL government officials should demand when giving away the farm.

Not a good idea? It's safe

Not a good idea? It's safe and clean. You can have this or a coal burning cement plant, pick one.

100 miles buffer zone of any aquifier or residential area

A buffer zone could be implemented into federal law that doesn't allow construction of any new hazardous waste emitting industries within 100 miles of any residential area. That would solve a large amount of the daily air quality and water supply contamination issues; exception of a major accident.

I have to agree

With the Earth facing certain doom if we don't make drastic emissions cutbacks, I find it ironic that it's the environmentalists who are really to blame here. By successfully lobbying against nuclear energy, our society has had no choice but to increase its reliance on coal-burning power plants, much to the detriment of our atmosphere.

Pick one?

This isn't an either/or situation. Don't try to confuse two independently proposed projects. They are not related, except in the fact that they will both provide US manufacturing capabilities. Both have their own potential impacts, both positive and negative.