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News Brief 4-02-17

Westinghouse Electric Company Filed for Chapter 11

Westinghouse had a very large manufacturing facility to fabricate steam generators for nuclear power plants in south Tampa, Florida. The building on South West Shore Boulevard was south of Gandy Boulevard and on the water of Tampa Bay. I visited the facility several times; once when I was in a summer trade school program in 1972 at Tampa Bay Technical High School. I took sheet metal shop and machine shop and those two instructors teamed up to get us young students a full tour of the plant. A few years later, while attending engineering college at the University of South Florida, our machine design class toured the facility.

I remember the large, tall, long building with multiple overhead bridge cranes that moved material in, out, and thru the buildings from ocean going barges. Steel plates six (6) inches thick arrived, were rolled into cylinders and welded together to form the steam generating vessel. Employing hundreds of people involved in testing, quality control, welding, fitting, welding, labors, engineers, material scientist, etc., the facility could be seen for miles away.

The age of nuclear power ended and the buildings were removed and homes now fill that water front area. This week Westinghouse Electric Company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The parent company, Toshiba Corporation based in Japan decided to pull the plug after losing billions of dollars on the building of four nuclear reactors here in the United States. To learn more about the billions invested, billions lost, and billions yet to be spent see the Wednesday, March 29, 2017 front page story “A Nuclear Giant Power Down.” In the Wall Street Journal.