April 16, 2013

S.C. Backing of Holtec International’s SMR Bid Could Bring Jobs Early

Holtec International, which won South Carolina’s backing in its efforts to receive a federal grant to develop a small modular reactor at the Savannah River Site, said the agreement could lead to the creation of up to 500 jobs in the Palmetto State before a unit is ever built.

The jobs would be tied to manufacturing dry storage casks used to store nuclear waste at commercial power plants in South Carolina, said Pierre Oneid, Holtec’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.

Oneid offered the remarks during an interview at this morning’s opening of the third annual Nuclear Insider SMR Conference at the Columbia Marriott. The two-day event has drawn about 300 nuclear industry leaders.

Holtec, a global supplier of equipment and systems for energy providers, is one of three companies seeking up to $226 million in the second round of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to design, license and help develop a commercial version of a small modular reactor — commonly referred to as SMR.

“We have an initiative to bring manufacturing jobs much before the SMR would be developed in South Carolina and that’s in the dry storage,” said Oneid, who’s also president of Holtec’s SMR division.

Holtec, based in Marlton, N.J., has a contract to provide dry storage units for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Fairfield County, which is jointly owned by South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper.

The company is seeking similar agreements for dry storage units at six other reactor units in South Carolina and the Savannah River Site, Oneid added.

If Holtec earns the additional business, it could lead to locating a manufacturing facility for dry storage units in South Carolina much sooner than building a factory for a SMR unit, Oneid said.

He added Holtec’s goal is to have a dry storage manufacturing facility in the state in the next three years.

The total number of jobs could range from 200 to 400, Oneid said. If Holtec lands the SRS business, the total could reach 500, he added....

Continue reading at the Columbia Regional Business Report.

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