Grand Opening of the Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding

Yesterday, on an unusually warm December day, I attended the grand opening of the new Apprentice School building in downtown Newport News, Virginia. It was an event that made me proud to be an American, proud to be a Virginian and proud to be a veteran of the US Navy. I was a member of an audience that included local citizens, business leaders, government officials, the press, and students and alumni of The Apprentice School.

Unveiling David Turner's Apprentice School sculpture

Unveiling David Turner’s Apprentice School sculpture

The crowd was there to commemorate a successful project to finance and construct a new, state of the art vocational educational facility. Newport News Shipbuilding founded The Apprentice School in 1919; it was fully accredited by the Council of Occupational Education in 1982. Every year, The Apprentice School graduates between 170 and 250 skilled shipbuilders from 19 different trade training programs that last either four or five years. A few special programs take as many as eight years. In early 2014, the School will pass a milestone when graduate number 10,000 completes the program.
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Bruce Power – Unique public-private-trade union partnership to enhance and restore assets

> Bruce Power has successfully restored the four units at Bruce A with the cooperation of private industry, trade unions and the provincial government. The relatively compact site now houses 8 large nuclear units with a total generating capacity of 6,300 MW of emission free electricity. The successful project was driven by creative people applying […]

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Atomic Show #200 – Celebrating atomic communicators

On March 9, 2006, Shane Brown and I recorded the first episode of The Atomic Show. We formatted the show as a couple of geeks chatting about atomic energy and published it on Cameron Reilly’s The Podcast Network. On March 17, 2013, I hosted and recorded Atomic Show #200 as a roundtable discussion that included […]

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Is an employee buyout a win-win-win solution for Kewaunee Nuclear Power Station?

Dominion’s October 2012 announcement that it is closing the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant took the nuclear industry by almost complete surprise. My friends who write about nuclear topics on a regular basis had no clue about the possibility before it was announced. None of the contacts that I have developed over the past few decades […]

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San Onofre steam generators – honest error driven by search for perfection

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the supplier that sold four new steam generators to Southern California Edison (SCE) for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), has issued a redacted version of its root cause analysis of the u-tube failures that have kept both of the station’s 1100 MWe units shut down since January 31, 2012. […]

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Atomic Show #188 – Wheeler and Harding discuss ANS Utility Working Conference

During the first week of August each year, the American Nuclear Society hosts a conference called the Utility Working Conference (ANS-UWC). It is one of my favorite ANS meetings because it draws a crowd of professionals whose daily employment is focused on safely operating electricity production facilities powered by atomic fission. Those facilities produce 20% […]

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Atomic Show #187 – Women In Nuclear (US WIN) 2012

During the period from July 15-18 2012, more than 440 nuclear professionals attended the annual U. S. Women In Nuclear (US WIN) conference held in Orlando, FL. I spoke to three of the attendees – Julie Ezold, Sandy DePirro, and Savannah Fitzwater – about the conference and about the organization. The women work in three […]

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Different Perspective on Nuclear Construction Project Costs

There are many stories on the web this week about cost overruns at Vogtle and VC Summer, the two active new nuclear power plant projects in the United States. TVA has also had well publicized cost increases and schedule delays at Watts Bar II, a construction project that was started more than 30 years ago […]

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Advice to Fairfield County SC – DO NOT expunge criminal records

I noted a disturbing comment in an article titled Fairfield County hopes reactors will boost economy The article is about the understandable desire among leaders in Fairfield County, SC to ensure that the construction of VC Summer units 2 and 3 result in local benefits. They want local people to have a shot of landing […]

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