Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

Toshiba and Westinghouse
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Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 07, 2017 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Emails: Toshiba, Westinghouse accused of deceit, malfeasance in run-up to South Carolina nuclear plant failure

Author:  Tim Meyer [ Sep 08, 2017 7:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

The Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nuclear reactor pair used for electric power generation. It is located on a 1,770-acre (7.2 km²) site in Rhea County, Tennessee, near Spring City, between the cities of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Watts Bar supplies enough electricity for about 1,200,000 households in the Tennessee Valley.

The plant, construction of which began in 1973, has two Westinghouse pressurized water reactor units: Unit 1, completed in 1996, and Unit 2, completed in 2015. Unit 1 has a winter net dependable generating capacity of 1,167 megawatts. Unit 2 has a capacity of 1,165 megawatts.

Unit 2 is the most recent civilian reactor to come on-line in the United States and the first new reactor to enter service in the United States after a 20-year hiatus.
An analysis conducted by the utilities after the Westinghouse bankruptcy showed the project, which was supposed to be finished by 2020 at a cost of about $14 billion, actually would have cost at least $21 billion and wouldn’t have been completed until years later.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 16, 2017 8:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Secret nuclear report should block SCANA from charging customers more, legislators told

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 17, 2017 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Westinghouse CEO looks beyond bankruptcy

Westinghouse is working on a transformation plan that will take it "back to its fundamentals" by building on its core business, including fuel supply and reactor services. Gutierrez stressed that Westinghouse will no longer be involved in construction. "We are coming back to our previous business model that has been in engineering and procurement. That is where we have the right skills, the right abilities and right capacities."

Sounds to me like they're permanently out of the new reactor business.

Author:  Tim Meyer [ Sep 17, 2017 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Thank you for the posts, Kirk. I suppose if there were an expert subject analysis here on a forum devoted to non-water and namely molten salt designs—given that thorium is best utilized in the fluid phase and especially molten salts and not solid like at Shippingport—populated by experienced members, perhaps the overall view would be that this AP1000 experience continues to show the potential superiority of the molten salt technologies. One might think MSR tech deserves top priority help for development and is being held up by what?

Does Bechtel (A1B) have any MSR reports? I apologize for my neophyte questions. From the peanut gallery it seems MSRs do not require all the insane engineering overhead required of the water reactors? And if thorium is best utilized in molten salts, then leaders ought to acknowledge this basic fact. I wish the U.S. would succeed in the MSR competition because I love the USA, my home. And especially at Huntsville!

At least the two Vogtle AP1000s will go online?

Author:  camiel [ Sep 18, 2017 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

It is 'back to basics' for Westinghouse and this sounds familiar: Areva, the French nuclear conglomerate, which was in very deep trouble, has also returned to its roots, more or less, after restructuring. Areva was formed out of Cogema (enrichment, reprocessing, fuel), Framatome (nuclear reactors and engineering) and Technicatome (naval and research reactors) in the early 2000s. Areva has basically gone full circle, as the constituent parts that once formed the mighty Areva are once again separate: Areva (fuel cycle business, now owned by the French state), Areva NP (reactor business, now owned by EDF) and Areva TA (now owned by a consortium, including the French state).

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 19, 2017 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Commission set to vote on scope of Vogtle, expansion schedule

The Georgia Public Service Commission is set to vote Tuesday on the scope and schedule for Vogtle’s Semi-Annual Construction monitoring review, which it expects to rule on by February. Georgia Power wants the regulators to include approval “as reasonable” its revised total project cost estimate of $12.17 billion and its construction schedule, which defers completion of Units 3 and 4 until November 2021 and November 2022, respectively.

Author:  Tim Meyer [ Sep 19, 2017 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Wow. 2022. And demonstrated performance by 2025? Fluid fueled using molten salts is not solid fueled water-cooled independent of location. The U.S. Congress needs to return to regular order so vital domestic nuclear power laws can get decided and upgraded to include MSR tech. Our U.S. founders warned of partisan politics and it's divisiveness. All parties want prosperity and thorium MSR tech has the potential to generate a million times more power than that installed generating capacity AND with near-zero emissions! Notice President Trump's and Secretary Tillerson are open on climate change commitments. Think thorium MSR tech that is essentially zero emissions a MILLION TIMES MORE POWERFUL!—energy to enable a new kind of economics and an economic upgrade. All prices are tied to energy prices. Is this naive? Maybe the experts here don't want to bother posting analysis?

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 22, 2017 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Westinghouse to lay off 1,500 as it deals with investigations and tries for turnaround

He described the staff cuts as “surgical” — as in not uniform across all of Westinghouse’s business lines and locations but weighted heavier on certain groups, which he did not list. Except for management. “We have been reducing management positions, director positions, VPs and senior VPs,” he said. “We are flattening the organization.” It is a common complaint among Westinghouse’s rank and file that the company had become too top-heavy, with too many in management out of touch with technical talent. That was one of the findings of an internal employee survey that Westinghouse did last year. Mr. Gutierrez said efforts to deflate the hierarchy are partly in answer to those concerns. “In some way, I think that we are responding to requests from our employees,” he said. He said he is targeting exiting bankruptcy by the end of the first quarter next year.

I doubt that anyone that can get a better job is going to hang around Westinghouse very long to see if the CEO is correct. Westinghouse is finished as a "going concern" in the nuclear space.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 24, 2017 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Stamped for failure: Westinghouse and SCANA used unlicensed workers to design abandoned S.C. nuclear reactors

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Sep 28, 2017 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Blackstone, Apollo team up for Westinghouse bid

Author:  camiel [ Oct 01, 2017 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Having these private equity / buy-out firms involved in the acquisition of Westinghouse seems to be bad news for the company's future. In my opinion these type of firms are merely interested in milking the company, because of its maintenance and fuel businesses and their relative stable and predictable cash-flows. The AP1000 program and future reactor development programs are likely to be canceled with a buy-out firm at the helm of Westinghouse.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Oct 03, 2017 4:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Toshiba buying back 10 percent stake in Westinghouse unit for $522 million

Kazakh uranium miner Kazatomprom, which bought the stake in 2007, has exercised a put option that allows it to sell it back to Toshiba, the troubled conglomerate said in a statement.

Author:  rgvandewalker [ Oct 03, 2017 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

I was an employee in a structured buy-out some years ago, purchased from a Japanese company. The Japanese were good to work for, but they are from a xenophobic honor-based culture, rather than a commercial culture. (e.g. All of the executives were Japanese, driving Japanese luxury cars. Even if they had perfect English and went to Stanford.)

Some of the businesses we were in were impressive, but did not make sense from a strictly commercial view. (I see a parallel with nuclear construction, sad to say.) The Japanese holding company apparently had very large loans, using the "good will" of our company as collateral. (This actually made sense; Most of the value of the company had something to do with very skilled employees.) The accounting rules changed (because of the Enron scandal...), and they could no longer carry so much good-will on the books. I think that the Japanese holding company that sold us used the proceeds to pay long-term interest on their bank loans (i.e. they green-mailed their bank, who did not have to write-off defaulted loans). And then, the holding company had a few years to grow new assets as bank collateral.

We were purchased by some VCs, and given a bit of cash. The new top management ended the crazy business, invested a bit and the company became profitable.

It was all rather graceful. Honorable, right?

The new buy-in looks to me as though Toshiba is trying to arrange something like this to regain honor.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Oct 05, 2017 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toshiba and Westinghouse

Westinghouse asks for $8.4 million in bonuses to keep top executives at the bankrupt firm

Bankrupt nuclear firm Westinghouse Electric Co. is seeking up to $8.4 million in bonuses for top executives and select employees in order to convince them to stay at the company over the next year. The Cranberry-based firm filed documents with U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York on Wednesday outlining a “key employee incentive program” that would be largely tied to the company hitting certain earnings targets within the next eight months. Twenty-six employees — 10 senior executives and 16 non-executives — would be eligible to receive between $4.2 million and $8.4 million in bonuses. In addition, the company is seeking to bump up the base salary of CEO Jose Emeterio Gutierrez from $627,000 to $1 million, and that of acting CFO Dan Sumner from $234,000 to $375,000. According to the consultant that Westinghouse hired in July to evaluate compensation, both executives get paid well below their peers at other companies.

Yeah, because these execs are doing SUCH a good job running Westinghouse...

Westinghouse announced last month that it would layoff around 1,500 employees across the globe.

I guess those guys weren't so important, eh?

Toshiba crushed by hubris and hesitation

Time for Westinghouse to end.

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