Canonsburg plant closing affecting 134 workers

May 22, 2014

A Canonsburg manufacturing plant will close Oct. 29, affecting 134 employees.

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Custom Fabrication Plant will shut down at 50 Curry Ave., affecting 119 hourly and 15 salaried employees.

Christopher White, spokesman for the Wilmington, N.C.-based company, said employees were advised of this decision last Oct. 29, one year before the actual closure.

Some already have taken positions elsewhere with the company or opted for early retirement. “We have a very comprehensive benefits package for those impacted,” White said, referring to the transfer options and the offering of severance packages.

The plant makes storage containers for used nuclear fuel rods. It was known as Ionics when it was purchased by GE-Hitachi in 2005.

White said there are two reasons the Canonsburg operation is being shuttered. It lost its main customer when NAC International, a nuclear consulting firm based in Georgia, was acquired by a competitor.

“The other,” he said, “is that the work being done at the Canonsburg facility is not core to what our company does.”

That core, according to White, is “designing the world’s safest nuclear reactors – literally the safest – then fueling and servicing nuclear reactors.”

He said the Canonsburg operation “is more of a metal shop that makes custom parts.”

GE-Hitachi was formed as a joint venture in 2007.

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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