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250 GE Staffers Return to Work

By Roderick McClain

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/whqr/local-whqr-979740.mp3

Wilmington, NC –

After more than two weeks off the clock, shift workers at GE-Hitachi's Global Nuclear Fuel in Castle Hayne are punching in today. WHQR's Roderick McClain reports that an inaudible warning signal found during routine safety checks prompted a cease to operations.

In the midst of investigation and oversight from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, GE-Hitachi officials closed the worksite pending corrective action and additional safety tests. GE spokesperson Mike Tetuan says although 250 hourly workers are returning after nearly half a month without pay, fuel production remains at a standstill.

"We want to make sure that we are completely satisfied that we can resume those operations safely and compliantly when we decide to do so."

Tetuan says it's not yet known when the facility will resume operations, though GE has notified customers and all orders are on schedule. Roger Hannah from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the overall safety significance of the event is not major because there was not a release of radioactive energy or a criticality and the likelihood of a criticality is very small.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.