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PostPosted: Sep 22, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Westinghouse to lay off 1,500 as it deals with investigations and tries for turnaround

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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.


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2017 5:36 pm 
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Stamped for failure: Westinghouse and SCANA used unlicensed workers to design abandoned S.C. nuclear reactors


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PostPosted: Sep 28, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Blackstone, Apollo team up for Westinghouse bid


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PostPosted: Sep 30, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Any buyer will have to find an answer to cost structure. The Japanese have failed. There may be other solutions but I could only think of offshore platforms.


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PostPosted: Oct 01, 2017 3:39 pm 
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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.


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PostPosted: Oct 03, 2017 4:48 am 
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Toshiba buying back 10 percent stake in Westinghouse unit for $522 million

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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.


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PostPosted: Oct 03, 2017 4:37 pm 
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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.


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PostPosted: Oct 05, 2017 7:17 pm 
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Westinghouse asks for $8.4 million in bonuses to keep top executives at the bankrupt firm

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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...

Quote:
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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PostPosted: Oct 18, 2017 8:46 pm 
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More 'imprudent' evidence

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SCANA board members and senior managers failed to raise alarms as evidence arose that the construction of two new nuclear reactors was going off the rails. Instead, they continued to give themselves bonuses and pay increases even as late as 2016, according to a Post and Courier report. None of the nine current members of the SCANA board of directors has any practical experience or expertise in nuclear power plant construction or management, despite overseeing what was expected to be a more than $10 billion project that nearly doubled in cost and ran years behind schedule before being shut down this summer. That board enjoyed a 12 percent raise for 2016 — for a total of more than $2 million in cash and stock — even after an audit raised serious concerns about the viability of completing the nuclear project earlier that year. SCANA’s five most senior managers got a 7 percent raise.


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PostPosted: Oct 19, 2017 11:45 pm 
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It is time to avoid costly new big reactors by the US, Europeans and the Japanese, which is being forced by economics anyway. Economical new designs could be validated by small reactors, built locally or outsourced.


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PostPosted: Oct 26, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Pushing risk off a cliff: how Westinghouse ended up in bankruptcy

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At a 2013 energy conference at the University of Pittsburgh, the then-head of risk management at Westinghouse, nailed it: “Half the players in the industry are usually suing each other one way or another. Within the consortium, sometimes we don’t share,” he said then. “Think about that. I’m the engineer, you’re the architect and the builder. And I’m holding my cards close to my chest because I know, at the end of the day, I know we’re gonna end up suing each other.”


Westinghouse sold an unfinished product, then the problems snowballed


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PostPosted: Oct 27, 2017 2:05 am 
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The US has 281 lawyers per 100,000 people, France has 33, Japan 7. I would imagine the lawyer to engineer ratio in China is also pretty low. http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/lawyers-per-capita.html


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PostPosted: Oct 28, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Many businesses end up being priced out of the market.
Technology wise closed cycle breeders fast reactors and MSR are waiting in the wings.
Natural gas and renewables are also present in their niches.


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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2017 7:47 am 
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Two identical nuclear projects, one in Georgia and one in South Carolina. Only one survived


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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2017 8:44 am 
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From the article:
Quote:
But Jacobs knew that a nuclear renaissance wouldn't happen unless Westinghouse built Vogtle on time and on budget.


I agree. Nuclear power cannot and will not become the CO2 free energy source we are looking for unless someone, somewhere, can prove that new nuclear power plants can be built on time and on budget. There's something of a catch-22 in this, we won't know how to build a reactor on time and budget until we learn how to NOT build a reactor on time and on budget. Someone is going to have to be the example of failure. Getting funding for a project where the chances of failure is high is always difficult, and the chances of failure won't go down until people try and fail. Success breeds success, so I wish that these projects succeed.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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