GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy plans to add 485 jobs over the next five years as it invests $85 million in its New Hanover County operations. The Wilmington-based company, which is a joint venture of GE and Japan’s Hitachi that was formed in 2007, makes fuel and components for nuclear power plants, focusing in recent years on small modular reactors.
GE cited the increasing demand for “advanced solutions for reliable carbon-free electricity” as a factor in the expansion.
“Carbon-free nuclear power has an essential role to play in the energy transition and we are excited to lead our industry into the future,” said Jay Wileman, President & CEO, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.
To support the expansion, New Hanover County and Wilmington are providing $1.25 million and $500,000, respectively, over five years, tied to hitting performance targets. The new jobs are expected to pay an average of $131,000 annually.
Wilmington has been the headquarters of GE’s nuclear energy business since 2003.
The new employees will support the commercial deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor, WilmingtonBiz reported Friday. GE Hitachi has an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority to support planning and preliminary licensing for the possible deployment of the BWRX-300 reactor at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The U.S. accounts for more than 30% of global nuclear generation of electricity, according to the World Nuclear Association.
GE Hitachi didn’t say how many it now employs in Wilmington.