Aiken County's Latest Nuclear Asset

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August 26, 2005

It’s another step towards securing Aiken County’s economic future in nuclear energy. The parent company of the Savannah River Site, the Washington Group, is starting an engineering company for energy-related projects. News 12 is on your side with why this may be the start of many more jobs and tax dollars headed to Aiken County.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford helps unveil Washington Energy Center. The company near South Aiken High will initially employ about 50 engineers to manage nuclear, pharmaceutical and chemical projects around the world.

“I can assure you that this organization will grow,” said Mal McKibben.

Mal McKibben, with the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, is the nuclear expect for our area. He expects great things from Washington Energy Center.

“I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if a couple of years from now we don’t see 500 or 600 people here,” McKibben said.

The expected success of the energy center is based on the achievements of another one of Washington International’s companies, which started eight years ago with 100 employees and one client. Today it has a long list of clients and more than 500 employees.

But the energy center is more than just jobs.

As the mission of SRS changes, this company gives the area more leverage in securing future nuclear projects.

“We can provide operations, we can do design engineering, so we can do project management, construction of any of these plants that choose to locate here,” said Preston Rahe of Washington Energy Group.

The energy center could also help SRS land a nuclear reactor, and it’s another step towards building a nuclear business community. It joins Global Containment Systems, which will bring 600 jobs.