60th Anniversary of Shippingport Groundbreaking

Posted September 9, 2014 by Mark Marano

Sixty years ago this month, ground was broken on a project that shaped the future of the entire nuclear industry. Work on the Shippingport Atomic Power Station – the world’s very first commercial nuclear reactor – officially began on September 9, 1954. Located just outside of Pittsburgh in Shippingport, Pennsylvania (USA), this Westinghouse-designed pressurized water reactor (PWR) spurred innovation in an industry that continues to gain global importance and recognition today. 

ShippingportUnited States President Dwight D. Eisenhower sparked this first major step in the nuclear energy industry through his “Atoms for Peace” speech before the United Nations General Assembly on December 8, 1953. He highlighted atomic energy’s ability to be used for good by powering our homes and businesses. Just four years after Eisenhower’s speech, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station began powering communities in the Pittsburgh region.

Westinghouse engineers advanced the age of peaceful nuclear power through their work designing the first commercial nuclear reactor in Shippingport – an important milestone for both Westinghouse and the industry. Fast forward sixty years, and Westinghouse continues to lead the nuclear industry in safe, clean, reliable and innovative technology. Shippingport Atomic Power Station

Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for about half of the world’s operating nuclear plants. Westinghouse engineers continue to advance the commercial nuclear industry through the development and deployment of the world’s first AP1000® PWRs – eight of which are currently under construction in the United States and China. 

This month’s 60th anniversary of Shippingport is a reminder of how far we’ve come, as well as the vast amount of opportunities the future holds for Westinghouse and the nuclear energy industry. From the groundbreaking at Shippingport to the construction of Westinghouse’s AP1000® PWRs, it’s clear that Eisenhower’s vision for peaceful atomic power has become a reality.

Mark Marano

Mark Marano

is president of the Americas Region for Westinghouse Electric Company.
Categories: General Topics, History
Tags: Westinghouse Electric Company, History, Innovation, Shippingport, AP1000,