The Electric Boat division of General Dynamics will eliminate 165 jobs as part of a switch in the companies that maintain the naval nuclear reactor facilities in West Milton.
Layoff notices were issued Friday to 92 salaried and 73 hourly employees at the Kenneth A. Kesselring site, where sailors are trained to operator nuclear-powered naval ships. However, company officials said many of those employees may be retained by Kesselring’s new nuclear reactor maintenance contractor, Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of defense contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries.
A transition will begin in mid-October, with Newport News taking over the contract on Jan. 1. The state Department of Labor has been formally notified of the pending layoffs, and company and state officials are planning their responses.
Kesselring is operated by the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, a division of Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp. About 2,700 people work at either the Niskayuna or West Milton sites. A KAPL spokesman referred questions about future employment levels to Huntington Ingalls.
Under contract, Electric Boat has maintained the nuclear propulsion training facilities at the Kesselring site for more than two decades. Kesselring is used to train U.S. Navy sailors to operate the navy’s nuclear propulsion fleet. The site has two small nuclear reactors, as well as laboratories, machine shops, and other facilities.
Huntington Ingalls announced it has been awarded a five-year contract to start maintaining the prototype reactors, at an estimated cost of $195 million. There will be an option for an additional five years.
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