Westinghouse, Blue Castle Working to Bring Benefits of AP1000

PITTSBURGH (PRWEB) August 20, 2014

Westinghouse Electric Company and Blue Castle Holdings today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to pursue the development of a two-unit AP1000® nuclear power plant at the Green River site in Utah.

Under the agreement, the companies will work together to develop a scope of activities for enabling the Blue Castle Project under a definitive agreement, including marketing, nuclear safety licensing, permitting, design, engineering, procurement, construction, installation, commissioning, startup, testing, nuclear fuel, refueling, operation and maintenance of the two-unit plant.

“This agreement continues the trend in the selection of our AP1000 plant technology for new nuclear energy projects around the world,” said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president, Nuclear Power Plants. “The safety and constructability of our advanced passive design, combined with the preparation and early siting work completed by Blue Castle, give customers assurance of licensability and project delivery that is unmatched by other alternatives.”

“The Blue Castle Project is now moving to the next phase of its development by pursuing Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor technology for our Green River site. The executed MOU continues to implement the Blue Castle stepwise approach to risk reduction and favorable economics for utilities and ratepayers,” said Aaron Tilton, Blue Castle CEO. “The Blue Castle Project success is rooted in the support we have received from the public, state and local governments to deploy clean, predictable, long-term nuclear electricity generation.”

More than 2,500 jobs are expected to be created for construction of the two units and about 1,000 permanent, full-time employees will work at the plant during its 60-year operating life. The low-cost baseload power generated by the Blue Castle Project will support regional economic growth well beyond the immediate construction and operation jobs, while also providing the environmental benefit of zero carbon emissions.

Eight AP1000 units are currently under construction worldwide: two each at the Vogtle and V.C. Summer sites in the U.S. and the Sanmen and Haiyang sites in China. In addition, shareholder agreements have been signed in the past few months for the development of AP1000 plants at the Moorside site in the United Kingdom and the Kozloduy site in Bulgaria.

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world’s pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants. AP1000 is a trademark of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC. All rights reserved.

Blue Castle Holdings Inc. is an energy infrastructure development company based in Utah. It is presently developing the leading new nuclear plant project site in the western U.S. More information about Blue Castle Holdings can be found at http://www.bluecastleproject.com.







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Great British Houses: Hardwick Hall – Everything You Need to Know about this Elizabethan Marvel

Hardwick_Hall_in_Doe_Lea_-_Derbyshire

There are many grand and architecturally significant houses in England. However, there is one in particular that stands out from the rest. Hardwick Hall, which is located in Derbyshire, is the former home of Elizabeth Shrewsbury, also known as Bess of Hardwick. It was built between 1590 and 1597 and designed by architect Robert Smythson.

Key Facts about Hardwick Hall

  • Built between 1590 and 1597 for the formidable Bess of Hardwick
  • Currently owned by the National Trust
  • Most of the furniture and other contents of the house date back to as early as 1601
  • There are 6 rooftop sculptures on the outside that have the initials ‘ES’, which stands for ‘Elizabeth Shrewsbury’.

A Brief History of Hardwick Hall

1024px-Elizabeth_Talbot,_Countess_of_Shrewsbury_from_NPG

Bess of Hardwick

Bess of Hardwick came from a humble origin but she later became one of the most powerful people next to Queen Elizabeth I. She was married four times, gaining more power after each marriage. After she married Sir William Cavendish, she convinced him to move back to her home county. As a native of Derbyshire, Bess was very fond of the scenery and the quiet environment. They purchased the property for their well-known home, Chatsworth House, in 1549 and began building in 1552.

Bess married 2 more men over the course of 10 years, her last being the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was one of the richest and most powerful English nobles. The Shrewsbury’s were guardians of Mary, Queen of Scots for many years, while she was held captive at Chatsworth House. Bess is also the direct ancestress of the Dukes of Devonshire.

The story told is that Bess had a terrible argument with her husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and left their home at Chatsworth in 1584. She then organized plans to rebuild the Old Hall at Hardwick to create a new home for herself. However, her plans changed in 1590 when the Earl died, which left her with his inheritance. Due to her new positive financial situation, Bess decided to build a new construction at Hardwick, eliminating the renovation plans for the Old Hall all together and creating the New Hall. She moved into her new house in October 1597.

Her new Hardwick Hall was a true statement for her power and wealth. It contained numerous windows that were exceptionally large for the time period. Glass was a luxury, and the house was described as being more glass than walls. The chimneys were also built into the internal walls, instead of being constructed on the outside. This was done to allow more room for the large windows without weakening the exterior structure. An added touch by Bess was the carved ‘ES’ initials that are present in 6 of the rooftop sculptures at the head of each tower.

 

hardwick-hall-corridor

Hardwick is one of the first houses in England where the hall was built on an axis directly through the center of the house, instead of at right angles to the entrance. The height of each ceiling is also unique with each floor being slightly higher than the first. There are three main levels of the Hall. With the bottom level being smaller in height than the top floor. This was designed for the occupants of each room: the least important occupants stayed on the bottom floor, and the most important lived at the top. This helped to clearly designate the servants from the noble occupants.

The true treasure of Hardwick Hall is the remarkable contents inside that were collected by the Countess. An exceptionally unique collection of paintings and furniture from the 16th century are still present inside. The Hall is fully furnished, exactly as Bess would have kept it. The second floor of the house contains the largest long gallery that has ever been present in an English house. The most notable features are the tapestries and needlework on display. Much of the needlework art has the ‘ES’ initials and it is therefore assumed that Bess herself created much of it.

After the death of Bess in 1608, her son William Cavendish, the 1st Earl of Devonshire, inherited Hardwick Hall. His great-grandson, also named William, was titled as the 1st Duke of Devonshire, which began the Dukes of Devonshire dynasty. Chatsworth was and is the primary seat for the Dukes of Devonshire. However, Hardwick Hall remained as a secondary home for the family to escape from the attention of the public. The family donated the house to the British government in 1956 in lieu of Death Duties, who then transferred the house to the National Trust. The house still stands, and is surrounded by a walled garden, which includes an orchard, an herb garden, a café, and a National Trust gift shop.

What Makes This House Famous

The Old Hall

The Old Hall

Other than the exceptionally unique use of windows throughout the house, another fact that makes Hardwick Hall famous is due to the ‘Old Hall’ being listed as an official ruin. It is present beside of the New Hardwick Hall, and was the original home of Bess before she built the new house. The property is owned by the National Trust, and administrated by English Heritage.

TV & Film Appearances

Hardwick Hall is most popular in the TV and film industry as the location for the exterior scenes of Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2. The property was also used in the Connections TV series which illustrated changes in home design, as well as the TV series Mastercrafts.

Further Research on Hardwick Hall

Venus in Winter: A Novel of Bess of Hardwick is a novel by Gillian Bagwell and is a fictionalization of Bess’s life.

Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder - From the author of The Sisters, a chronicle of the most brutal, turbulent, and exuberant period of England’s history. Bess Hardwick, the fifth daughter of an impoverished Derbyshire nobleman, did not have an auspicious start in life. Widowed at sixteen, she nonetheless outlived four monarchs, married three more times, built the great house at Chatsworth, and died one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in English history.

Visiting Information

Hardwick Hall, as well as the gardens, the shop, and restaurant are open most days of the week with the exception of bank holidays. They also have a period of time after Christmas when the house is closed. According to their website, the house opens back up to the public on 16th February. Before planning your visit, it is best to refer to their website in order to verify that they are open, as well as hours of operation and ticket prices. You can find the information at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardwick.

Relevant YouTube Videos To Watch

Hardwick Hall – Various Scenes

Bess Hardwick First Lady of Chatsworth – Lecture – 1 Hour

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Castle: The Complete Sixth Season (DVD, 2014, 5-Disc Set)

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Guest Long Read: Tales of an Expat Brit Who Moved to Florida as Teenager – Reverse Life Across the Pond

Archwood Drive - Edited

Looking out of the window through blurry, tear filled eyes I watched as my beloved home spread out below me, first Heathrow airport and the surrounding areas, then it was the vast expanse of fields and valleys and the occasional town nestled in amongst the trees.  Never had I seen my country from this angle, never had I loved it more than the day I left.

Friday 13th October 1989, I’m not kidding, that was the day my family and I embarked on our grand adventure across the pond.  I was a heartbroken 14 year old girl who thought that America was overrated (even though I had no idea what it was like at all) and who knew that she would hate every minute of being away from her friends.  Little did I know, my life was about to change forever, in ways I could never have imagined.

The first few weeks were fun, seeing the area, picking a house, shopping… really seeing how people lived over here. It was all very interesting walking into the shops and not seeing the foods you didn’t know you relied on. Picking furniture for a house in styles that you had only seen in films, with a pool in the back garden.. sorry, yard!  Yes, lets not forget the language, I was shocked to discover that there were so many differences in words and phrases, they did, after all speak English did they not?  Well, I can tell you, it may be passed off as a dialect, but it most certainly is not English. Not as we know it anyway.  The Queen’s English was an unknown language here.

Reality began to sink in when the word “school” popped up in conversation.  Gone was the holiday period and here we were, slap bang in real life once again.  So off to High School I went, entering into 9th Grade, mid semester… loosely translated that meant 4th year seniors, mid term.  My school, Dr. Phillips, was large to say the least, had a student population of approximately 2700, aged from 14 to 18 and was quite prominent in the community for being the best at most things.

The most impressive part for me for quite some time was the student car park.  Being able to get your license at age 16 meant that, for those that could afford it, driving to school was an option.  And drive they did, anywhere and everywhere, public transportation was non existent, the sight of a bus was rare, but sometime you were treated to what my brother and  sister and I would call ‘bendy- busses’.  Double length busses with this squishy, bendy bit in the middle.  I never dared go on one, they just didn’t look safe.

EP front and back - Edited (1)

Upon arrival at the school, all manner of forms and paperwork were required, as is anywhere, for admission and we dutifully handed over all of the transcripts and report cards from my old school in England, Easthampstead Park.  There was stark contrast between the old Victorian mansion that was, in its old form, home to Catharine of Aragon, King Henry VIII’s first wife and a place frequented by the famous poet Alexander Pope and the 2 year new concrete block and metal pole construction of Dr Phillips.

As I was 14, I was a 4th year senior back home and going into 9th grade in the US, I had 3 years of French, 1 year of Mandarin, Chinese, a year of Biology, a year of Chemistry and a year of Physics to name a few key subjects.  When the admissions staff looked over my paperwork we were informed that there was no way I had actually done all of that at my age.  I don’t recall exactly what my parents response was but it was angry at the insinuations and we soon got to speak to a counselor regarding my qualifications.  They said a slightly less rude version of the same, at which point my parents invited them to call the school back home and verify the information.  Apparently, by the time the average 14 year old hits high school here, they haven’t done anything other than general science class, and have maybe, if they were lucky enough for their middle school to offer it, completed a year of a language.  I was tested on my abilities and put into a varying degree of classes. And so I began my high school career.

One of my most vivid memories in my very early high school days was when I was approached by a young lady who asked me the time.  Simple, right?  I looked at my watch and said, “It’s quarter to eight”.  I was quite chuffed with myself actually, interacting with the wildlife and all (I will admit to thinking at that age that I was a touch better than the average American based on my experience thus far).  The young lady stared blankly at me and leaning in a touch and speaking slightly louder, repeated the question “No, I’m sorry, I asked you what time is it?”  Well, I was taken aback, and then started to second guess that I was actually understanding her correctly.  I checked my watch again, made double sure, and, leaning ever so slightly forward and speaking just a smidge louder and slower, I repeated “It’s quarter to eight” and smiled.  The crinkling of her brow and a slightly disdainful look on her face told me that this wasn’t as simple as I had initially anticipated.  She then proceeded to ask me what language I spoke, although, I can assure you that she did not speak any other language.  My answer was, of course, English, which was greeted by her frustration and she once again asked the same question, in a manner that made it seem like I hadn’t already answered,  twice.  Thinking that at that this rate I was going to be late to class, I decided that one of us needed to think outside the box, so, I changed my answer, I said   “ It’s seven forty five”.. wow, the girl glared at me like I had been holding back all this time and quite literally said “Well why didn’t you just say it’s a quarter of eight!?!” and off she went.  I sat for a while, mulling this over and decided that I was right, this was going to be a long two years and what on earth were my parents thinking subjecting me to this.

Throughout the three years I attended Dr Phillips there were a few instances that stood out.  English class was my very first lesson, or period as they are called over here, of my first day.  I met my first friend.  When she introduced herself, I had to ask her to repeat her name.  “Laurie” which in my head translated to Lorry so I repeated it back to her the whole time thinking what a poor child she was being named after, well, a lorry.  She forgave me for laughing and we are actually still friends today, 25 years later.

In 10th Grade English I had a brief falling out with my teacher when I turned in an essay and got it handed back to me totally red penned and marked with a big red C.  I was incredibly upset, as English was my strongest subject, so I broke my own rules and approached the teacher to ask why there were so many corrections on my paper.  She answered that my spelling and grammar were incorrect along with some punctuation.  I disagreed, possibly quite vehemently and she reminded me that this was English class and that this was important to get right.  I think that all of the pent up differences got the better of me that day as my response to her was ”When you start actually teaching English then I’ll be just fine then!”

Detention was quite unremarkable and having never received one in England I’m afraid I have no comparison for you. There was also a brief and uncomfortable moment in my American History class in 11th grade when I turned the page in the textbook to see a small image of a map of the United Kingdom with nothing but London shown on it… right where Edinburgh is.  When questioned, the teacher said it wasn’t important, obviously she was trying not to detract from the lesson at hand, but in that one simple comment she made me discredit the whole textbook and honestly, most of the class.  If I couldn’t count on the literature in the classrooms to be accurate, then what could I believe.

Out of school I had the luxury of living the Florida lifestyle.  We rented a detached home, single story, split plan with 2 car garage (attached) and a fenced in back garden with a pool and a screened in porch.  Wow. Now, to be honest, the home we had back home wasn’t small ( we were a family of 5 so needed the space), but the 2 story house that we called home in England was exactly what we needed, the spacious open floor plan of the Florida home, was excessive.  We had lots of visitors from back home of course and it was interesting showing them around and playing in the pool and, after a while, it also became second nature to warn them about, well.. the nature.

From debilitating sunburn that you can get even when it’s cloudy, to the bugs and animals that sting and bite and slither and swim that can either cause swelling or rashes or a trip to the hospital and possibly even worse.  Think about it for a second, I came from the south of England where I used to run around, barefoot, in the grass, in the lakes, rivers, beaches, fields, woods, parks you name it, everywhere. With not a care in the world, the word “Adder” was there in the back of my mind somewhere, but was normally preceded with the word “black” and then my sister and I would burst into the theme song and then have a fit of  hysterical laughter.

But here, the grass itself has spiky seeds that stick in you and make you bleed, then there’s fire ants, you step on a nest of them and you’re going to the hospital.  The wide range of arachnids are enough to scare off the most brave of men, with the more common being the black widow closely followed by the brown recluse, both of which will require a hospital stay and possibly, if not treated, could really ruin the day.  Don’t forget the snakes. Rattlers, cottonmouths (otherwise known as water moccasins), coral snakes and copperheads are all venomous and pack a serious punch if they bite you. Gators, jellyfish, sharks.. should I stop?  Not that they are deadly in most cases, but the mosquitos here are very scary as well and in great abundance thanks to the vast amounts of standing water.  In a conversation with a friend of mine back home in the last few years about this very subject, it was commented on that the people are armed, the wildlife is deadly and the weather can be as well when taking hurricanes, tornadoes and hundreds of thousands of lightning strikes a year, into account, it’s a surprise I’ve lasted this long!

The 2 years turned to 3, I graduated High School and began college, got a job, and the rest as they say is history really.  The temperatures in the summer still keep me sweltering and I long for the few short months of winter that bring solace from the heat and humidity and allow me to take in gulps of fresh air as I spend more time outside.  In the summer the main focus is how close is the car parked from the next door that leads to air conditioning.

One of the most painful things is jumping into your car when wearing a skirt or shorts and landing heavily on the leather seats that have been baking in the sun all day as your focus, right up until the searing heat fuses your skin to the leather, is nothing but how quickly you can get the air conditioning working as your glasses fog up from the heat and then, as you feel the pain in your legs, that massive intake of air right before you cry out is nothing but burning hot air that makes your eyes water. I remember it well as it happened to me today actually when I left work.  But here I am, living in the one place that so many of my fellow Brits long to be, as I long to be back home.

It’s not that bad here, really it isn’t. I can go to the beach whenever I want, the tourism creates jobs and feeds the local economy, as well as shuttling enough of the British over here to make the local shops carry some of my most prized food items, such as Oxo, pickle, Rich Tea Biscuits and chocolate.  It is a personal opinion based on the last 25 years here in the state, but as much as Florida is a good place to be and I really can’t complain too much,  for me, nothing compares to back home.

Tanya Soto is originally from Bracknell, Berkshire in England but moved to Orlando, Florida in 1989 with her parents and two siblings.  She is a divorced mother of three lovely girls, and her day job keeps her busy in the bookkeeping department of a real estate firm.

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Anglotees Alert: New Design LIVE – British Classic – Our Tribute to the Classic Mini Cooper

Anglotees Alert: New Shirt LIVE – British Classic – Our tribute to the Classic Mini Cooper.

british-classic-for-catalog

We’ve been in love with the classic Mini Cooper since we first saw it on Mr Bean many years ago (more than we’d like to admit!). It happens to be one of the most produced and most loved (and most hated) British cars ever. It’s still popular to this day – even in its current incarnation. So, what better way to celebrate Britain’s amazing motoring heritage by featuring the Mini Cooper on this week’s design? Another great design by Malcolm Watson. Available in Men’s, Women’s, Long Sleeve, V-neck, Hoodie and Tote Bag for 1 Week only. All orders must be in by August 15th, 2014 at Noon CST.

Order details here: http://anglotees.com

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