Westinghouse Electric Company announced that its Specialty Metals Plant in Blairsville, Pa., will be fitted with new equipment to accommodate the company’s new projects in China and pending projects in the U.S. The capital improvements include the addition of a new vacuum annealing furnace and two high-speed pilgers. The vacuum annealing furnace, valued at $1.75 million, will support the anticipated growth of the next generation of zirconium alloys that provide enhanced performance. The furnace is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2009.

Valued in excess of $11 million, the pilgers are used in the manufacturing of seamless zirconium alloy tubing from extruded raw material, a key component of fuel assemblies.