Business Briefs: Nuclear Regulatory Commission probes leak at Browns Ferry

Business Briefs: Nuclear Regulatory Commission probes leak at Browns Ferry

October 10th, 2017 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

This undated file photo shows the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry Nuclear Station near Athens, Ala.

Photo by AP Photo/TVA

Nuclear Regulatory Commission probes leak at Browns Ferry

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week launched a special inspection into the failure of a high-pressure coolant injection discharge valve on the newest reactor at TVA's Browns Ferry nuclear plant.

TVA discovered the problem Sept. 24 when operators saw the high pressure coolant injection system unexpectedly pumped water into the reactor vessel instead of a storage tank. TVA later determined a failed nut on a valve allowed it to remain partially open.

Other plant systems responded as expected and TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said Monday there was no risk to the public and no loss of power generation for TVA. But NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said regulators want to make sure there is not a systemic or ongoing equipment problem. The probe is expected to wrap up within the week and a report will be issued within 45 days.


Engineered Floors to buy Beaulieu assets

Dalton, Ga.-based carpet maker Engineered Floors has reached a definitive agreement to buy substantially all of the operation assets of the Beaulieu Group, which is also headquartered in Dalton. The purchase price has yet to be announced, although the sale must still be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rome, Ga.

Beaulieu, which is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, will seek court approval of the transaction with the deal expected to close in early November.

Engineered Floors, which employs about 3,000 people, plans to operate the assets going forward and continue to grow the residential and commercial businesses, according to the company. Beaulieu employs more than 2,500 people.

"This will be good for both our business and the community," Robert E. Shaw, chairman and CEO of Engineered Floors, said in a statement last week.


Leadership Cleveland class includes 16 leaders

The 16 members selected by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce for its 2017-2018 Leadership Cleveland class have begun their 9-month training in leadership and community challenges.

"As a bridge, Leadership Cleveland empowers participants with knowledge, networks and partnerships with the goal to make them more effective in addressing issues and identifying opportunities impacting our community," said Bernadette Douglas, executive vice president at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber. "We have another great group of emerging leaders representing our community."

Participants in this year's class include Cheryl Bressler of HR Sources & Solutions; Richard Burnette and the Andrew Johnson Bank; Brittany Cannon and the Bradley County Board of Education; Trae Cody of Companion Funeral & Cremation Service; Ginger Davis of Life Bridges; Connie DeLoach of Tennova Healthcare — Cleveland; Ellen Dobbs of Easy Auto; Karen Hall of Cleveland Utilities; Crystal Hatcher of Bowater Credit Union; Joel Henderson of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce; Bradley Hudson of Easy Auto; Jeff Luther of Cleveland Utilities; Bill Martin of First Tennessee Bank; Joshua Rogers of Wholesale Supply Group; Samuel Turnipseed of Southern Heritage Bank, and Patricia Weaver of Cleveland State Community College.


Insurer AIG expects $3 billion in losses

American International Group expects to record insurance losses of roughly $3 billion during the third quarter from the recent hurricanes and earthquakes.

AIG said Monday it expects to record pre-tax catastrophe losses between $2.9 billion and $3.1 billion during the quarter because of damage it will have to cover from Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and the earthquakes that struck Mexico. AIG CEO Brian Dupereault said the company has acted quickly to provide money for claims.

The company estimates Hurricane Harvey caused it between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion in insurance losses and Hurricane Irma more than $1 billion. Hurricane Maria will cost the company between $600 million and $700 million. The Mexico earthquakes were included in an additional $150 million in additional catastrophe losses it faced in the quarter.


Trian gets seat as GE director

General Electric is naming Trian's Ed Garden to its board, potentially signaling a shift toward becoming the leaner, industrial player the investment fund has been pushing for years.

The company this month has already turned over its top management with the early departure of longtime CEO Jeff Immelt and CFO Jeffrey Bornstein. Shares of General Electric Co. are down 23 percent this year, and Trian is pushing heavily for the company to restructure and revive growth.


Renault electric cars will grow business

French carmaker Renault said half of its models will be electric or hybrid by 2022 and it's investing heavily in "robo-vehicles" with increasing degrees of autonomy.

A strategic plan released last week aims to boost Renault annual revenues to $82.2 billion by 2022, in part through an effort to double sales outside its traditional markets in Europe — especially Russia and China.

The plans reflect the vision laid out last month by the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance, the world's No. 1 carmaker by sales. Many of Renault's new aims depend on saving money through sharing platforms and development with Nissan and Mitsubishi.

CEO Carlos Ghosn said Renault is aiming to sell more than 5 million vehicles annually by 2022 from 3.2 million last year.