Danny Roderick, the new chief executive officer of Westinghouse Electric Co., is bringing to the nuclear energy firm an expertise in markets that stretch far beyond the company's Cranberry headquarters.
Mr. Roderick, 52, was named president and CEO of the company on Wednesday. He has worked in the nuclear industry for more than 30 years and was most recently senior vice president of nuclear plant projects at GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy in Wilmington, N.C.
While at GE-Hitachi, Mr. Roderick's team explored building a nuclear site in Saudi Arabia, and on Wednesday he said he expects the Middle East and Eastern Europe to remain emerging markets for Westinghouse.
He replaces interim CEO Shigenori Shiga, who will remain as board chairman.
Westinghouse, which was sold to Toshiba in 2006, employs about 6,000 workers in Western Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining GE-Hitachi, Mr. Roderick worked in the utility industry and did business with Westinghouse, handling the purchase of four of its flagship AP1000 reactors. The company is currently building several AP1000 models in southern states, but Mr. Roderick said the domestic market hasn't caught up to international enthusiasm for nuclear energy.
International demand often stems from a desire for energy security, said Mr. Roderick. Eastern European countries, where Westinghouse has already signed several exploratory contracts, are trying to wean themselves off the energy monopoly of Russia's gas industry, he said.
Worldwide support for the nuclear industry waned after a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan, destroyed a General Electric power plant there and caused radiation exposure.
On Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency released its annual projections for nuclear power, and said that the Fukushima meltdown had slowed, but not reversed, development.
"The world overall may have slowed down and taken a breath, but I don't see a lack of worldwide agreement that nuclear is going to be part of the solution," said Mr. Roderick.
Erich Schwartzel: 412-263-1455.