Carson City company pushes for fusion power plant in Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City company pushes for fusion power plant in Nevada

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com

Bret Sheldon, president of CINC Industries, Inc., speaks at a Gold Dust West breakfast meeting of the private sector development organization called Nevada Business Connections.

A Carson City manufacturer of centrifuge machines beat the drum Wednesday for reprocessing of spent fuels and construction of the first fusion power plant in Nevada.

Bret Sheldon, president of CINC Industries at 2500 Arrowhead Drive, spoke as a panelist at a Gold Dust West breakfast meeting of the private-sector development organization called Nevada Business Connections. He said that politically, handling spent nuclear fuels and such issues aren't popular. But he said centrifuge machines can help reprocess fuels. A search for a fusion power plant site is under way, he added.

"It would be a neat thing for Nevada to take the lead," he said.

Sheldon said he has been in Carson City about three decades and with CINC since 1995, having joined the firm after it was started in that decade by actor Kevin Costner. Sheldon said he purchased the firm, which now employs 35, from Costner in 2004.

Liquid/liquid centrifuges made by CINC have applications in such fields as the chemical, pharmaceutical, industrial, oil/water, biodiesel, nuclear and flavors/fragrances sectors of manufacturing. Such centrifuges can handle separation and washing, as well as deal with reaction or extraction needs. They are used worldwide, according to the company.

Also on the panel were Ken Stokes of Minden's Burns Machinery and Eric Dripps of Carson City's Vitamin Research Products LLC, the latter a neighbor of CINC Industries. The LLC is at 4610 Arrowhead Drive.

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Stokes said the Minden facility makes the best dirt motorcycle sprockets in the world, but he was on hand to tout company laser-cutting capabilities that Ray Bacon of the Nevada Manufacturers Association, who was the panel moderator, talked up even more.

Dripps, meanwhile, said he was new to Vitamin Research Products but that his firm has been here since 1979. He said among the challenges his firm faces is finding and retaining new talent for the company, which makes vitamins and supplements marketed worldwide. Bacon also talked about employment concerns, but said training for prospective manufacturing workers has improved in Nevada of late.

"Things are better than they've been for a long, long time," Bacon said. He cited machinist, welding and food industry training advances under way or in process.

Bacon said food and companion firms make up 12 percent of Nevada's manufacturing sector, there's no mid-level worker training west of the Mississippi River in that field, and efforts to get some in this area are aimed at taking the Silver State "to the place where we're a hub for food manufacturing."