Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Sr. Project Engineer 1971-1981.
Aramco, Sr. Project Engineer 1981-1986 Petroleum and Natural Gas Plant Construction
Arthur Xavier was born in Trinidad in 1941, the son of a hard construction company owner. His father’s company was a subcontractor for the US Navy and US Air Force building military bases in Trinidad. Atlantic air, sea, and submarine, search and destroy missions were launched from the bases during the Second World War. Arthur went on to study at the University of the West Indies before moving to New York City and later to Chicago Tech where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1967. After returning to New York, Arthur was employed at Chas. H. Sells Structural Engineers where he quickly discovered a major calculation error in a large highway bridge design project. This catapulted his career. At Chas. H. Sells Arthur was one of two structural engineers performing all calculations for the elevated section and stations of the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) spanning Copiague, Lindenhurst, and Amityville. At Sells, Arthur wrote the first ever Computer program for all-purpose design building foundations. The program, written in Fortran language was featured in The American Concrete Institute (ACI) manual for Industry standards. While working at Sells, Arthur was self-building a self-designed five-bedroom (NY Times featured) contemporary house on the hillside eight miles from Indian Point. He learned about Indian Point and was soon hired as a construction project engineer directly responsible for the construction and mechanical installations of the containment domes and key reactor support buildings and installations for Unit 2 and Unit 3. During the mid to late 1970s, Westinghouse assigned Arthur and some of his Indian Point colleagues to consult or work at nuclear power plant construction around the world including Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (Philippines), Angra nuclear power plant (NPP) in Brazil, Fast Flux Test Facility (WA), Krsko Nuclear Powerplant (Yugoslavia), The Kori Nuclear Power Plant (Korea), and the Justin Nuclear Power Plant (Taiwan), among others. Arthur and his Indian Point colleagues’ parting words were repeatedly – “We’ll all meet again at the big Nuke in the sky”. During the 1980s he left the nuclear construction industry to work with Aramco for Petroleum and Natural Gas Plant Construction in Saudi Arabia. This interview gives a first-hand account of Indian Point’s construction along with that of many other nuclear reactors across the globe