nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Japan’s ambitions to export nuclear technology have been dimmed by Toshiba’s U.S. unit bankruptcy

Toshiba’s U.S. unit bankruptcy dims Japan’s nuclear ambitions, Japan Times, BY KYODO , 31 Mar 17The bankruptcy filing by Toshiba Corp.’s U.S. nuclear unit highlights the tough business climate in the sector and the scale of the challenge Japan faces in seeking to sell its nuclear technology abroad.

Westinghouse Electric Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday as its Japanese parent rushed to plug huge losses related to the nuclear business and pull out of the sector overseas.

Toshiba bought the U.S. nuclear energy company in 2006 for about ¥600 billion ($5.4 billion), aiming to expand its nuclear power business abroad as one of its core operations.

Such efforts by Japanese nuclear businesses to push exports have been taken up by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as part of a growth strategy to revitalize the deflation-hit domestic economy…..

However,  the nuclear business environment has changed dramatically since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. Stricter safety regulations introduced after the disaster have raised costs to construct plants and some countries have become more cautious about new reactors……

“It’s a high-risk business. It always has been,” Tadahiro Katsuta, a professor specializing in atomic mechanics at Meiji University in Tokyo, said. “Even before the Fukushima crisis, the nuclear business had been struggling. It’s not something one company can do on its own or can easily export like cars in terms of safety concerns.”

Toshiba said Wednesday it could post a group net loss of ¥1.01 trillion ($9.13 billion) for the fiscal year ending March 31, with massive costs related to the Chapter 11 filing. Westinghouse has $9.8 billion in total liabilities, much of which must be shouldered by Toshiba under a debt guarantee for the U.S. unit.

With the do-or-die decision on the filing, Toshiba will make all-out efforts to move out of its financial woes, Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa told a news conference in Tokyo Wednesday evening.

“We are almost risk-free as we are pulling out of overseas nuclear operations, the biggest problem,” he said…….

The nuclear climbdown is not a problem specific to Toshiba.

Hitachi Ltd., another major nuclear company, said last week it will book an estimated ¥65 billion write-down for fiscal 2016 related to a laser uranium enrichment joint venture with General Electric in the United States. The company said demand for nuclear fuel in the country was unlikely to grow as strongly as it had expected…….

The nuclear climbdown is not a problem specific to Toshiba.

Hitachi Ltd., another major nuclear company, said last week it will book an estimated ¥65 billion write-down for fiscal 2016 related to a laser uranium enrichment joint venture with General Electric in the United States. The company said demand for nuclear fuel in the country was unlikely to grow as strongly as it had expected……

Mitsubishi Heavy and Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. said in February they will invest in Areva, which is a partner of Mitsubishi in a joint venture to develop nuclear plants.

Still, the dynamics in the energy sector have been changing drastically……..http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/31/business/corporate-business/toshibas-u-s-unit-bankruptcy-dims-japans-nuclear-ambitions/#.WN7B-kWGPGg

Advertisements

April 1, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, Japan

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: