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Toshiba Blames Stricter US Safety Standards For Increased Costs

By David Dalton
31 January 2017

Toshiba Blames Stricter US Safety Standards For Increased Costs
Westinghouse AP1000 under construction at Vogtle

31 Jan (NucNet): Toshiba is scaling back ambitions for its nuclear business, saying construction costs have increased since the 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi because of the imposition of stricter safety standards in the US.

The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said on 31 January 207 that costs had increased for equipment, facilities and materials to meet the new standards, with construction periods also extended, leading to higher personnel costs.

Total construction costs rose to “substantially more” than what had been expected when the orders were accepted, Jaif said.

The announcement followed an emergency board meeting to discuss the survival of one of Japan’s best known industrial conglomerates.

The company’s president and chief executive officer, Satoshi Tsunakawa was quoted by the Asahi Shimbun as saying Toshiba – owner of Westinghouse and its CB&I Stone & Webster subsidiary – would concentrate on designing, manufacturing and supplying nuclear reactors.

He said Westinghouse is “unlikely to carry out actual construction work for the future nuclear power plant projects to eliminate risk”.

Jaif said Westinghouse expects to incur a loss of as much as $6.4bn (€5.9bn) on the construction of nuclear power plants in the US.

In December 2016, Toshiba said it may have to write off several billion dollars because of Westinghouse’s purchase of CB&I Stone & Webster, a US construction firm that specialises in nuclear power projects.

Toshiba said it needed to determine the value of the possible Westinghouse loss and the impact on its financial position.

Toshiba bought Westinghouse in 2006 for about $5.4bn.

Westinghouse is supplying eight of its AP1000 reactor units for new-build projects, four in the US and four in China, and says “dozens more” AP1000 plants are planned around the world.

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