Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi may postpone nuclear-fuel business integration: sources

JIJI

Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. may put off the proposed integration of their nuclear fuel operations, which was expected as early as this spring, sources said Thursday.

Discussions have not progressed as planned on which operational facilities the three companies should scrap and integrate, the sources also said.

Toshiba’s losses from its U.S. nuclear business are another potential stumbling block to the plan. Toshiba, which owns U.S. nuclear company Westinghouse, is projecting a ¥712.5 billion loss for its nuclear business.

Deterioration in the domestic business environment sparked the three-way tie-up talks by the firms.

In Japan, most nuclear reactors currently remain offline amid heightened concern over nuclear energy in the wake of the meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“We’re studying various possibilities including with other firms, but nothing has been decided,” a Mitsubishi Heavy official said.