Hitachi Ltd. will build a next-generation nuclear power reactor jointly with General Electric Co., participating in a U.S. project to resume the construction of nuclear power plants, Hitachi officials said Monday.

The two companies are planning to develop a highly efficient reactor called the economic and simplified boiling-water reactor, based on an advanced model of boiling-water reactors, the officials said.

The reactor will be installed at a nuclear power plant planned by two major U.S. utility companies: Exelon Corp. and Entergy Corp. The companies have applied to the government for the plant construction.

The Hitachi-GE plan is a part of the U.S. Energy Department’s initiative aimed at building new nuclear plants by 2010.

No nuclear plants have been built in the U.S. since the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, but the Bush administration is trying to reverse this.

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