Hitachi Ltd. President Hiroaki Nakanishi said Wednesday the company plans to lower its goal of winning orders by fiscal 2030 for 38 atomic power generation projects due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
But Nakanishi stressed the company will continue promoting nuclear power, which the company has identified as a core growth area and teamed up with U.S. conglomerate General Electric Co., though it could face a drastic rethink of the business.
“It is natural to review the plan, as the nuclear power business will not be viable without more certain long-term prospects,” Nakanishi said in an interview.
He also said the company is likely to revise downward its goal of posting sales of ¥380 billion in fiscal 2020 in the nuclear power business.
But Nakanishi indicated Hitachi will continue to place importance on the nuclear power sector.
“It is impossible for Japan to stop using nuclear power . . . from the perspective of its energy policy,” he said.
He added that Hitachi’s products have continued to draw overseas interest even amid the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant accident.
Hitachi was the supplier of the crisis-hit Fukushima plant’s No. 4 reactor, which was undergoing regular inspection and not in operation when the massive earthquake and tsunami struck the complex March 11.
To promote the nuclear power business, Nakanishi said that finding ways to guarantee the safe operation of nuclear plants is key.
As a manufacturer of nuclear power generation equipment, “We have to come up with safeguards that work even when tsunami at the level (equivalent to the one that hit the Fukushima plant) or higher hits the plant,” Nakanishi said.
Meanwhile, he denied the company will face any liability despite its involvement in the development of one reactor at the troubled nuclear plant.
“There is no violation of rules and we are not considering (such liability),” he said.
Nakanishi said that negative impacts on the company’s operations from the devastating quake would affect its full-year consolidated earnings that ended in March.
“It is far from a small amount,” Nakanishi said. “It will eat away a considerable amount of profits.”
He said the firm plans various steps, including strengthening of emergency and in-house power generation.
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