Scandal-hit Toshiba Corp. will consider splitting off its flagging nuclear power business in Japan and rebuilding it as a separate company as part of a sweeping restructure following an accounting scandal, sources said.
The 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster has made it difficult to build reactors in Japan amid safety concerns.
Toshiba’s subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Co., which is in charge of its overseas nuclear power business, will seek to secure orders in emerging markets, the sources said Tuesday.
The move could trigger a realignment of the country’s nuclear power industry at a time when the government is aware of the need to bolster the competitiveness of domestic players, observers said.
Toshiba mainly conducts repair and decommissioning work for boiling water reactors — the same type as those at the Fukushima plant.
Westinghouse, on the other hand, is known for pressurized water reactors that are used more globally, the sources said.
Toshiba said in November that Westinghouse had written down its assets by $1.3 billion in fiscal 2012 and 2013, revealing the difficulties facing the subsidiary in achieving profitability at the level anticipated by Toshiba.
Hit by the accounting scandal, Toshiba is proceeding with restructuring its unprofitable businesses.
Such steps could include integrating its white goods business with that of struggling Sharp Corp., and merging its personal computer business with Fujitsu Ltd. and Vaio Corp., other sources said.