If Toshiba Corp. parts ways with its embattled U.S. nuclear unit, Westinghouse Electric Co., the likely buyer may be a regional neighbor with global ambitions.

Westinghouse would be a strategic fit in China or South Korea, which are developing their own reactors for export, according to analysts and academics.

The region is also home to about half the world's nuclear units under construction, while China is forecast to have the largest fleet of reactors by the middle of next decade.