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Japan’s electronics giant Toshiba is on the verge of bankruptcy, and the Financial Times is reporting that this is attributable to Toshiba’s decision to go big into a revival of nuclear power through its acquisition of Westinghouse: In a humiliating setback for a conglomerate that had only recently…
Japan’s electronics giant Toshiba is on the verge of bankruptcy, and the Financial Times is reporting that this is attributable to Toshiba’s decision to go big into a revival of nuclear power through its acquisition of Westinghouse:
In a humiliating setback for a conglomerate that had only recently touted its nuclear business as a core growth driver, Toshiba said it would pull out of constructing new plants overseas and focus on providing less lucrative but lower-risk reactor designs and nuclear equipment. One investor says the potential downsizing of Toshiba’s nuclear ambitions could make what remains of the company difficult “even for a contrarian investor to consider.”
It is also a damaging blow to the outlook for the nuclear industry worldwide. Toshiba’s decision to give up on bidding to be a lead contractor on nuclear power plant projects will dramatically reduce its ability to compete with rivals from China, South Korea and Russia, and limit the options for countries seeking to build reactors. . .
Toshiba bought the US-based Westinghouse nuclear business from the British government’s BNFL for $5.4bn in 2006, in the hope of profiting from an upturn in reactor construction that was optimistically dubbed the “nuclear renaissance”. Instead, the Westinghouse deal has brought Toshiba to its knees.
Toshiba isn’t alone:
As Toshiba was reporting its huge writedown, the French utility EDF, which has also been beset by problems with its new-build nuclear projects, warned of a “challenging” 2017 after being hit by weak power prices and problems with some existing reactors last year.

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