On Tuesday, Toshiba is expected to announce a massive write-down, perhaps as big as $6.1 billion, to cover cost overruns at Westinghouse, which now owns most of Shaw’s assets. The loss may actually eclipse the $5.4 billion that Toshiba paid for Westinghouse in 2006 and has forced the Japanese industrial conglomerate to put up for sale a significant stake in its prized flash-memory business. Toshiba had to sell off other assets last year following a 2015 accounting scandal.It really seems that intense skepticism over the revival of nuclear as an answer to global warming is justified. (John Quiggin is vindicated, in short.)
Toshiba made a big bet on a nuclear renaissance that never materialized, in part because it couldn’t build reactors within the timelines and budgets it had promised. The company had anticipated that Westinghouse’s next-generation AP1000 modular reactor design would be easier and faster to execute — just the opposite of what happened. Now Toshiba may exit the nuclear reactor construction business altogether and focus exclusively on design and maintenance.
“There’s billions and billions of dollars at stake here,” says Gregory Jaczko, former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). “This could take down Toshiba and it certainly means the end of new nuclear construction in the U.S.”
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Nuclear revival not coming
In other news from The Japan Times, have a read of this story of the financial trouble and difficulties Toshiba is in over some new American nuclear plants it said could be built quickly and on budget: