Friday, March 30, 2012

Japanese Magazine Says Hitachi May Be Pulling Out of Nuclear Business (or Maybe Not..)

The subscription-only magazine called "FACTA" has the first paragraph of the article available for everyone.

It says:

Hitachi has been enjoying the stellar quarterly results, after getting rid of loss-making HDD manufacturing. The company has completely pulled out of manufacturing TV sets in Japan. The only burden now is the nuclear business. Hitachi has the smallest nuclear business compared to Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and we're hearing from Hitachi insiders that the company is "moving out of nuclear". The senior management vehemently denies it as "impossible", but Hitachi today is not what it used to be...

It may just mean the company is getting out of building new reactors. The company is still part of the government's working group to develop new technologies for decommissioning Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The company could commercialize these technologies to sell to the world, I suppose.

Hitachi is also a big player in incineration plants and equipments, and alternative energy (wind turbines).

The company looks set to profit no matter which direction Japan may take. The same can be said for other two nuclear companies, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. They are also big in incineration plants and wind turbines.


Hitachi just secured an agreement with the Lithuanian government to build a nuclear plant in Lithuania. (Nuclear business is too good to pass up.)

From Power Engineering Magazine (3/30/2012):

Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) said it has agreed to a concession agreement with the Lithuanian Energy Ministry regarding construction of the Visaginas nuclear power plant planned for Lithuania. The concession agreement will be officially concluded after the approval by the Lithuanian parliament which has been in session since March 2012.

Lithuania is planning to construct a new nuclear power plant in Visaginas in the northeastern part of the country, with the aim of having an operational plant in 2021. In 2008, the project company Visagino Atomine Elektrine (VAE) was established to further the development of the project and conduct negotiations relating to investment into the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant. In 2009, the Lithuanian parliament passed a bill permitting the construction of a nuclear power plant in Visaginas.

Hitachi and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd. proposed to provide an Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) to the Lithuanian government. Hitachi was selected as the strategic investor in July 2011, and in December 2011 initially signed the term sheet for the concession agreement.

Following the approval of this agreement by the Lithuanian parliament, the concession for power plant construction will be granted to a project company to be established by investment from Hitachi, VAE and regional partners. The project company will conduct negotiations regarding engineering, procurement, and construction. The project company will aim to conclude contracts by around summer of 2012.


Anonymous said...

If anything happens to cause all the nuclear plants around the world to get out of our control, we are totally screwed.

Atomfritz said...

Back in Ignalina RBMK times, Vilnius' main street's walkway was electrically heated.
You see how important nuclear energy is, we just need it. Without them we'd need to plow away the snow... unbearable.

Anyway Lithuania seems not having learnt from their experience.
Like the Hitachi ABWR, the RBMK-1500 was overrated and had to be downrated to less than 1200 MW because at 1500 MW it would have lasted only 12 years.

Interesting that all ABWR that are active today have been downrated by 10-20% to reduce risk to a acceptable level.
Exception: Tepco's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors.
You see, Tepco seems to have priority at profit instead safety.

In Lithuania's case probably the company that gives best credit conditions will be building the proposed NPPs, as Lithuania is near broke.

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