Print 45 comment(s) - last by djc208.. on Mar 16 at 10:00 AM

Toshiba Corp. President and CEO Atsutoshi Nishida was a strong supporter of his company's new U.S. nuclear initiatives  (Source: REUTERS/Toshiyuki Aizawa)

The new company will market Toshiba's advanced 4S reactor design. This small reactor design is made to power a small town with a minimal footprint, as pictured here.  (Source: Toshiba and Westinghouse)
Toshiba looks to help satisfy the growing demand for nuclear power in the U.S.

Nuclear power may have its critics, which argue that it isn't a viable large-scale replacement to fossil fuels, but enthusiasm for nuclear power continues to mount in the U.S. and abroad.

Also, nuclear is being embraced not just for alternative energy, but also for medical and research purposes.  Worldwide need for medical isotopes was brought into sharp focus when a reactor in Canada was forced to close, and then due to the medical crisis that ensued, swiftly reopen.  The end results is growing public support for nuclear-driven technology.

In the U.S. alone, electric utilities have announce plans to construct 30 new plants in coming years.  Among these is NRG Energy's application, which was the first application for an entirely new plant in 30 years.  Many of the new construction projects will implement sophisticated technologies such as advanced boiling water reactors (ABWR) and pressurized water reactors (AP-1000).  These designs will offer additional improvements in efficiency, safety, and output over current designs.

Toshiba is looking to jump onboard the burgeoning nuclear market.  It announced today that it has created Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation, a new company that started this month.  The company, based just outside Washington D.C., will enhance the existing nuclear lines of business which Toshiba held.  Its primary initial focus will be on promoting and marketing the advanced boiling water (ABWR) nuclear power plant design.  It will also provide support for related services.

As the new company grows, Toshiba wants to expand its capabilities to include licensing and engineeering support for technologies to go into new nuclear plants in the future.  Toshiba and Westinghouse, a Toshiba Group company have both been working to promote the ABWR and AP-1000 reactor designs.  The new company will add more market and support resources to these efforts.

Toshiba's new company has a workforce of 30 employees.  This number is expected to greatly expand, once construction on the various plant proposals in the U.S. begins in full, which is projected to occur around 2011.  At this point, Toshiba explains, it will also add engineering support staff at liason offices near the sites of construction. 

Toshiba and Westinghouse focus on the development, implementation and marketing of operation and maintenance (OP&M) technologies, technologies to keep plants running in peak shape. Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation will rely chiefly on Westinghouse for these OP&M capabilities in America.  The new company will also help network Westinghouse's construction management talent, which has been cultivated during construction projects in Japan.  The company will also support older PWR and BWR designs.

Perhaps most exciting the new company will help to promote the 4S reactor design.  This design is a small, and extremely simple and safe system, which offers great promise for distributed nuclear power generation.  Toshiba also announced that it may use the new company to help participate in the Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project. 

Toshiba calls nuclear power, "a cost-efficient long-term energy source, a powerful tool in the fight against global warming, and an integral part of a future hydrogen economy." 

Its new line of business will also market nuclear power in Europe, Asia and North America.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

In my back yard ...
By joegee on 3/6/2008 1:51:54 PM , Rating: 3
You know, I wouldn't mind a third or fourth generation nuclear plant designed by a company that actually had experience building the three previous generations (GE, Westinghouse, Areva, or Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.) This should give any of us pause: Toshiba is doing with this plant's model number, 4s, what Intel, AMD, and nvidia do with model numbers, 9900XGR-XDR-III. They're marketing it against their competitors using a model number trick.

Keeping in mind Japan's shoddy safety record regarding nuclear plants (not only what has been in the news, a friend of mine got a year off, and some really funky nuclear dermatitis, when a pipe full of "hot" water was sluiced down her back.) Um. No.

Dear Toshiba,

I have watched how you've conducted business over the past several years. In light of your performance, I have the following concerns about your nuclear debut:

I don't care if it's a more technologically-advanced format. We've heard this from you before. This is more than pretty lights and polycarbonate chemistry -- if it's anywhere near me I want proven, tried technology managing nuclear fission.

I really don't want to hear that it's running any software designed by Microsoft (Windows Server 2008 for Nuclear Power Plants .9 beta. Internet Exploder takes on a whole new, ominous meaning.)

We have heard better, faster, superior from you in other areas too . What happens to your existing customers if you lose interest in this venture?

If another format proves itself to be superior to what you are offering, what do we do with the plants we have already purchased? We'll need more than ebay to keep us afloat.

In short, the only thing more alarming to me than your debut in nuclear power would be a debut by Sony. Please go back to doing what you do best. That would be, um. Well, please just go do something else.


Joe G.

RE: In my back yard ...
By RaulF on 3/6/2008 2:19:30 PM , Rating: 3
Well to back Toshiba up(im pro blu ray since the begining) on the picture Westinghouse is also mentioned, plus you could be sure that most of the work is related to the big manufacturers and the such.

RE: In my back yard ...
By Carl B on 3/6/2008 3:00:35 PM , Rating: 3
Toshiba *is* Westinghouse... they bought Westinghouse a couple of years ago, adding them to their existing nuclear business.

No one should be happier than if Toshiba was at the center of the US nuclear new-builds.

RE: In my back yard ...
By joegee on 3/6/2008 3:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
Good catch, both of you. Thanks for the correction.


RE: In my back yard ...
By Grast on 3/7/2008 11:15:18 AM , Rating: 2
Just looked that up. It is very scary.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki