March 14, 2017 3:55 pm JST

GE Hitachi Nuclear developing new SMR with US company

Collaboration targets aging power plants in a bid to stimulate the industry

SOICHI INAI, Nikkei staff writer

NEW YORK -- As part of its strategy to service aging nuclear plants, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) will develop a cutting-edge small modular reactor in cooperation with Advanced Reactor Concepts, the company said Monday.

The move by GEH, owned 40% by Hitachi and 60% by General Electric, comes as nuclear plant builders push to introduce inexpensive reactors to stimulate growth in the industry. The recent crisis at Westinghouse Electric, and subsequent troubles born by its parent company Toshiba, has highlighted the cost risks of conventional reactors, which the SMRs are expected to replace.

GEH has been targeting older plants with its own SMR currently under development, and decided to bring on board Advanced Reactor Concepts -- also known as Arc Nuclear -- due to its expertise with sodium-cooled reactor technology, key to producing SMRs.

The two companies will initially work on a next-generation SMR in Canada.

SMRs manufactured by GEH and Advanced Reactor Concepts each have about 10% the power-generating capacity as Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor.

Hitachi Ltd.

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