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Hitachi reversal points to nuclear sector led by China and Russia

State-backed builders have a huge edge over private rivals as costs soar

A dome is installed over a Hualong One nuclear power unit in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. Russia and China have accounted for the majority of nuclear plants built since 2000.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Hitachi officially announced Thursday that it is putting its British nuclear project on ice, a decision that will entail about 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in losses for the Japanese company.

Japan's goal of exporting nuclear technology is now in tatters, as the Fukushima disaster of 2011 has led to new, expensive safety requirements, making private-sector reactor construction all but unfeasible.

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