2017/02/14 Toshiba Losses Highlight Utter Failure of Abe Nuclear Export Policy

2017/02/14 Toshiba Losses Highlight Utter Failure of Abe Nuclear Export Policy

14 February 2017, Tokyo – Toshiba’s reporting of a multibillion loss exposes the complete failure of Prime Minister Abe’s nuclear policy. Since coming into power in 2012, exporting nuclear reactors worldwide has been a priority for the Abe Government. However, to date no new actual reactor orders have been secured. In June 2016, the incoming Toshiba president declared that the company aimed to win orders for 45 or more nuclear reactors overseas by 2030.

The losses are largely due to liabilities incurred during the construction of four Westinghouse  AP1000 reactors in the United States. Toshiba has an 87 percent stake in Westinghouse. So far the projects are three years behind schedule and US$11.2 billion over the original budget estimate. As of 2016, the estimated costs for the four reactors had risen from the original US$23.8 billion to US$35 billion (see note below). The reactors are unlikely to meet the latest projected startup date of 2019-20.

“The Japanese government’s nuclear export policy was built on a combination of a poor understanding of the global energy market and self-delusion. Today’s Toshiba announcement shows that even those few projects underway are a financial disaster. Almost certainly, this is not the end of the losses to be incurred in the U.S. The sooner the government and industry realize that there is no future for nuclear power either domestically or in exports, the sooner they can concentrate on the energy technology of the future – renewables,” said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist, Greenpeace Germany, currently based in Japan.

Over the decades, Toshiba has built 20 reactors in Japan, either alone or in joint ventures, none of which are operating (nine are closed and 11 in long-term outage). Westinghouse built 91 reactors globally, of which 67 are still operating, 12 are closed, and four are in long-term outage. In addition to the U.S. projects, Toshiba/Westinghouse currently have four AP1000 under construction in China, which is also behind schedule.

Toshiba/Westinghouse, GE-Hitachi and Mitsubishi in recent years have all sought to secure reactor construction projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France, Vietnam, Turkey, India, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. All have failed, in most cases due to the projects being cancelled, delayed, or to other vendors winning the bids.

Toshiba-Westinghouse: The End of New-build for the Largest Historic Nuclear Builder

For further information:
Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist, Greenpeace Germany, sburnie@greenpeace.org, +81 (0)80-6647-8503
Chisato Jono, communications officer, Greenpeace Japan: chisato.jono@greenpeace.org, +81 (0)80-6558-4446