Japan's Toshiba Corp. (6502.TO) said Friday it was independently designing a new boiling-water reactor, or BWR, for use in nuclear power plants.Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Environment, Energy, Politics, Technology, Westinghouse, Nuclear Power, Toshiba, General Electric
"We are making a preliminary conceptual design for a next-generation" BWR, a company spokesman said.
Toshiba, a Tokyo-based company whose businesses run from consumer electronics to large industrial infrastructure, has developed its nuclear reactor business together with General Electric Co. (GE) for over 40 years.
But in November, GE agreed to integrate its nuclear operations with Hitachi Ltd. (6501.TO), fueling speculation that GE and Toshiba could eventually become rivals. A report Friday in The Nikkei said Toshiba would market a BWR on its own by 2015.
The Toshiba spokesman said the new reactor was being chiefly designed for the domestic market, as the Japanese government was planning to upgrade its current generation of reactors from around 2030.
"It is too premature to discuss competition" with GE, he said, adding that the two companies are still jointly developing boiling water reactors.