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Toshiba to book $US9.9b loss as Westinghouse files for bankruptcy

Sorted by Rodney Kelloway

Summary: Westinghouse Electric, which helped drive the development of nuclear energy and the electric grid itself, has filed for bankruptcy protection, casting a shadow over the global nuclear industry.

The filing comes as the company's corporate parent, Toshiba of Japan, scrambles to stanch huge losses stemming from Westinghouse's troubled nuclear construction projects in the American South. Now, the future of those projects, which once seemed to be on the leading edge of a renaissance for nuclear energy, is in doubt. "This is a fairly big and consequential deal," said Richard Nephew, a senior research scholar at the Centre on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. "You've had some power companies and big utilities run into financial trouble, but this kind of thing hasn't happened. "Westinghouse, a once-proud name that in years past symbolised America's supremacy in nuclear power, now illustrates its problems.

Many of the company's injuries are self-inflicted, such as a disastrous deal for a construction business that was intended to control costs and instead precipitated the events that led to the filing on Wednesday. Overall, Toshiba has been widely criticised for overpaying for Westinghouse.