Toshiba Corp’s board has approved a Chapter 11 filing for its US nuclear unit Westinghouse, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday – a move that would limit losses that have plunged the Japanese group into crisis.
A Toshiba spokeswoman said the company could not comment on issues discussed at its board meetings.
A bankruptcy filing would allow Westinghouse to renegotiate or break its construction contracts, although the utilities that own the projects would likely seek damages.
It would imperil the completion of Westinghouse’s nuclear power plants under construction in the southern United States, where ratepayers have already been covering some of the costs in their monthly electricity bills.
The future of Westinghouse has already been raised in bilateral talks between Japan and the United States with Japan fearing that Westinghouse’s collapse will incite criticism from US President Donald Trump over the impact it could have on local jobs and finances.
The US government has granted loan guarantees totaling $8.3 billion to the utilities commissioning the Georgia project. Westinghouse has nuclear projects in varying degrees of development in India, the United Kingdom and China.
The company, founded by American engineer and inventor George Westinghouse in 1886, employs 12,000 people worldwide, according to its website.