Toshiba is well known for making televisions and memory chips, however the Japanese company is going nuclear, as it is to buy 60% stake in a new UK nuclear power venture.

It has been agreed that Japan’s Toshiba is to buy a controlling stake in UK nuclear venture NuGeneration, France’s GDF Suez and Spain’s Iberdrola currently own the firm which aims to build not one, but three power plants in the North-West of England.

NuGeneration is set to erect three new nuclear plants at the Moorside site in Western Cumbria and Toshiba is to buy a 60% stake in the project, in a deal worth estimated to be worth in the region of £102m.

Toshiba Buys into UK Nuclear Venture

Toshiba has been looking to expand its overseas nuclear business after the 2011 Fukushima disaster decreased demand in Japan for atomic power.  The news has hit home and received a good reception as Toshiba shares rose to a six-month high in Tokyo trading following the announcement.  The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of this year and it will leave GDF Suez with a 40% stake in the venture.

In a recent statement, Toshiba said the purchase “represents a major investment in the future, and in supporting the UK to meet the challenges of securing a stable, affordable, future energy supply and cutting CO2 emissions.”

NuGeneration plans to build three new plants at the Moorside site in partnership with GDF Suez and Westinghouse (a US-based company owned by Toshiba).

Engineering firms based in Japan have been looking for opportunities outside of the country after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami sparked a nuclear crisis at its Fukushima nuclear plant.  The reactor meltdown at Fukushima caused the world’s worst atomic accident in recent decades and as a result of the crisis, Japan mothballed its nuclear plants and ended up importing fuel to meet its energy demands.  Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has encouraged domestic nuclear firms to look for contracts abroad.  UK Prime Minister David Cameron has also been pushing to upgrade the UK’s electricity infrastructure by the end of this decade.  Back in October, EdF, Areva and two Chinese nuclear companies agreed to build the country’s first new nuclear plant in the last twenty years.

[Image via telegraph]