Toshiba, Rosatom Unit to Cooperate

Toshiba and state-owned nuclear energy company Atomenergoprom said Thursday that they planned to design and build nuclear power plants together and develop the production of atomic-reactor fuel.

The companies signed an agreement Thursday and will begin to evaluate potential areas of cooperation, Atomenergoprom, a unit of state corporation Rosatom, said in a statement. They will focus on selling nuclear fuel to the United States and Japan, making reactor components and servicing equipment.

"I recognize the importance and great possibilities of the Japan-Russia cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy," said Harufumi Mochizuki, head of Japan's state agency on natural resources and energy.

Rising prices for oil, gas, and coal have caught many atomic companies unprepared to meet a boom in reactor orders.

Toshiba, which has the technology to make advanced boiling-water reactors, acquired Westinghouse Electric, a U.S. maker of light-water reactors, in 2006.

Atomenergoprom makes light-water, fast-neutron, and graphite-cooled reactors.