Uncertainty Remains As Westinghouse Files For Bankruptcy Protection

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It was founded in Pittsburgh more than a 130 years ago and currently employs thousands of local people.

Now, Westinghouse has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Westinghouse’s parent company, Toshiba, says problems in the company’s nuclear division have resulted in billions of dollars in losses.

Part of the problem is Westinghouse’s troubled projects to build new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina.

Many feared this day was coming and today, it did.

Back in February, Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa hinted a move like this could be coming.

“Regardless whether it is domestic or overseas (nuclear power plant businesses), we will continue to take social responsibility and continue our work in the resumption, maintenance and decommissioning of nuclear power stations,” Tsunakawa said.

Toshiba purchased Westinghouse in 2006 for $5.4 billion. As of Dec. 31, financial liabilities skied to $9.8 biillion. There were $6.3 billion in losses from Westinghouse’s nuclear business.

Those problems stem from enormous cost overruns on construction of nuclear power plants in South Carolina and Georgia — projects that are years behind schedule and billions over budget.

And, there are questions about the future of six other plants around the world.

“As for the eight plants we are currently working on – the four plants in the United States and four in China – we will continue these projects while closely monitoring risks,” Tsunakawa said.

There are 4,500 Westinghouse employees in the Pittsburgh area. It is unclear what today’s announcement will do to those numbers, but Westinghouse vows to emerge from chapter 11 as a stronger company and a global leader in nuclear technology.

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