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Hitachi and General Electric collaborate to develop next-generation reactors

The Japan-based conglomerate company, Hitachi, and US-based General Electric are set to collaborate to create a new type of nuclear power plant with small modular reactors according to sources, The Japan Times reports.

It is thought that the two firms hope to commercialise the reactors in order enable it to be cheaper to produce and safer to operate by the 2030s.

Since the 2011 Fukushima crisis, Hitachi has been trying to expand its nuclear plant business abroad.

In a bid to reduce time and costs for the plant’s construction work, a small modular reactor can be made at a facility and brought to a power plant site.

The small modular reactors are developed to be installed underground in order to contain radioactive materials if an accident occurs despite offering a lower output.

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Hitachi has been developing boiling water reactors, which are the same type that melted down the Fukushima No.1 power plant during the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.

It is thought to cost approximately $8.9bn to build a conventional nuclear plant.

Hitachi has been aiming to create two reactors in the UK, however, are currently reviewing the project because of rising costs and are expected to make a final decision in 2019.