Toshiba Corporation has established a new company just outside Washington, DC to enhance its nuclear power business in the US.

The company, Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation, started operation this month, with the primary mission of marketing and promoting advanced boiling water (ABWR) nuclear power plants and providing support services.

As the business develops, Toshiba also plans to expand the scope of the new company's operations to provide plant design and procurement support for future nuclear power plants.

In the US, major utilities have announced plans to build over 30 new nuclear power plants in the coming years. Toshiba and Westinghouse, a Toshiba Group company, are responding to the trend by attempting to win orders for both advanced boiling water reactors (ABWR) and pressurised water reactors and their related systems.

Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation started operating with an initial staff of about 30, a figure that will increase as work on nuclear power plants by US utilities gathers pace. Construction is expected to reach full swing around 2011, and at that time, Toshiba will also establish engineering liaison offices near construction sites and further build up its marketing force.

The new company will also handle licensing for the 4S, a new type of small system it has developed for nuclear power generation.

Looking further into the future, Toshiba also plans to expand the scope of the operations of the company in preparation for possible participation in the Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project.