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PITTSBURGH -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has offered to buy nuclear power company Westinghouse Electric, moving in on a company that 40 years ago provided the Japanese machinery maker with its technology, a Mitsubishi official said.

Mitsubishi Heavy told British state-owned company British Nuclear Fuels Plc., which owns Westinghouse Electric Co., on Friday that it wants to buy the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company, according to spokesman Hideo Ikuno.

Mitsubishi is still working on details of a bid, including how much it will propose to pay and if it should form a partnership with other companies in the bidding, he said. The business daily Nihon Keizai newspaper said Saturday that the two sides are aiming at concluding a deal -- estimated at 200 billion yen, or about $1.8 billion -- later this year.

Westinghouse provides fuel, services, technology, plant design and equipment for commercial nuclear power plants.

Mitsubishi's first nuclear plants in Japan in the 1960s were based on technology from Westinghouse. The Tokyo-based company is a leader in technologies for light-water reactors, which do not produce significant amounts of weapons-grade plutonium and comprise two-thirds of the world's operating nuclear reactors.

A successful deal would be the Japanese company's first overseas acquisition and suggests that it wants to expand its power plant business worldwide.

Though its businesses overall are profitable, Mitsubishi Heavy has recently faced declining public works orders in Japan and narrowing profit margins from shipbuilding, aerospace and power networks.
 

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My question is...who owns/controls the nuclear material and the enriched material? How do they account for it? I'm not sure I would really want a foreign entity, especially one that was shooting at us not that long ago...to have ownership on our soil.
 
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