Westinghouse Electric Company, and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates, has filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The filing will enable the Toshiba's US nuclear unit to undertake a strategic restructuring as a result of certain financial and construction challenges in its US AP1000 power plant projects in the US.

In order to fund and protect core businesses during reorganization, Westinghouse has obtained debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing of $800m from a third-party lender.

Westinghouse interim president and CEO José Emeterio Gutiérrez said: “Today, we have taken action to put Westinghouse on a path to resolve our AP1000 financial challenges while protecting our core businesses.

“We are focused on developing a plan of reorganization to emerge from Chapter 11 as a stronger company while continuing to be a global nuclear technology leader.”

The bankruptcy, which does not affect Westinghouse’s operations in Asia and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), raises doubts about the future of the two new nuclear power plants in the US.

The two nuclear projects, which will feature Westinghouse’ AP1000 reactors, include the V.C. Summer in South Carolina which is majority owned by SCANA as well as Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia which is being developed by Southern Co-led group of utilities.

Westinghouse, however, said it signed agreement with each owner of the US AP1000 projects to continue these projects during an initial assessment period.

Image: US-based nuclear firm Westinghouse Electric plans to undertake strategic restructuring program. Photo: courtesy of xedos4/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.