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Associated Press
Tokyo, May 23, 2007
Japan's Hitachi Ltd said on Wednesday it will team up with General Electric Co to build a nuclear power plant with a next-generation reactor in the US state of Virginia. US power utility Dominion Resources Inc. has asked the two companies to build the nuclear reactor at its North Anna Power Station in central Virginia, a Hitachi spokesman said. The 1,500-megawatt reactor will be built on the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor, or ESBWR, configuration, Hitachi said.

US based GE announced the deal earlier in May. Dominion will ink a formal business agreement with Hitachi and GE by September, The Nikkei, Japan's leading business daily, reported in its Wednesday morning edition.

Construction on the plant could begin as early as 2010, the report said, with the power plant going into production in 2014.

The Nikkei said the project is valued at more than 200 billion yen ($1.6 billion; euro1.19 billion).

Hitachi declined to specify the value of the order. The ESBWR configuration includes next-generation technology such as storing cold water in the ceiling of the reactor so that in emergencies water can be released to cool the interior with minimal use of pumps, The Nikkei said.

GE and Hitachi recently agreed to proceed with plans to create a global alliance of their nuclear businesses.