March 21, 2011

By Cassandra Sweet
Dow Jones Newswire
Wall Street Jurnal

NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) and Toshiba Corp. (TOSYY, 6502.TO) said Monday they would suspend most work on their proposed Texas nuclear power plant, pending possible new safety rules.

The companies said they would continue work to obtain an operating license and a federal loan guarantee for the plant, but would suspend other work pending a review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the nuclear power plant accident in Japan to see what lessons could be learned for U.S. facilities.

The NRC on Monday pursued a review of events at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant to identify potential new safety rules for the U.S. nuclear industry.

"As we unreservedly support our government’s proposed nuclear safety review, the prudent thing for us to do is to await the outcome of that review before committing more of our own or our partners’ capital," NRG Chief Executive David Crane said in a statement.

J.P. Morgan analyst Andrew Smith suggested the move might be welcome news for some investors who are concerned that NRG might be spending heavily on a project that may or may not get off the ground.

"We believe investors remained concerned about the ultimate capital outlay for new nuclear as well as the financial risk entailed in building new nuclear for NRG," Smith said.

Shares of NRG closed 14 cents higher, at $20.86, and were inactive post-market.

-By Cassandra Sweet, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-439-6468; cassandra.sweet(at)dowjones.com

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