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Saskatchewan and Hitachi Sign R&D Agreement on Nuclear Medicine Technology

-- Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas sign separate agreement for future nuclear related technologies --

Tokyo, Japan, Aug 25, 2011 - The Government of Saskatchewan (“Saskatchewan”) and Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT / TSE:6501, “Hitachi”) today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding joint research and development (R&D) of nuclear medicine technology. Saskatchewan has also signed an MOU with Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd. (Hitachi-GE), GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC (GEH), and Global Nuclear Fuel – Americas, LLC (GNF-A) to discuss the potential of working together on future nuclear R&D projects of mutual interest including nuclear safety, uranium recovery and design of small modular reactor technologies.

Hitachi and Saskatchewan province have a 40-year cooperative relationship in the power generation field, including work on coal, natural gas and wind generation technologies. Hitachi has provided generation facilities to Saskatchewan Power Corporation (“SaskPower”), a power utility based in Saskatchewan province. In 1988, Hitachi established Hitachi Canadian Industries Ltd. as a manufacturing base for power generation equipment in Saskatchewan province with SaskPower, deepening its relationship with this power utility and Saskatchewan province. In February 2010, SaskPower and Hitachi agreed to collaborate on the advancement and implementation of technology in the fields of low-carbon energy technologies, including Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS). Hitachi is also providing an innovative, first-of-its-kind turbine and generator for SaskPower’s world leading Boundary Dam Integrated CCS project. In May 2010, Saskatchewan and Hitachi reached a landmark agreement with the signing of a joint declaration to work together and share information for developing energy and environmental technologies, including CCS for thermal power plants, renewable energy and smart grid technologies.

With today’s announcement, Saskatchewan and Hitachi have deepened the cooperation further by R&D into nuclear medicine technology. Through its power systems business, Hitachi has developed a Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) system based on its vast technologies and know-how related to accelerators, irradiation and control systems. In May 2008, Hitachi's first spot scanning irradiation technology that can concentrate irradiation dose to the tumor formation has started patient treatment at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Proton Therapy Center in the U. S., one of the world’s largest hospitals specializing in cancer treatment. This marked the first clinical application of spot scanning irradiation technology in a general hospital. Also, Hitachi entered into an agreement to provide a major general hospital with PBT systems which employed the spot scanning irradiation technology in 2011. Saskatchewan has evaluated Hitachi’s leading-edge technologies and expertise, and agreed to pursue joint R&D projects in the field of nuclear medicine.

Eighteen CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) reactors are currently in operation in Canada, delivering about 15% of the country's overall generating capacity. Canada is the world’s largest producer of uranium, which serves as a nuclear fuel, and all of Canada’s uranium is produced in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan, Hitachi-GE, GEH, and GNF-A plan to collaborate on potential nuclear R&D projects of mutual interest including design and feasibility of small modular reactors technologies and reclamation of unused uranium fuel from new fuel rods that have been rejected for use in reactors as a result of quality control programs.

Saskatchewan and four other parties will fund 10 million Canadian dollars for two MOUs that will facilitate and support research collaborations in nuclear medicine, materials science, nuclear safety and small reactor design. Innovation Saskatchewan, a special operating agency established by the Government of Saskatchewan to coordinate the Province’s support for R&D and science and technology, and the four other parties will each provide 5 million Canadian dollars over the next five years to support R&D activities pursuant to the MOUs in collaboration with Saskatchewan-based research institutions including the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the Saskatchewan Research Council and the Canadian Light Source.

Today’s 10 million Canadian dollars investment in nuclear R&D builds on announcements by the Government of Saskatchewan earlier this year to invest 30 million Canadian dollars for the establishment of a new center for research in nuclear medicine and materials science, 17 million Canadian dollars for the establishment of a Centre for Innovation in Cyclotron Science, 12 million Canadian dollars to support innovative research in the production of life saving medical isotopes and 10.1 million Canadian dollars for the development of Saskatchewan’s first PBT/Positron Emission computerized-Tomography (PET) facility for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and heart disease at the University of Saskatchewan.

Looking ahead, Saskatchewan and Hitachi will contribute to improving treatment outcomes for people with cancer by working to develop and promote new nuclear medical technology in Canada. Also, Saskatchewan, Hitachi-GE, GEH, and GNF-A will build a collaborative relationship to research the design and feasibility of small reactor technology with the goal of safely and reliably generating clean energy and helping to achieve a low-carbon society.