TOKYO, Dec. 11 (Kyodo) — The president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. showed a positive attitude Tuesday about integrating the company's nuclear power business with that of Hitachi Ltd., after the two firms last month announced a merger of their thermal power generation business.

Further collaboration with Hitachi in the fields of nuclear power generation as well as transportation infrastructure will be "possible," Hideaki Omiya said in an interview with Kyodo News, while adding that Mitsubishi Heavy is "not in a rush" to decide on the matter.

"We both have partners in the nuclear power business...and we don't know yet whether Hitachi needs our hands," Omiya said, noting that Hitachi recently purchased Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd. of Britain and took over Horizon's plan to build reactors in the country.

Hitachi currently operates a joint venture with General Electric Co. and Mitsubishi Heavy has an alliance with Areva SA of France.

Omiya also said the two firms could first start from working together in decommissioning reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant wrecked by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and further increase cooperation down the road.

The two firms plan to consolidate their thermal power operation into a new company to be established in January 2014, with combined sales of the firm expected to be about 1.1 trillion yen.