It is still unclear whether nuclear envelope breakdown and premature chromosome condensation are essential for the reprogramming of the donor nucleus following somatic nuclear transfer. To address this, we determined the ability of delayed-activated or simultaneously activated porcine oocytes to undergo nuclear remodelling and development following somatic cell nuclear transfer. A small microtubule aster was observed in association with decondensed chromatin following nuclear transfer, suggesting the introduction of a somatic cell centrosome. In the delayed-activated condition, most fibroblast nuclei divided into two chromosome masses and two pronuclear-like structures following transfer into oocytes. In contrast, fibroblast nuclei in the simultaneously activated condition formed a large, swollen, pronuclear-like structure. Microtubule asters were organised in the vicinity of the nucleus regardless of the number of nuclei. More reconstructed oocytes developed to the blastocyst stage in the delayed-activated condition than in the simultaneously activated condition (p < 0.05). Nine piglets were born from two recipient sows following transfer of delayed-activated reconstructed oocytes, while none developed to full term in the simultaneously activated condition. Fingerprint analysis showed that the PCR-RFLP patterns of the nine offspring were identical to that of the donor pig. These results suggest that the activation of recipient oocytes during nuclear transfer probably relates to the nuclear remodelling process, which can affect the ability of embryos created by somatic cell nuclear transfer to develop.