Siemens announces exit from nuclear industry

Posted on 19 Sep 2011 by The Manufacturer

German engineering group Siemens has announced its withdrawal from the nuclear industry, bringing an end to the construction of new plants in many different countries, while reaffirming its commitment to renewable energy.

As well as the cancellation of projects in Germany, Siemens has said that it has cancelled a long-planned contract with Russian nuclear firm Rosatom, stating its commitment to the German government’s decision to halt the construction of all nuclear plants.

A Siemens spokesperson said in a statement that “The chapter for us is closed”, and that the decision was based on the “clear positioning of German society and politics for a pullout from nuclear energy”.

Siemens’ chief executive Peter Loescher said that the conglomerate would still provide the non-nuclear parts of plants being built by other firms, including current projects in China and Finland, such as make components, such as steam turbines, that are used in the conventional power industry, but can also be used in nuclear plants.

Siemens has a reputation for building components for other power generation methods, such as wind turbines. As the German government turns towards such methods of power generation to fill the gap left by the decommissioning nuclear power plants, Mr Loescher confirmed that it would back the government in helping to fill this gap.

He claimed that the proposed target of providing Berlin with 35% of the city’s total energy consumption from green energy generation methods was achievable, but made it clear that this was a large task – ‘the task of the century’.

George Archer