Siemens to leave nuclear business
Siemens has announced plans to turn the page on nuclear energy and stop building nuclear power stations after Germany’s decision to phase out the use of atomic energy.
“We will no longer be involved in overall managing of building or financing nuclear plants. This chapter is closed for us,” Siemens Chief Executive Officer Peter Loscher said in an interview with Der Spiegel weekly published on Sunday, AFP reported.
He added that the German engineering and power giant would restrict its activity to dual-use technology.
“We will from now on supply only conventional equipment such as steam turbines. This means we are restricting ourselves to technologies that are not only for nuclear purposes but can also be used in gas or coal plants,” Loscher said.
Siemens chief executive officer said the group’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear industry reflects “the very clear stance taken by Germany’s society and political leadership.”
Europe’s largest economy announced the decision to decommission its atomic power plants within the next decade in the wake of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The Fukushima plant has leaked radiation into air, soil and the Pacific Ocean ever since it was hit by a 9-magnitude earthquake and a devastating tsunami on March 11.
The tremor triggered a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to cooling systems and the reactor meltdown at the nuclear power plant on Japan’s northeast coast.
The number of the dead and missing from Japan’s March 11 quake and tsunami stands at over 28,000, according to the Japanese National Police Agency. The crisis has also displaced thousands of residents from around the plant.
Siemens, which has been active in nuclear power for decades, has gradually scaled back its nuclear-power operations in recent years and sought to exit the business.
The Munich-based company has helped with the construction and operation of some of the world’s largest reactors in the last part of the previous century.