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Siemens Leaving Nuclear Power Business for Good

Decision Based on Germany's Exit from Nuclear Power

By Cori O'Donnell
Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Siemens (NYSE: SI) is following the lead of the German government and leaving the nuclear energy business entirely.

Siemens CEO, Peter Loescher, announced the company will no longer build or finance nuclear power plants in Germany or anywhere else.

"We will no longer be involved in overall managing of building or financing nuclear plants. This chapter is closed for us," says Loescher.

The company’s decision is partly based on the accident at Japan’s Fukushima, and also based on the German government’s decision to shut down any existing nuclear power plants by 2022.

Loescher says Siemens' decision was "an answer to the clear position of society and politics in Germany on exiting nuclear power."

Siemens decision is quite shocking because the company has history with nuclear power. In the 1970s and 80s it built nuclear power plants in West Germany.

Siemens partner, Rosatom, is concerned about Siemens’ decision. Rosatom is a Russian company that was set to benefit from having Siemens’ well-known name attached to them. Rosatom is now up against competitors like Areva and General Electric on its own.

"They (Rosatom's rivals) are all probably happy because the credibility of Rosatom in the international market would have been reinforced if they had Siemens as a partner," analyst Bernd Laux of Cheuvreux said.

Still, Rosatom remains supportive and understands why the decision was made.

"We understand the logic...It is clear it is not a slight against Rosatom," spokesman Sergey Novikov told Reuters in Moscow.

"Siemens has to follow the line of the German government which decided a total shutdown of nuclear assets...Rosatom and Siemens will continue to work together in other fields, including nuclear medicine," he added

Siemens will continue to produce hardware such as steam turbines, and they are focusing on developments with renewable energies, smart grid and water technologies.

That's all for now,


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