German Energy Giant Siemens to Withdraw from Nuclear Industry

A German magazine has reported that Europe’s largest engineering firm will no longer do work in nuclear energy.

In an interview with Der Spiegel published Sunday, Siemens CEO Peter Loescher said his firm will withdraw from the sector. Siemens built Germany’s 17 existing power reactors and has provided parts for recent reactor projects in China and Finland, the BBC reported. But it will step away from the industry, the magazine quoted him as saying, to match "the clear positioning of German society and politics for a pullout from nuclear energy."

In an abrupt turnaround, German chancellor Angela Merkel announced in May that all nuclear plants in the country would be decommissioned. German popular sentiment, and many of the country’s politicians, turned broadly against the technology after the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan.

Siemens' move will end its planned joint venture with Russian firm Rosatom, although Loescher indicated it may still work with the company in other areas. Siemens also will continue to make steam turbines and other power-industry equipment that can be used in nuclear plants.

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