19 Sep 2011

Siemens to exit nuclear industry

12:36 pm on 19 September 2011

Siemens is pulling out of the nuclear industry in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan.

Chief executive Peter Loescher told the Der Spiegel weekly newspaper the company has "closed the chapter" on building or financing nuclear plants.

"We will no longer be involved in overall managing of building or financing nuclear plants," he said.

"We will from now on supply only conventional equipment such as steam turbines,'' said Mr Loescher.

''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.''

The ABC reports there has been heated debate in Germany about the safety of nuclear power since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima on 11 March.

The government has already switched off several reactors built by Siemens and plans to phase out nuclear energy completely by 2022.

Siemens was responsible for building all 17 of Germany's existing nuclear power plants.

But more recently, the company has limited itself to providing non-nuclear parts of plants being built by other firms, including projects in China and Finland.