Rosatom eyes Siemens cooperation despite nuclear exit

19th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian state nuclear company Rosatom will pursue cooperation with Germany's Siemens even though Siemens has decided to drop its nuclear energy projects, a Rosatom spokesman told AFP on Monday.

"Cooperation will continue in other spheres. Working groups are continuing the talks on this issue," said spokesman Sergei Novikov.

Siemens chief executive Peter Loescher announced on Sunday in an interview with Der Spiegel that it is quitting the nuclear energy business due to Germany's goal to phase out nuclear plants after Japan's Fukushima disaster.

The group is therefore scrapping its long-planned project to create a joint venture with Rosatom, which the companies announced in March 2009, Loescher said.

"Siemens is following the position of the German government, which made the decision to gradually abandon nuclear energy," Rosatom's Novikov said.

Rosatom may continue cooperation with Siemens outside the field of nuclear energy, for example in the nuclear medicine industry, he added.

"Siemens is one of the leading producers of equipment for nuclear medicine, while Rosatom is one of the leading producers of isotopes used in nuclear medicine."

Rosatom signed a memorandum of understanding with Siemens to create a joint venture, but this enterprise was never created in the end, Novikov said.

Its creation had been delayed after Siemens' former partner, French nuclear giant Areva, went to arbitration to try to block the Rosatom deal in a case that only ended in May, after the Fukushima disaster in March.

Areva eventually forced Siemens to pay 648 million euros ($927 million) for violating its shareholder pact by ending their cooperation to make the Rosatom agreement.

© 2011 AFP

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