spot_img
Thursday, May 23, 2024
More
    HomeBusinessSiemens Energy remains loyal to Russia's nuclear company

    Siemens Energy remains loyal to Russia’s nuclear company

    -

    Despite the war in Ukraine, Siemens Energy continues to maintain business relationships with the Russian state-owned company Rosatom. In particular, participation in a nuclear power plant project in Hungary is causing criticism. Siemens Energy defends itself.

    The European Union is making an exception when it comes to sanctions against the Russian energy sector. Unlike oil, gas and coal, there are no trade restrictions in the nuclear industry. According to a report by the environmental protection organization Greenpeace, two Western companies in particular benefit from this: the French Framatome and the German group Siemens Energy.

    Her most important business partner is not just any company, but Rosatom, which reports directly to the Kremlin. The state-owned company is responsible for the civil and military sectors of Russian nuclear power. In Ukraine, Rosatom has taken over the operation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occupied by Russian forces.

    “Major European companies have ongoing contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros to export their cutting-edge technology and expertise to Russian nuclear power plants and Rosatom’s nuclear projects abroad,” the Greenpeace report said. Framatome and Siemens Energy play “a key role in Rosatom’s nuclear program” and would therefore indirectly support the Russian attack on Ukraine.

    Siemens Energy wants to keep contracts

    Tim Proll-Gerwe, press spokesman for Siemens Energy, responds to Greenpeace’s allegations Twitter: “Our employees do not work for Rosatom in Russia and we do not have any ‘lucrative’ contracts; sales in 2022 were in the single-digit million range.” His company will comply with existing contracts, “even under special circumstances”. Furthermore, Siemens Energy does not supply hot nuclear technology, but rather safety and control technology.

    Siemens Energy Siemens Energy
    Siemens Energy 11.83

    However, Greenpeace refers to exactly this control technology. Experts refer to such systems as the brains of power plants because they control systems independently and can even switch off reactors in an emergency. Siemens Energy spokesman Proll-Gerwe counters: The control technology is not used in nuclear power plants in Russia, but rather ensures the safety of European power plants.

    He probably also means the nuclear power plant in Paks, Hungary. Rosatom is currently building two new reactor units there. In 2019 and 2020, Siemens Energy signed contracts for the supply of control technology; only approval from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control is still pending. Such a system costs several hundred million euros.

    Delivery would “actively support warmongers”

    This is met with criticism. “By supplying important components for Rosatom’s Paks II nuclear power plant project in Hungary, Siemens Energy would actively support warmongers and increase Europe’s dependence on Russia,” said Sebastian Rötters from the environmental protection organization Urgewald to the “Handelsblatt”. Siemens Energy, on the other hand, emphasizes that various governments within the EU “explicitly asked, even after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, to supply our control technology for the Paks II project in Hungary.” The company is the only provider of control technology that can meet European safety standards.

    At the request of ntv.de, Siemens Energy refers to its general meeting in February. CEO Christian Bruch said at the time that the contracts had been concluded before the Russian attack on Ukraine and that there was no new business. “We see ourselves as fundamentally bound to existing contracts.”

    Russian environmental activist and Alternative Nobel Prize winner Vladimir Slivjak also spoke at that shareholder meeting. He called on the company’s management to stop all business with Rosatom. The state-owned company is part of the Kremlin’s geopolitical plan to make as many countries as possible dependent on Russia and is also directly involved in the Ukraine war through the operation of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. “Collaboration with war criminals should be unacceptable for any European company.”

    Greenpeace warns against military use

    According to the Greenpeace report, Siemens Energy’s cutting-edge technology could even be used in Russia’s nuclear military program, such as operating submarine reactors. “Rosatom is responsible for all areas of Russia’s nuclear program – from reactors to weapons to submarines.” There is already “a very real risk that European companies have supplied Russia with weapons-grade nuclear technology.”

    The federal government has long been committed to restricting the trade in fuel rods and nuclear power technology with Russia. In April, Economics Minister Robert Habeck called for the civil nuclear sector to be included in future EU sanctions packages. Moscow is no longer a reliable partner. But the EU has so far been unable to bring itself to impose sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry.

    In addition to Hungary, France in particular is blocking such a decision. The country relies primarily on nuclear power for its energy supply and sources some of its uranium from Russia. The Framatome Group also maintains close relationships with Rosatom. Both companies operate a joint plant for nuclear power plant fuel rods in Lingen, Lower Saxony.

    According to an analysis by the Austrian Federal Environment Agency, a total of 21 nuclear reactors in the EU are supplied with fuel rods from Rosatom, primarily in the countries of Eastern Europe. Accordingly, the state-owned company covers almost a quarter of uranium deliveries to the EU. The paper shows: Around a year and a half after the outbreak of war, Europe is still dependent on Russia’s nuclear industry.

    Related articles

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest posts