(NaturalNews) A major, long-time player in the nuclear technology industry, Germany-based Siemens has announced that it is leaving the nuclear energy business for good. Citing "German society and politics clear position on ending nuclear energy," Siemens CEO Peter Loscher also referenced the ongoing Fukushima disaster in Japan as another reason why his company is switching to safer, more renewable technologies like wind and solar.
"The chapter is closed for us," Loscher is quoted as saying in Spiegel Online, concerning the company's withdrawal from the nuclear industry. "We will no longer be involved in managing the building or financing of nuclear parts."
Siemens is a large producer of mechanical parts and other materials used in nuclear and other energy industries. The company has also been involved in the production of all nuclear reactors currently operating in Germany, having even made joint plans with Russia-based nuclear firm Rosatom not too long ago to build 400 more nuclear reactors by 2030. But those plans have now been officially scrapped.
While the announcement may initially come as a surprise to some, it actually makes good sense in light of the country's long-range nuclear plans. Shortly after the 9.0+ mega-earthquake and resultant tsunami struck Japan back in March, German Chancellor Angel Merkel announced that her country would be shutting down all of its nuclear plants by 2022 (http://www.naturalnews.com/031831_Germany_nu...).
"Germany's shift towards renewable energies is the project of the century," added Loscher, noting that his company will continue to produce some of the same components it always has, many of which have dual uses in both the nuclear and non-nuclear energy industries. But at the same time, it will be expanding operations in anticipation of Germany's 2020 energy goals, which include deriving 35 percent of its energy production from renewable sources by that time.
Meanwhile, the German government is currently facing legal backlash for its implementation of a federal tax on nuclear fuel rods, a move that many allege is unconstitutional. And others are challenging the legality of even shutting down Germany's nuclear plants in the first place (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep...).