Fresh from divorce proceedings with Areva, Germany's Siemens has signed a prenuptial agreement with Rosatom. Areva reacted angrily, claiming Siemens' move to be a violation of their own joint venture.
A memorandum of understanding between Siemens and Rosatom was signed off today for a 50/50 joint venture to develop projects incorporating Russian VVER pressurized water reactor technology, build new power plants and upgrade old ones. The JV could also pursue other fuel cycle opportunities "from fuel fabrication through nuclear power plant decommissioning."
The head of Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, said: "Using the full-scale partnership with Siemens we want to become leaders in the world nuclear power market." Peter Loscher, president and CEO of Siemens, said that it saw "a great opportunity ... to enlarge our footprint in nuclear business with a very strong and experienced partner."
Areva responded by pointing out that the Rosatom JV announcement puts Siemens in breach of the non-competition clause in their own 2001 JV agreement. It threatened "all the ensuing consequences," but Siemens evidently expects to face down any action from Areva, which is controlled by the French state.
Siemens merged its nuclear reactor business with France's Framatome in 2001, to hold 34% of the new JV enterprise, now Areva NP. It then decided in January to quit this stake in Areva NP, forcing the Areva group to buy it out by the end of January 2012, probably for a little over €2 billion ($2.5 billion).
Siemens is providing the steam turbines, generators and main systems apart from the actual reactors and steam generators for the Areva EPR project in Finland, Olkiluoto 3, which is behind schedule. French rival Alstom is providing this gear for seven further Areva EPR units planned, despite the Siemens equity in Areva NP.