Greenpeace report: Continued nuclear deals of the two companies with state-owned Rosatom benefit Russian interests in Ukraine and other countries
Paris/Hamburg, 18 July 2023 - Framatome and Siemens Energy are supporting Russia's economic and geopolitical interests - by continuing to supply high technology and know-how to the Russian state corporation Rosatom. This is revealed in a report published today by Greenpeace France and Greenpeace Germany (1). The companies are thus ignoring Rosatom's active involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "While Russia brings endless suffering to the Ukrainian population, Framatome and Siemens Energy continue to do business with a Russian state-owned company. This is unbearable," said Kateryna Bystrytska, Greenpeace CEE communication officer in Ukraine. Greenpeace demands that Rosatom be immediately added to the list of EU sanctions against Russia.
Rosatom is directly involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Employees of the company were deployed in the occupied nuclear power plants Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhya and still are in the embattled Zaporizhzhya. Rosatom is thus actively exposing the Ukrainian and European population to the risk of a nuclear catastrophe. Through a joint-stock company, Rosatom has effectively stolen the nuclear power plant from Ukraine. The situation has now been exacerbated by the demolition of the Kakhovka dam and the presumed mining of the cooling pond in Zaporizhzhia.
“A nuclear power plant is under threat of destruction by an occupying foreign nuclear corporation, Rosatom, and that country’s military forces”, says Greenpeace nuclear expert Shaun Burnie, “meanwhile, that same criminal company is receiving direct assistance for its nuclear plants, including inside Russia, from two of Europe’s largest engineering corporations.” There is a direct link between the blocking of nuclear sanctions by those EU states that have common economic interests with Rosatom, especially Hungary and France. Germany, on the other hand, is fully justified in pushing for comprehensive nuclear sanctions. “There can be no business as usual with the Russian nuclear state,” said Burnie.
The Greenpeace report focuses on the design, manufacture and supply of Instrumentation and Control (I&C) high technology from Framatome and Siemens described as the brains or central nervous systems of nuclear plants. Rosatom has contracts with both French and German companies for the supply of the I&C technology to nuclear plants inside Russia, including at reactors currently under construction and to overseas Rosatom projects, in particular in Hungary and Turkey. The Greenpeace investigation raises the question of whether Framatome and Siemens nuclear personnel have been working at Russian nuclear plants since the full scale invasion of Ukraine. Under lucrative service contracts, Framatome and Siemens personnel repair and install their technology in Rosatom nuclear plants directly helping them to improve the performance of their reactors.
The Greenpeace report shows how crucial the cooperation with French Framatome and German Siemens Energy is for Rosatom and for Russia, and also in other countries where they are expanding their nuclear business. Western technology and know-how, specifically I&C systems have helped the Russian group to become the world's largest supplier of nuclear power plants under construction. The Russian state is also pursuing geopolitical interests with these projects - and is de facto supported in this by Framatome and Siemens Energy. "Framatome and Siemens Energy therefore have a lot to answer, including what technical personnel are still assigned to work at Rosatom reactors in Russia or other countries after the Russian full-scale attack on Ukraine last year. They need to be put under investigation for their nuclear collaboration with Russia," says Burnie.
The maintenance of nuclear power plants in Russia helps the country to secure its electricity supply and economic stability and thus to be able to continue the attack on Ukraine. Without Framatome and Siemens I&C technology Rosatom would quickly face serious problems in continuing its nuclear operations. Also unclear is the end use control of dual-use technology that both companies have shipped to Rosatom and that could be used for Russia's military nuclear programme, including in submarine reactors. Rosatom is also responsible for all dimension’s Russia’s nuclear program, including power plants, submarines and ballistic missiles.
"To stop this nuclear deal between the EU and Russia, immediate and comprehensive sanctions are needed," Kateryna Bystrytska says. "If Framatome and Siemens don't have the moral backbone themselves to end their deals, which ultimately come at the expense of the Ukrainian people, they must be obliged to do so by politicians."