Siemens stopped manufacturing fuel rods in 1995, rendering the never-used MOX facility redundant. Since then, Siemens has been offering it to Russia to convert weapons-plutonium into fuel.
The company spends about $860,000 annually on maintaining the DM1 billion ($430 million) plant.
At the Genoa summit in July of this year, the G-8 non-proliferation experts group (NPEG) failed to reach an agreement on the proposal to export the facility. Having warned that the company would not keep the facility open indefinitely, Siemens has decided to begin dismantling the plant. This is likely to take six months.
Director of the Siemens reconstruction division, Dr Helmut Rupar, said the cost of building a MOX plant in Russia using equipment from the Hanau plant would cost about DM900 million, but so far the US and France have made commitments totaling only DM500 million for the whole G-8 weapons disposition project.
The facility remained within the Siemens group after its nuclear operations merged with Framatome.