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Nuclear Energy

Brazilian nuclear sector will be self-sufficient, says MME

12/02/2019 | 16h29
Brazilian nuclear sector will be self-sufficient, says MME
Divulgation MME Divulgation MME

The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque (photo), participated on Friday (11/29) the inauguration of the 8th ultracentrifuge cascade of the uranium isotope enrichment plant. The event, which was attended by President Jair Bolsonaro, took place at the Nuclear Fuel Factory in Resende, Rio de Janeiro. The operation of the 8th cascade will allow Brazil's Nuclear Industries (INB) to increase uranium production by 20%, making it possible to produce 60% of the Angra 1 plant's supply needs.


Speaking at the event, Bento Albuquerque announced the allocation, in the coming weeks, of $ 20 million for the inauguration of the 9th and 10th waterfalls, starting in 2020. “In accordance with his orientation - he said, addressing President Bolsonaro - , we have established an objective and pragmatic dialogue with civil society, the National Congress and the economic agents, to jointly explore the rare advantages Brazil has in the international arena. ”


“President Bolsonaro, you have decided to make the nuclear sector a priority of your government. Your presence at this ceremony marks the attendance of the second President of the Republic to this company, as well as the symbolism and celebration of another national achievement, ”said Bento Albuquerque.


Among the advantages cited by the Minister are the domain of technology and the nuclear fuel cycle, the existence of significant uranium reserves in the various quarters of the Brazilian territory - which ranks Brazil as one of the seven largest in the world - “this, with only 30 % of the prospected Brazilian territory, and, finally, the finding that the country operates nuclear plants safely for almost four decades. ”


Angra 3 Required Completion 

“In this direction,” added the Minister, “we are making efforts that, from 2020, INB will once again produce 150 tons per year of uranium at the Caetité mines in Bahia and expand that production to 360 tons per year, 2023, which will contribute vigorously to the generation of jobs and income ”. “In the case of the mines in Santa Quitéria, Ceará,” he noted, “in partnership with private companies, it is planned to produce 1,600 tons of uranium annually from 2024, promoting the region's development and the inclusion of several dozen professionals. in this process ”.


In his speech, Bento Albuquerque stressed that in order to achieve these and other results, the MME examines the possibility of complementing the legal framework of the nuclear sector with a view to making uranium research and exploration more flexible, and enabling the creation of appropriate conditions for Private investments can contribute to the development of the sector. “Among the necessary modifications, we are working with the National Congress to make Brazil Nuclear Industries more agile in exporting fuels to nuclear plants in friendly countries. And along the same path, his efforts in the process of becoming an independent National Treasury company are commendable, which will surely bring more agility and efficiency to the venture. However, it must be clearly outlined that this goal can only be achieved with the conclusion of Angra 3 ”, emphasized the Minister.


Regarding Angra 3, Bento Albuquerque pointed out that the president issued Decree No. 9,915, of July 16, 2019, qualifying the project as a priority for the government, including it in the Presidency of the Republic's Investment Partnership Program. "BNDES is completing the business model that will allow private participation in the venture, so that it is possible to publish the announcement for selection of the partner, still in the second quarter of 2020," he announced.


Brazilian nuclear park is among the most efficient in the world 

The Minister also mentioned that the extension of Angra 1's useful life has already been requested from the National Nuclear Energy Commission, 5 years in advance, contemplating an extension until 2044. “It is important to highlight that the Brazilian nuclear generator park is among one of the most efficient in the world !! Over the past 3 years, we have continued to show high levels of performance, keeping Brazil ranked 7th out of 31 countries with a nuclear park, ”he said.


Bento Albuquerque concluded his speech by congratulating the Brazilian Nuclear Industries and the Brazilian Navy, and praised the support of the National Nuclear Energy Commission - CNEN, “in the swift conduct of the operating license”. “The future vision for the nuclear sector requires intense synergy between government, the market and organized society, both through the convergence of efforts and the extraordinary results achieved so far. I am convinced that the future holds us a self-sufficient, powerful and sovereign Brazilian nuclear sector, ”concluded the Minister.



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