The National Energy Council of Brazil is about to make a decision on the completion of Angra 3. Brazil’s current energy crisis has forced the government to introduce compulsory rationing of power. The extent of the shortage has led to growing pressure to restart the construction of unit 3, which has already had about $1.3 billion invested in it.
It is highly likely that the state-owned utility Electrobas SA will now complete the PWR project at an additional cost of about $1.7 billion. A twin unit, Angra 2, was commissioned at the end of last year (see NEI March 2001, p40).
Similar to California, Brazil’s energy crisis was fuelled by a lack of direct investment in energy projects during the 1990s. The current power shortages have been aggravated by a lack of rain, lowering water levels at the country’s hydroelectric dams to about 30% of full capacity. Hydroelectricity accounts for about 90% of the country’s power.