Brazil’s nuclear utility Eletronuclear and the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN – Comissào National de Energia Nuclear) held a meeting to discuss “issues of importance to the development of the sector”, CNEN said. Topics included “the need to increase cooperation between organisations to streamline and ensure the processes of extension of the useful life of Angra 1, which ends in December this year… and the continuity of the works of Angra 3”.

Angra NPP units 1&2 currently generate about 3% of Brazil’s electricity. Angra I is a 609MWe Westinghouse supplied pressurised water reactor (PWR) that began operation in 1982 a 1,275 MWe Siemens/KWU PWR that began operation in 2000. Construction of Angra 3 with a Siemens/KWU 1405 MWe PWR began in 1984 but was suspended after two years. The project resumed in 2006 and first concrete was poured in 2010. However, work stopped again in 2015 when the unit was 65% complete following allegations of corruption involving government contracts. In November 2022, the newly appointed Eletronuclear President, Eduardo Grand Court, ordered construction to restart but a dispute with the city government of Angra dos Reis has delayed a resumption of construction.

The recent meeting also addressed a; better optimisation of decommissioning fund resources; the need to move forward with the Nuclear Technology Centre (Centena) project: plans for a national repository for low and medium level waste from industry, medicine (hospitals and radiological clinics), research and, power generation; and decommissioning of radioactive and/or nuclear installations.

“One of the central themes of our conversation was the completion of the Angra 1 lifespan extension later this year. In the United States, there are several plants similar to our Angra 1 that have already had their licences extended from 40 to 60 years, and some even to 80 years”, noted Eletronuclear President Raul Lycurgo Leite. “Today’s meeting marks a significant advance in cooperation between CNEN and Eletronuclear, reinforcing our joint commitment to safe and sustainable nuclear development for Brazil,” said CNEN President Francisco Rondinelli.