Argentina's Atucha 2 has marked the transition into its final pre-start testing phase with an inauguration ceremony attended by the country's president.
|President Fernandez greets workers at Atucha 2 (Image: Presidency of Argentina)
President Cristina Fernandez launched the process to check and test the plant's 566 subsystems in the ceremony, at which she praised those involved in the project to complete the 750 MWe pressurized heavy water reactor: "The best fuel we have is the Argentine people," she said. Work originally began on Atucha 2 in June 1981, before a lack of funds eventually caused the project to stall in 1994. The project was revived after a 2006 government decision to complete the plant as part of a $3.5 billion strategic plan for the country's nuclear power sector.
The unit is expected to produce its first power early in 2012, entering commercial service later in the year.
Fernandez reiterated that the country's next nuclear goals would be to extend the operating life of the Embalse Candu plant, the construction of a third unit at Atucha, and the construction of the indigenously designed CAREM small reactor.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News