Russia and Argentina have signed a memorandum on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy that recognises Rosatom as a possible supplier for a fourth Argentinian nuclear power plant.
Sergey Kiriyenko and Julio De Vido sign the latest memorandum
The memorandum between Rosatom and the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services of Argentina was signed by Rosatom director general Sergey Kiriyenko and Argentinian federal planning minister Julio De Vido at a ceremony in Moscow. The routine purpose fo the document is to extend cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy, but it also notes that Argentina will continue to look into Rosatom proposals for future nuclear power plants in the country and stipulates that Rosatom is prequalified as a possible supplier for Argentina's fourth nuclear power plant.
Pre-construction work at Akkuyu, the site of Turkey's first nuclear power reactor, has entered a new stage with the commencement of a prime engineering survey.
Saint Petersburg-based AtomEnergoProekt (AEP) reports that it is establishing a geodetic network at Akkuyu, which will allow the full-scale engineering survey to begin after the middle of June.
The survey and other preparatory work vital for project documentation and licence applications, will be completed in 2012, AEP says. Russia is to build, own and operate the plant under an agreement signed with Turkey in May 2010.
Argentina has two operating nuclear reactors, Atucha and Embalse. A second unit at Atucha is nearing completion: work began on it in 1981 but was suspended due to lack of funds in the 1990s before the project resumed in 2006. All three units are pressurized heavy-water reactors. Embalse is a 600 MWe Candu-6, while the Atucha units are a Siemens design unique to Argentina. Government plans call for the construction of a fourth unit and for the country to aim for self-sufficiency in the nuclear fuel cycle. Last year, Argentina reactivated its own uranium enrichment plant at Pilcaniyeu after a two-decade layoff.
Russia and Argentina have signed many cooperation agreements in recent years, including one in 2010 which expresses Russian willingness to partner Argentina in designing and building plants in Argentina based on Russian VVER pressurized water reactors. However, Russia is not alone in courting the South American country: Canada, South Korea, and France as well as Westinghouse of the USA have been involved in discussions with Argentina.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News