Brazil's nuclear energy programme could be more ambitious than it currently is, according to Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Speaking after seeing Brazil's domestically developed uranium enrichment plant in action during an official visit to Latin America, ElBaradei described Brazilian aims to increase nuclear share from 2% to 5.7% by 2030 as "modest." The country plans to add a third nuclear unit to its two operating plants at Angra and build a further eight small units.
Praising Brazilian cooperation with the IAEA, he noted that he had no worries about Brazilian construction plans. "What is important is to have guarantees that nuclear power will be used within high security levels and exclusively for peaceful purposes. Our inspectors are here all the time," he said. The first stage of the Brazilian enrichment plant began operating in 2006 and when complete is expected to produce about 60% of the enriched uranium for Brazil's two operating nuclear units.
ElBaradei's visit to Brazil came as part of an official visit to several Latin American countries, where he has been emphasizing links between security and social and economic development as well as the IAEA's role in ensuring that nuclear is used for peaceful purposes. In Chile, he was presented with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Chile for his contribution to peace and international security. Earlier this year, Chile announced that it would carry out a feasibility study into the use of nuclear power, and more recently the country's energy ministry has been tasked with preparing new studies on Chile's nuclear energy options for the next administration.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
WNA's Nuclear Power in Brazil information paper
WNA's Emerging Nuclear Countries information paper
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