New date for Atucha 2

18 August 2008

[Dow Jones, 15 August] Argentina's planning minister Julio De Vido has said that the country's third nuclear power plant - Atucha 2 - will begin operating by October 2010. Construction of the 750 MWe Atucha 2 unit began in June 1981 and the plant was originally expected to enter operation in 1987. However, the project was stalled for 14 years because of "inexplicable" political and economic reasons, De Vido said. "Everything is now in place for this to happen as scheduled," De Vido said in a radio interview. Argentina relaunched its nuclear power program in August 2006. In July 2007, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) signed an agreement with Argentina's Nucleoelectrica to enter into commercial negotiations to define the contracts and project delivery model for a new 740 MWe Candu 6 nuclear power plant. The agreement also called for AECL to assist Nucleoelectrica to finish construction of the Atucha 2 reactor, which is currently some 80% complete. Argentina currently has two nuclear power reactors (Atucha 1 and Embalse), both pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs), which generated about 6.2% of its electricity in 2007.