The president of the Latin American section of the American Nuclear Energy Society (LAS), Zieli Dutra, says he is in favor of expanding the Brazilian nuclear power generating program.
He says the country should build a third nuclear power plant, Angra 3, so as to reduce its dependence on foreign petroleum and gas.
Speaking at the opening ceremonies of the annual LAS meeting in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, June 13, Dutra declared that Brazil should take advantage of its ability to manufacture and enrich uranium, something that puts it in a better position than many other countries.
"Nuclear energy has many uses. It can generate electricity. It has important uses in medicine. It can also substitute the natural gas we import from Bolivia to run thermoelectric power plants," said Dutra.
Pointing out that LAS does not interfere in domestic politics, but can recommend certain types of nuclear alternatives, Dutra went on to say that, "LAS can show that nuclear energy is safe, especially the PWR-type reactors that are used in Brazil. They would never cause accidents like the one in Chernobyl."
With regard to the construction of Angra 3, Dutra said it was being analyzed by the National Energy Policy Council at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, but would probably be approved this year.
The LAS meeting ends on Thursday. It is being attended by representatives from the four Latin American nations that have nuclear technology: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The main topic at the event is the maintenance and expansion of nuclear programs in Latin America.