Brazil’s Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Rezende, declared that the inauguration of the Uranium Enrichment Factory (Fábrica de Enriquecimento de Urânio) in Resende, state of Rio de Janeiro, will take place in 2006.
Speaking at a ceremony where Roberto Garcia Esteves took office as the new president of Brazilian Nuclear Industries (INB), Rezende admitted that the factory was supposed to be in operation by now.
“Because of delays we are still in the test phase. The inauguration will be next year,” he said.
Rezende reported that Brazil spends US$ 15 million to import enriched uranium annually but that the country is one of the few in the world that has the capacity to enrich its own uranium.
New Nuclear Roadmap
A copy of the proposed revised Nuclear Program (Programa Nuclear Brasileiro) is on president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s desk.
It covers a 17-year period, running to 2022, involves investments totaling US$ 13 billion and calls for an increase in the percentage of energy used in Brazil from nuclear power plants to rise from 3.7% to 5%.
According to the president of the Nuclear Energy Commission, Oldair Gonçalves, the first step in the revised program is the completion of the Angra 3 power plant.