The director of Planning, Management and Environment at Eletronuclear – the Brazilian company that operates the Angra 1 and 2 nuclear power plants – LuÀs Hiroshi Sakamoto, says that Brazil will need another nuclear power plant to meet the demand.
That nuclear power plant is Angra 3, which, along with Angra 1 and 2, went into construction during the military administrations (1964-85).
Angra 1 and 2 have been completed and are operational, but Angra 3, scheduled to be operating in 1988, was never finished although US$ 750 million was spent on it.
It is estimated it costs US$ 20 million just to maintain it in its present state, and will take another US$ 1.8 billion and five years to complete.
All three of Brazil’s nuclear power plants are located closely together at a beach resort, Angra dos Reis, on the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro 150 kilometers from the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Sakamoto points out that because they are clean, the use of nuclear power plants around the world means that two billion tons of carbon dioxide have not been pumped into the atmosphere, aggravating the greenhouse effect.
As for Angra 3, Sakamoto says Brazil has the know-how to conclude the construction and is ready to do so. "The country is going to need more energy and Angra 3 is an obvious candidate to supply it," he said.
The Brazilian official added that the fact that construction on it has already begun is a positive point. "What has been paid for is paid for. We will move ahead from where we are. There is no need to start from scratch. It means building Angra 3 will cost less than a similar plant anywhere in the world."
Sakamoto says that at the moment nuclear power (Angra 1 and 2) supplies 40% of the electricity used in the state of Rio de Janeiro. With Angra 3 in operation, that percentage will rise to 70%.