New electric service law to regulate nuclear energy

Friday, May 19, 2006

The new electric service law being discussed in Venezuela's national assembly will legislate on the use of several technologies to generate electricity, including nuclear, according to a press release from the country's top legislative body.

During a state visit to Europe this month, President Hugo Chávez again defended his country's right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Jesús Enrique González, a lawmaker from the eastern Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro, even proposed that the law be titled "Law on electric service, nuclear energy and other matters."

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Members of the legislature's energy and mines committee met to discuss the latest draft of the bill on Wednesday and the next meeting is scheduled for June 15. The lawmakers are also preparing to add an appendix containing an "outline of motives" to the bill, with the idea being to "tell the whole world that the utilization of energy, be it electric or nuclear, must be strictly peaceful," committee chairman Ángel Rodríguez was quoted as saying.

Nervis Villalobos, president of state-owned Cadafe, the nation's largest thermal generator and also operator of the backbone T&D network, has discussed the new bill with lawmakers, the press release adds. As a result of those meetings, a section on the development of nuclear energy for peaceful ends was included in the proposed legislation.

Congressman Mario Isea proposed hiring Argentine and Iranian advisors, the statement said.