Brazil's Eletronuclear close to defining Angra 3 business model

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Brazilian nuclear power company Eletronuclear plans to conclude defining the business model for resuming the construction of the Angra 3 nuclear power plant by the end of this quarter, the subsidiary of state-run firm Eletrobras told BNamericas.

The following stage will involve selecting a partner to carry out construction, resumption of which still depends on authorization by the energy policy committee.

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"We are studying the possibility of concluding the works in partnership with a foreign company with proven project experience, in construction, assembly, commissioning and operation of nuclear power plants under a model where Eletrobras would hold the constitutional responsibility of being the single operator of the unit," the company highlighted.

Eletrobras added that the detailed format of the contract model to enable the partnership can come only after the correction of the plant's electric power rate.

Mobilization of the construction site is scheduled for January 2020. In this case, the plant would be ready to come online in 2025.

Total investment is around 20.8bn reais (US$6.49bn), of which 9.9bn reais have already been realized. Physical progress of the undertaking stands at 62%, according to Eletronuclear.

Work on Angra 3 was halted in 2015 after the consortium responsible for building the 1.4GW plant near Rio de Janeiro became a target in the Lava Jato corruption probe.

SAFETY

Eletronuclear announced a study about safety improvements for Angra 3.

Among modernization measures planned to be implemented count the adoption of digital instrumentation and control technologies and the increase of the potency of the plant's turbines by 55MW compared to the original project.

Angra 3 is also incorporating lessons learned from nuclear accidents elsewhere, such as those of Three Mile Island in the US, Chernobyl (Russia) and Fukushima (Japan).

Eletronuclear also remarked that before coming online, Angra 3 has to obtain a license from the local nuclear energy commission, which will be monitoring the works during construction and electromechanical assembly.

"These factors show Angra 3 will be a modern plant, meeting a safety standard compatible to that of other plants under construction in the world," the company said in a statement.