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Why is Brazil enriching uranium?

Listed author(s):
  • Cabrera-Palmer, Belkis
  • Rothwell, Geoffrey

In Brazil construction began in 1971 on Angra 1, a 626Â MW Westinghouse pressurized water reactor (PWR). It was completed in 1984. Later, Angra 2 (a Kraftwerk Union PWR) achieved commercial operation in 2000. Brazil is considering the construction of seven nuclear power plants over the next 15 years. In preparation for this nuclear industry expansion, Brazil is building a uranium enrichment facility to provide nuclear fuel for Angra 1 and 2 starting in 2010 at Resende in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and collated with nuclear fuel fabrication facilities. This paper investigates whether the Resende Enrichment Facility will be able to provide uranium enrichment services at a cost lower than the international market price. We find that while Brazil is unlikely to be internationally competitive in the enrichment market, the Resende Enrichment Facility completes the front end of Brazil's nuclear fuel cycle. This assures uninterrupted nuclear fuel to its currently operating light water reactors, while providing the option of expanding capacity, lowering cost, and competing in the international nuclear fuel market after 2020.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 2570-2577

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:7:p:2570-2577
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  1. Geoffrey Rothwell, 2004. "Cost Contingency as the Standard Deviation of the Cost Estimate for Cost Engineering," Discussion Papers 04-005, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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