Brazil increases uranium enrichment capacity by 25%

Brazil increases uranium enrichment capacity by 25%

With new module operation, production will meet 50% of the needs of Angra 1

While the federal government does not decide whether or not to complete the Angra 3 Nuclear Power Plant, which has been paralyzed since 2015 by having its works involved in the case of corruption, Brazil has taken yet another step to increase its capacity to uranium enrichment. The 7th cascade (module) of ultracentrifuges was inaugurated recently at the Nuclear Fuel Factory (FCN), Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB), in Resende, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

With the addition of this module, the production of enriched uranium will increase by 25%. This will allow INB, which is responsible for the production of nuclear fuel for the mills, to produce about 50% of what is necessary for an annual recharge of the Angra 1 Plant.

Much of the fuel for nuclear power plants is already produced in the country, and some stages are still contracted abroad, such as the uranium enrichment phase, the most sensitive and strategic of the so-called fuel cycle. Enrichment technology is dominated by only 12 countries – the United States, China, France, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, the Netherlands, India, Iran, Germany and England – and in Brazil the technology was developed by the Navy in the 1980s The access to the so-called cascades (modules), where the enrichment is done, is totally forbidden.

According to the INB, the commissioning of this seventh cascade is part of the first phase of the implantation of the Uranium Isotopic Enrichment Plant, a joint project with the Brazilian Navy that provides for the installation of 10 waterfalls of ultracentrifuges. In the end, the initiative should cover about 70% of the enriched uranium demand needed for an Angra 1 refill. In the second phase, he clarifies, the installation and commissioning of another 30 waterfalls of ultracentrifuges is planned, “which will give INB capacity to fully meet Angra 1, 2 and 3 refills, reaching a commercially sustainable scale of production, “the company points out.

Since 2000, Real $ 560 million (134 Million USD) has already been invested in the project, and the forecast is that, by 2033, the total contribution will reach Real $ 3 billion (719 Million USD).

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.