The nuclear samba in Brazil

The nuclear samba in Brazil

Electronuclear (ETN), a subsidiary of ELETROBRAS, is a mixed-capital company created in 1997 for the purpose of operating and building nuclear power plants. The Almirante Álvaro Alberto Nuclear Power Plant, located in the city of Angra dos Reis, state of Rio de Janeiro, is composed of the two nuclear plants in operation plus Angra 3, which is under construction. Angra 1 and Angra 2 provide 30% of the electricity of the State of Rio de Janeiro.


The current generation capacity of Angra 1 is 640 MW and that of Angra 2 is 1,350 MW. Angra 1 was acquired from the US company Westinghouse and Angra 2 was acquired from the German consortium KWU / Siemens. Until October 2017, Angra 1 and Angra 2 produced a total of 1,975 MW. Angra 3’s nuclear power capacity forecast is 1,405 MW. When the latter enters commercial operation, it will alone be able to generate energy equivalent to 50% of the consumption of the state of Rio de Janeiro.


Several foreign companies have expressed interest in investing in the construction of future nuclear power plants in Brazil, such as Westinghouse, Rosatome, Framatome, CNNC and SPIC. All of these companies have representative offices in Rio.

The Brazilian nuclear market has expanded more and more. In addition to the future nuclear power plants, there are other nuclear projects, such as the nuclear reactor for submarine propulsion, the multipurpose reactor for nuclear medicine and the nuclear desalination reactor. Through a partnership between the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN), a nuclear fusion reactor on an experimental scale is being built in Brazil.

The nuclear sector has the most skilled labor in Brazil, but its renewal is urgent. Although there are already postgraduates in nuclear engineering, The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) became the precursor when creating the graduation in this area.

One of the most critical obstacles in the recovery of Angra 3 is the fixed tariff value for the electricity production of MW / h.  After this review, the government will be able to open a public call for the selection of a partner to complete the construction of Angra 3. What is not lacking is foreign interest in investing in construction.

About Author

Arnaud Lefevre

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