Map of Argentina

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Electricity generation in Argentina

Nuclear power

Nuclear energy provides 8.6% of the country's electricity - about 7 billion kWh per year.
The country has two operating nuclear power plants, Atucha I (CNA-I) and Embalse (CNE), and another one under construction, Atucha II (CNA-II). The construction on the third plant, Atucha II, ceased in the 1990s, due to political and financial concerns.
Atucha I, located some 100 km Northwest from Buenos Aires City, with a net electric power of 335 MW, began its commercial operation in 1974. The reactor is of the pressure vessel PHWR type. According to the original design CNA-I is fuelled with natural uranium, but fuel elements of a new design have been incorporated, having slightly enriched uranium (0.85% w U-235), so that the reactor core is now partly loaded with slightly enriched fuel, and partly with natural uranium fuel. The reactor is moderated and cooled with heavy water
Embalse, which initiated its commercial operation in 1984, is located in the Province of Córdoba, some 110 km to the south of Cordoba city, its net electric power is 600 MW. It is a PHWR reactor of the CANDU type.

Energy consumption

Argentina is one of South America’s largest economies. Argentina’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 8.4 percent in 2006 and 7.9 percent in 2007. This high level of economic growth has led to a corresponding increase in the demand for energy, especially natural gas. In contrast to the increase in demand, domestic production of oil and natural gas have stagnated and exports have declined.
Argentina has the third-largest power market in Latin America, relying mostly on hydropower (about one third of the production) and natural gas-fired thermal plants for most of its electricity supply. In 2005, Argentina generated 101.1 billion kilowatthours (Bkwh) and consumed 89.0 Bkwh of electricity. Demand has steadily grown since 1991.

Developments in the nuclear sector

2007: 1 - 2 additional reactors?

In July 2007 Nuclearelectrica signed an agreement with AECL to establish contract and project terms for construction of one and possibly two 740 MWe CANDU-6 reactors, as well as completing Atucha-2. A government decision on this project is expected in April 2008.
In August 2007, Argentina officially broke ground on the completion of the Atucha II project. Also in 2007, CNEA began the process to re-activate the Sierra Pintada and Don Otto uranium mines, to provide additional feedstock for the domestic nuclear program.

2006: Initiative to revitalize nucler power

In 2006, the Argentine government announced a new initiative to revitalize the nuclear power industry in the country. The initiative includes the completion of the 750-MW Atucha II reactor, the extension of the planned operating life of the Embalse facility by 30 years, and a feasibility study for the construction of a fourth nuclear power plant in the country.

2003: Plans for completion of Atucha-2

In 2003 plans for completing the 692 MWe Atucha-2 reactor were presented to the government. The Siemens design of the Atucha PHWR units is unique to Argentina, and NASA was seeking expertise from Germany, Spain and Brazil to complete the unit for some US$ 400 million.
Argentina´s President Nestor Carlos Kirchner favoured the completion of Atucha-II in 2003.

Sites With Nuclear Facilities

siteplantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
AtuchaAtucha-1PHWR 34019681974
Atucha-2PHWR, 70019812014
EmbalseEmbalseCANDU 600 (PHWR)19741983