Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brazilian companies Eletrobras and Eletronuclear aimed at increased cooperation in nuclear power, including the possible construction of a new nuclear plant in Brazil.
Rosatom said the MOU also covers services, including operation, maintenance and decommissioning work; nuclear fuel management; life extension of existing reactors in Brazil; education and training of nuclear power personnel; and developing public awareness of Brazil's nuclear power programme.
Kirill Komarov, Rosatom's first deputy director general for corporate development and international business, said the MOU "laid a foundation" for bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Rosatom is already implementing fuel cycle and nuclear medicine projects in Brazil.
A Russian-Brazilian joint working group will draw up the framework of cooperation. An inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy was signed by Brazil and Russia in September 1994.
Brazil’s two operating power reactors at the Angra nuclear plant generate 3% of its electricity. A third unit is under construction at Angra, estimated to be 60% complete, with four more large reactors proposed to come online in the 2020s.
In an exclusive interview with Russia’s Sputnik Brazil last September, the head of Electronuclear’s New Projects Development Department, Marcelo Gomes, said the company have been looking for an international organization to help with the completion Angra 3. “Rosatom was one such company,” he said. “In this case, we are not talking about the use of Russian technologies as they cannot be used within the framework of the Angra 3 project. Rosatom could help with its construction experience, project coordination, progress monitoring and the supply of some missing parts,” the head of the project said.