Atucha Nuclear Power Plant

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Atucha I nuclear power plant
Central Nuclear Atucha I - II.JPG
Official nameCentral Nuclear Juan Domingo Perón
LocationLima, Buenos Aires
Coordinates33°58′02″S 59°12′27″W / 33.96722°S 59.20750°W / -33.96722; -59.20750Coordinates: 33°58′02″S 59°12′27″W / 33.96722°S 59.20750°W / -33.96722; -59.20750
Construction began1968
Commission date1974
Construction cost$1.3 Billion
Operator(s)Nucleoelectrica Argentina
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePHWR
Reactor supplierSiemens
Power generation
Make and modelSiemens
Thermal capacity1,179 MWt
Nameplate capacity357 MW
Annual net output2,397 GW·h
Atucha II Nuclear Power Plant
Obra de la Central Nuclear Atucha II.JPG
The plant still under construction (2012).
Official nameCentral Nuclear Néstor Kirchner
LocationLima, Buenos Aires
Construction began1981
2007 (resumed construction)
Commission date2014
Operator(s)Nucleoelectrica Argentina
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePHWR
Reactor supplierSiemens
Power generation
Make and modelSiemens
Thermal capacity2,160 MWt
Nameplate capacity745 MW
Annual net output5,201 GW·h (2016)

The Atucha Nuclear Complex, or Atucha Nuclear Power Plant, is the location for two adjacent nuclear power plants in Lima, Zárate, Buenos Aires Province, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Buenos Aires, on the right-hand shore of the Paraná de las Palmas River. Both are pressurized heavy-water reactors (PHWR) employing a mixture of natural uranium and enriched uranium (0.85% of 235U), and use heavy water for cooling and neutron moderation.

Atucha I[edit]

Atucha I was started in 1968 and began operation in 1974; it was the first nuclear power plant in Latin America. On 25 March 1973, before its completion, the plant was temporarily captured by the People's Revolutionary Army who stole a FMK-3 submachine gun and three .45 caliber handguns. When they retired they had a confrontation with the police, injuring two police officers. [1][2]

It has a thermal power of 1,179 MWt, and generates 357 MWe of electricity, which is delivered at 220 kilovolts to the Argentine Interconnection System, supplying about 2.5% of the total electricity production (2005).

Atucha II[edit]

Atucha II construction started in June 1981 under a contract with Siemens. It was planned to have a much higher power (thermal power approx. 2,000 MW, electrical 750 MW) than Atucha I. At the time when it was started, it had the largest reactor pressure vessel of any nuclear power plant worldwide.[3] The total cost as of 2006 was estimated at US$3.8 billion, or about $5500/kWe.

Partly as a response to the energy shortage caused by natural gas crisis of 2004, the issue of Atucha II was taken up by the Argentine government. In 2005 President Néstor Kirchner signed a decree to reactivate the construction and pledged to finish it by 2009.[4] New technicians were hired and a budget of about $120 million was requested for 2006. Eduardo Messi, president of Nucleoeléctrica Argentina S.A. (the firm in charge of the plant), told reporters that 93% of the components were either in storage or already installed.

On 23 August 2006 the government announced the re-activation of the national nuclear programme, and updated its promise to finish Atucha II by 2010, devoting a total of 1,850 million pesos ($596/€466 million).[5] The plant was slated to come online with an installed capacity of about 750 MW (3% of Argentina's total electric installed capacity).

Atucha II was "pre-started" on September 28, 2011 by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and it was scheduled to start commercial service by mid-2013.[6][7][8]

On June 3, 2014 reached its first criticality,[9][10] and on June 27, 2014 began to produce energy.[11]

On 19 February 2015, the plant reached 100% power production for the first time, increasing the percentage of nuclear power in Argentina's energy mix from 7% to 10%.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Estrella Roja Nº19, p. 10.
  2. ^ Brittle Power Archived 2016-04-02 at the Wayback Machine., p. 144.
  3. ^ Facundo Deluchi (2006-10-01). "Análisis del plan nuclear argentino" (PDF). Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales, Universidad del Salvador. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  4. ^ Clarín. 4 September 2005. El Gobierno dice que terminará la central Atucha II en cuatro años
  5. ^ La Nación. 24 August 2006. Lanzó el Gobierno un plan de impulso a la energía nuclear
  6. ^ By April 2014, it was, however, not yet connected to the grid. "President helps with Atucha 2 pre-start". World Nuclear News. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
  7. ^ "CFK praises Argentina's 'leadership in peaceful nuclear energy'". Buenos Aires Herald. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
  8. ^ "Argentina's Atucha Unit 2 to be on line mid-2013". Atomic Power Review. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  9. ^ Pusieron en marcha el reactor de la Central Nuclear Atucha II
  10. ^ Power Output Archived July 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ La Central Nuclear Néstor Kirchner -Atucha II- comenzó a generar energía Archived July 15, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ [1]

External links[edit]