Nuclear energy in Argentina

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Nuclear power stations in Argentina (view)
Location dot red.svg Active plants

In Argentina, about 10% [1] of the electricity comes from 3 operational nuclear reactors: The Embalse Nuclear Power Station, a CANDU reactor, and the Atucha 1 plant in 1974, a PHWR German design. In 2001, the plant was modified to burn Slightly Enriched Uranium, making it the first PHWR reactor to burn that fuel worldwide.[citation needed] Atucha was originally planned to be a complex with various reactors. Atucha 2 (similar to Atucha 1 but more powerful) began to produce energy on June 3, 2014, and it is expected to produce 745MWh[clarification needed]. Plans for Atucha III, a third reactor in the Atucha complex, have been announced.[2]

Argentina also has various research reactors,[3] and exports nuclear technology. Nucleoeléctrica of Argentina and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited are negotiating over the contracts and project delivery model for a new 740 MWe CANDU  nuclear power plant.[4]

In July 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a nuclear energy cooperation agreement with Argentine President Cristina Fernández Kirchner, during a visit to the country.[5]

In February 2015, Argentine president Cristina Kirchner and Chinese president Xi Jinping signed a cooperation agreement, and the build of a Hualong One design power station has been proposed.[6][7]

In December 2015 a new uranium enrichment plant to manufacture fuel for Argentina's nuclear plants, located in Pilcaniyeu, was inaugurated. The plant will use both gaseous diffusion and more modern laser techniques.[8]

China and Argentina had agreed a contract to build a 700 MWe CANDU 6 derived reactor. Its construction was planned to start in 2018 at Atucha,[9][10] but it was indefinitely suspended by Mauricio Macri's government due to financial issues.[11][12] The building of a 1000 MWe Hualong One plant is planned to start in 2020.[10]



List of nuclear reactors in Argentina [ view/edit ]
Name Unit
Reactor Status Capacity in MW Construction start Commercial operation Closure
Type Model Net Gross
Atucha[13] 1 PHWR Siemens-KWU Operational 335 362 1 June 1968 24 June 1974
2 PHWR Siemens-KWU Operational 692 745 14 July 1981 (halted in 1994, restarted in 2007) 27 June 2014
3 PHWR CANDU-6 Planned[14] 800 (2025)
5th Plant[15] 1 PWR Hualong-1 Planned 1000 (2020) (2026)
Embalse[16] 1 PHWR CANDU-6 Operational 600 648 1 April 1974 20 January 1984 (2049)[17]
CAREM 1 PWR CAREM25 Under construction 25 29 8 February 2014

Research reactors[edit]

Name[18] Reactor Status Capacity in kWt Construction start date Operation date Closure Operator and owner
RA-0 Tank type Operational 0.001 1959 Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
RA-1 Enrico Fermi Tank type Operational 40 May 1957 17 January 1958 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-2 Critical assembly type Shut down 0.03 19 July 1966 September 1983 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-3 Pool type Operational 10,000 20 December 1967 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-4 HOMOG type Operational 0.001 September 1971 Universidad Nacional de Rosario
RA-6 Pool type Operational 3,000 1 September 1978 23 September 1982 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-8 Critical assembly type Operation suspended 0.01 16 June 1997 2001 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-10 Under construction 30,000 March 2016 National Atomic Energy Commission


Provinces that have banned the construction of nuclear power plants are:[19]


  • Provincial Law, Nº 3902
    • Article 1: Declare the territory of the Chaco Province nuclear-free zone.


  • Provincial Law, Nº 4207
    • Article 1: Prohibits throughout the territory of the Corrientes Province, installing nuclear plants.

Entre Ríos[edit]

  • Provincial Law, Nº 8785
    • Article 3: It is forbidden the installation of nuclear power plants

La Pampa[edit]

  • Provincial Constitution
    • Article 18: La Pampa is declared a nuclear-free zone, to the extent determined by a special law in order to preserve the environment. Any damage it causes to the environment will generate liability under the applicable legal regulations or as may be provided.[20]

Río Negro[edit]

  • Provincial Law, Nº 5227
    • Article 1: It is forbidden in the territory of the Province of Río Negro the installation of nuclear power generation plants.

San Luis[edit]

  • Provincial Law, Nº 5567
    • Article 1: Declare the territory of the San Luis Province a nuclear-free zone.

Santa Fe[edit]

  • Provincial Law, Nº 10753
    • Article 1: It is forbidden in the Santa Fe Province, the installation of plants and/or temporary or permanent nuclear deposits.
    • Article 3: Declare the Santa Fe Province a nuclear-free zone.

Tierra del Fuego[edit]

  • Provincial Constitution
    • Article 56: It is forbidden in the Province. 1 - Conducting tests or nuclear tests of any kind for military purposes. 2 - Generation of energy from nuclear sources. 3 - Introduction and disposal of nuclear, chemical, biological waste or any other type or nature proven to be toxic, hazardous or potentially in the future.[21]


  • Provincial Law, Nº 6253
    • Article 47: It is forbidden in the province: b) Generate energy from nuclear sources until the international scientific community works out an appropriate treatment for nuclear waste.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Atucha 2 reaches 100% rated power". WNN. 19 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Una nueva central nuclear, 30 años después". 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Canada, Argentina and China to cooperate on Candu projects". World Nuclear News. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  5. ^ "Russia moves to support Argentina through new debt crisis". Argentina News.Net. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Hualong One selected for Argentina". World Nuclear News. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  7. ^ Charlie Zhu and David Stanway (6 March 2015). "'Made in China' nuclear reactors a tough sell in global market". Reuters. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Argentina resumes uranium enrichment". Nuclear Engineering International. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Argentina-China talks on new nuclear plants". World Nuclear News. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Argentina and China sign contract for two reactors". World Nuclear News. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Stopping Nuclear Plant Construction 'Cancels Part of Argentina's Present and Future". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  12. ^ "Suspenden la construcción las centrales nucleares financiadas por China 'hasta un mejor momento fiscal'". El Cronista (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  13. ^ "Nuclear Power in Argentina | Argentinian Nuclear Energy - World Nuclear Association". Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Atucha 3 contract signed". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Macri acordó en China que la construcción de Atucha III comenzará en enero". Télam. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  16. ^ Yulia Kosarenko. "NASA fact sheet". Archived from the original on 8 July 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2018-05-17. External link in |title= (help)
  19. ^ Legislation map
  20. ^ La Pampa Constitution
  21. ^ Tierra del Fuego Constitution