Jump to content

Nuclear power in Argentina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Nuclear energy in Argentina)

Nuclear power stations in Argentina (view)
 Active plants
 Under construction

In Argentina, about 10% [1] of the electricity comes from 3 operational nuclear reactors: Embalse, a CANDU reactor, and Atucha I and II, two PHWR German designs.

In 2001, the Atucha 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 Communist Party general secretary 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] The building of a 1000 MWe Hualong One plant is planned to start in 2020.[10]



Type Model Status Capacity
Atucha[12] 1 PHWR Siemens-KWU Operational 335 1 Jun 1968 24 Jun 1974
2 PHWR Siemens-KWU Operational 692 14 Jul 1981 27 Jun 2014
3 PWR Hualong One Planned[13] 1200
Embalse[14] 1 PHWR CANDU-6 Operational 600 1 Apr 1974 20 Jan 1984 (2049)[15]
CAREM 1 PWR CAREM25 Under construction 25 8 Feb 2014

Research reactors[edit]

Name[16] Reactor type Status Capacity in kWt Construction start date First criticality date Closure Operator and owner
RA-0 Tank Operational 0.01 January 1954 1 January 1965 National University of Córdoba
RA-1 Enrico Fermi Tank Operational 40 April 1957 20 January 1958 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-2 Critical assembly Decommissioned 0.03 January 1965 1 July 1966 23 September 1983a National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-3 Pool Operational 10,000 February 1963 17 May 1967 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-4 HOMOG Operational 0.001 January 1971 1 January 1972 National University of Rosario
RA-6 Pool Operational 3,000 September 1978 23 September 1982 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-8 Critical assembly Temporary Shutdown 0.01 January 1986 16 June 1997 2001 National Atomic Energy Commission
RA-10 Under construction 30,000 March 2016 (late 2023) National Atomic Energy Commission


Provinces that have banned the construction of nuclear power plants are:[17]


  • 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.[18]

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.[19]


  • 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]


^a Dismantled 1984-1989 after a criticality accident. Fuel removed to the United States in 2007.


  1. ^ "Atucha 2 reaches 100% rated power". WNN. 19 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Una nueva central nuclear, 30 años después". 29 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  3. ^ https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/36/018/36018102.pdf?r=1 [bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "Canada, Argentina and China to cooperate on Candu projects". World Nuclear News. 5 September 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
  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. ^ Cronista.com. "Suspenden la construcción las centrales nucleares financiadas por China 'hasta un mejor momento fiscal'". El Cronista (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Nuclear Power in Argentina | Argentinian Nuclear Energy – World Nuclear Association". world-nuclear.org. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  13. ^ "China inks $8 bln nuclear power plant deal in Argentina". Reuters. 2 February 2022. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  14. ^ Yulia Kosarenko. "NASA fact sheet". Archived from the original on 8 July 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  15. ^ "BNamericas – The Embalse Nuclear Power Plant returns to s..." BNamericas.com.
  16. ^ "Breve historia de los reactores nucleares de investigación y producción de la CNEA" (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  17. ^ Legislation map
  18. ^ La Pampa Constitution
  19. ^ Tierra del Fuego Constitution