Brazil Mulls Ending State Monopoly On Uranium Mining

Brazil Mulls Ending State Monopoly On Uranium Mining

Brazil’s government is considering ending a state monopoly on uranium mining, Dilma Rousseff, the chief of staff of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is quoted as saying in the O Globo newspaper Thursday.

Private companies have already shown interest to explore Brazilian uranium deposits, among the mining giant Cia. Vale do Rio Doce (RIO), or Vale, and mining and oil exploration holding company EBX.

Brazil has the world’s sixth-largest uranium reserves, according to O Globo.

The government recently decided to reinitiate construction of a third reactor at its Angra dos Reis nuclear site near Rio de Janeiro.

Completing construction at the 1,350 megawatts capacity reactor is slated to cost 7.3 billion reals ($4.3 billion), the government has said. Construction on the plant was started in the 1980′s, but stalled due to lack of finance and political will to complete the expensive project.

The already existing two reactors at Angra are frequently being switched off due to repeated technical problems.

Environmental protests against a third reactor at Angra have been relatively slight, and mostly restricted to the area of the city of Angra dos Reis, which lies at about 100 kilometers from the 12-million-inhabitants metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil needs to increase its nuclear power generating capacity in order to avoid energy supply bottlenecks in coming decades, Rousseff is quoted as saying.


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