Brazil’s Eletronuclear and France’s EDF signed a fresh Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) valid for five years promoting mutual cooperation in the development of nuclear energy projects. It is a renewal of a previous cooperation agreement from 2018, but with expanded scope and includes small modular reactors, hydrogen generation, and more research and development. The MoU, which was signed at Eletronuclear’s visitor centre in Angra dos Reis, can be extended for a further five years.
Brazil has been considering nuclear expansion with a siting study for possible new plants. The country has historically relied on hydro for as much as 80% of its electricity, but changes in rainfall patterns produced droughts that reduced this to 65% by 2018. The country only has one nuclear power plant, Angra, which produces about 3% of Brazilian power from two reactors that have operated since 1982 and 2000. The construction of a third reactor at Angra is expected to get underway again after a restructuring of the stalled project.
At the COP26 meeting in Glasgow last year, Brazil’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Costa Lima, said nuclear energy “was, is and will be essential and fundamental for the energy transition,” adding that “we will add 10 GW in the next 30 years.” This is specified in Brazil’s National Energy Plan to 2050.