Alana Gandra Reporter Agência Brasil
Rio de Janeiro – The electricity produced by Brazil’s two nuclear power plants, Angra 1 and Angra 2, set new records in 2011. The total amount of electricity generated was 15.644 million megawatts (MWh). The two plants also set individual records in 2011: Angra 1 generated 4.654 million MWh and Angra 2, 10.989 million MWh.
Angra 1 is 30 years old and Angra 2 has been operational for a decade. Both plants are operating at 100% of capacity at the moment, generating 3.17% of all electricity in Brazil (91% of Brazil’s electricity is produced by hydroelectric power plants).
The nuclear power plants are an important part of the state of Rio de Janeiro electricity grid, generating 30% of the electricity the state uses (the nuclear power plants are located in the state at Angra dos Reis).
Sometime at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. a third nuclear power plant, Angra 3, is scheduled to go online. At that time, nuclear power will generate 60% of the electricity used in Rio de Janeiro.
As can be seen by crunching the numbers, there is a gap in total Brazilian demand for electricity with the result that hydroelectric and nuclear power plants do not generate all that is needed. The gap, around 5%, is covered by old, expensive and dirty thermoelectric power plants. According to Eletronuclear, the National System Operator (“ONS”) has called on the nuclear power plants for more and more electricity for a very good reason: electricity generated by Angra 1 and 2 costs R$20.41 per MWh, while it costs R$71.31 when generated by a thermoelectric plant.
Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English