After twenty-two years of political struggle, Brazil is pushing forward with its nuclear power program and plans continue work on a third reactor. Brazil’s two reactors provide approximately three percent of Brazil’s electricity while hydroelectric provides 92%. The Brazilian government hopes to have the third reactor operational when they host the World Cup in 2014.
As the 10th largest energy consumer in the world, Brazil has put all forms of energy on the table as a way to meet increasing demand. Leonam Guimaraes, an Electronuclear spokesman, had this to say:
Things have changed a lot, and today it’s clearer to everyone that nuclear energy has a role to play in the Brazilian electrical system, just like the other forms of producing electricity, which can’t be dismissed.”
According to the World Nuclear Association, the Brazilian government envisions an increase of 8GWe, the equivalent of about 6 reactors, of new capacity by 2030. Other developing countries, most notably China, Russia, and India, have suggested a much larger expansion in nuclear: China has 92 reactors tentatively planned, Russia has 42, and India has 25. Knowing that nuclear reactors could have a lifespan of 80 years, these countries recognize nuclear is critical to meeting their projected energy demand increases and will hopefully transition them from developing countries to developed ones. But with growing energy demands, developed countries like the U.S. need to expand their nuclear programs as well. This paper by Research Fellow Jack Spencer shows how we can achieve it.