FGV Energia promotes a debate among experts during the launching of the Nuclear Power Booklet

FGV Energia launched the Nuclear Power Booklet on April 27. Academics and experts on the subject were present to debate on the importance of this power source for the Brazilian energy matrix.

The Vice-President of Getúlio Vargas Foundation, Sergio Quintella, opened the meeting. He emphasized the importance of the researches developed by FGV Energia for the country. This is the sixth series of FGV Energia Booklets and a result of the work started one year and three months ago by the researchers Felipe Gonçalves and Renata Hamilton de Ruiz.

The nuclear technologies used currently in Brazil were presented on the event’s first table. João Carlos Derzi Tupinambá, president of Brazil Nuclear Industries (INB), defended a review of the nuclear legislation in Brazil and emphasized how important is the research launching, once it will be useful to build association modeling between INB and major market players for increased mineral production. On the other hand, the Admiral Luciano Pagano Júnior emphasized that the success of a nuclear enterprise is directly linked to the plant construction time. He also emphasized that the constitutional matter, as well as the excessive number of ordinances, is a reason for uncertainties in the sector’s businesses.

On the second part of the event, the current situation of nuclear power in Brazil was contextualized. Felipe Gonçalves, the Booklet editorial coordinator, reminded that the theme is sensitive due to environmental risks involved, but necessary given the national energy plan. According to him, this publication’s proposal is to introduce the challenges faced in Brazil, so that the country is able to include nuclear power in its matrix.

“Brazil has a great uranium reserve, masters the entire nuclear fuel production cycle and has signed all international agreements related to the field, which ensures the use of such resources exclusively for pacific purposes, in addition to being an energy source with competitive costs,” emphasized.

During his presentation, he emphasized that most part of the power generated in the world still comes from coal, but this should be changed by the end of the century due to carbon emission reduction agreements. He also remembered the Three Mile Island (USA, 1979), Chernobyl (Soviet Union, 1986) and Fukushima (Japan, 2011) disasters, and talked about the evolution of technologies that ensure greater safety to such ventures.

Then, professor Aquilino Senra, from Coppe/UFRJ, emphasized that the development of nuclear power in Brazil lacks articulation among the bodies involved - Ministries of Science, Technology and Innovation, Defense, Mines and Energy, Environment, for example. He also pointed that public acceptance, historical discontinuity, generation costs, radioactive waste, shortage of human resources and confidence crisis are obstacles to the development of this industry.

The president of the Brazilian Association for the Development of Nuclear Activities (ABDAN), on the other hand, emphasized the need to create a national nuclear power plan in Brazil. Paulo Heilbron, from the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN) advocated a careful study on the breaking of the monopoly on uranium exploitation. Ricardo Gorine, from the Energy Research Company, warned about the importance of nuclear power to have a robust electrical system.

The executive secretary of the Ministry for Mines and Energy, Luiz Eduardo Barata, said that Brazil is fortunate to have basically all sources of energy.

“Angra 1 and 2 are an encouragement to continue investing in this source of energy due to its efficiency and low cost. Today, Brazil has two plants operating very well and a third one being built. The National Energy Plan (PNE) 2030 provides for the construction of four plants and PNE 2050, already being prepared, will certainly provide for the construction of more plants.

This publication of FGV Energia intends to promote a reflection on an energy planning structure where the sources portfolio definition considers the potential for economic development and generation of income from thermal projects, without the need to giving up the control of emissions and environmental sustainability.