07.01.2019_No4 / News in Brief

Argentina’s Embalse Back Online After Major Life Extension Project

Plant Operation

7 Jan (NucNet): The Embalse nuclear power plant in Argentina has been restarted following the completion of a life extension project that will see it operate commercially for a second 30-year cycle.

The Embalse nuclear power station in Argentina. Photo courtesy Nucleoeléctrica Argentina

Plant owner and operator Nucleoeléctrica Argentina said the Candu 6 pressurised heavy-water reactor reached criticality on 4 January.

The company said the plant will start delivering power to the grid progressively until it reaches its full capacity of 683 MW, 6% more than its previous capacity.

The plant completed its first operating cycle on 31 December 2015. It began commercial operation in January 1984. Nucleoeléctrica did not say when the second 30-year cycle is scheduled to end.

Embalse was shut down in December 2015 for the $1bn project aimed at extending the life of the unit and increasing its 648-MW gross capacity to 683 MW through turbine and generator upgrades.

Embalse is in the Calamuchita Valley, about 100 km from the city of Córdoba in central Argentina. According to Nucleoeléctrica it supplies enough power to meet the requirements of three to four million people.

Argentina has three commercially operational nuclear units, two at Atucha and one at Embalse, all owned and operated by Nucleoeléctrica. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency the plants provided about 4.5% of the country’s electricity generation in 2017.

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