20 Jan (NucNet): Brazil’s two commercially operational nuclear reactor units generated more than 14 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2013, the third best total in their operating history, owner and operator Eletrobras Eletronuclear said.
Eletrobras Eletronuclear said Angra-1 and Angra-2 together generated 14.615 TWh of electricity, equivalent to one third of total electricity consumption in the state of Rio de Janeiro where the Angra nuclear station is located.
The company said the generation total came in spite of a two-month shutdown of Angra-1 for the replacement of the reactor pressure vessel cover, essential work needed to extend the operational lifetime of the unit.
Angra-2 generated 10.69256 TWh of electricity, a record during a year that included a stoppage for refuelling.
According to Brazil’s national grid operator (ONS), production at the Angra nuclear station accounted for 2.78 percent of Brazil’s total electricity generation in 2013, which mainly stemmed from hydropower plants.
Among sources of thermal generation, gas accounted for most generation with 60.09 percent and nuclear was second with 15.94 percent. Coal accounted for 15.46 percent, oil for 13.81 percent, biomass 8.20 percent and diesel 2.44 percent.
Angra-1 is a 626-MW pressurised water reactor that began commercial operation in 1985. Angra-2 is a 1,245-MW PWR that began commercial operation in 2001.
In November 2013, Areva signed a contract with Eletrobras Eletronuclear for the completion of construction of the Angra-3 reactor unit.
Construction of the 1,400-MW Angra-3 Siemens/KWU PWR was started in 1984 and halted in 1986 because of a lack of financing. According to Eletrobras Eletronuclear, almost 47 percent of civil works is complete.
In 2007, a government energy policy committee authorised completion of the unit, and the country’s nuclear regulator granted an updated construction permit in May 2010.