China Signs Deal To Help Build New Argentina Reactor

By David Dalton
4 September 2014

China Signs Deal To Help Build New Argentina Reactor
Atucha nuclear power station (Source: Nucleoelectrica Argentina)

4 Sep (NucNet): China and Argentina have signed an agreement that could lead to detailed contracts for the construction in Argentina of a six billion US dollar (USD) (4.5 billion euros) Candu-6 reactor that will be known as Atucha-3, Argentina’s planning ministry said in a statement yesterday.

State-owned companies from the two countries signed the commercial framework agreement in Beijing, the statement said.

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) will provide equipment and services for the 800-megawatt unit, which will be based on the design of two Candu-6 units at the Qinshan nuclear station in China, the ministry said. Capital will come from Chinese investment funds.

China will provide USD 2 billion in financing for supplying goods and services from suppliers in China and elsewhere for the project, Argentine economy minister Axel Kicillof said in a statement.

He said another USD 3.8 billion will go to financing the supply of Argentine goods and services for the project, adding that construction will take eight years.

Nucleoelectrica Argentina, operator of Argentina’s three existing reactors, will serve as designer, architect-engineer, builder and operator of the Candu unit, the ministry statement said.

The plant will be built at the existing Atucha nuclear site in Zarate, about 100 km northwest of Buenos Aires.

The Candu-6 design is the property of Candu Energy of Canada and will be updated by Nucleoelectrica Argentina.

Early next year, China and Argentina hope to sign detailed contracts that will specify further details, including financing, of the unit, the statement said.

In May 2014, pre-operational hot testing was completed on the Atucha-2 nuclear reactor, where construction began in 1981 but was suspended due to lack of funds.

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