Brazil to export enriched uranium for first time


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Text in Potuguese

Brasil exportará urânio enriquecido pela primeira vez Link

The Editor


Brazilian News Agency

The Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), a uranium company housed under the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, signed an agreement with Argentina's Combustibles Nucleares Argentinos (CONUAR) to send four tons of uranium dioxide powder for the initial fuel charge of a nuclear reactor in Lima, north of Buenos Aires. The $4.5 million agreement was signed in June.

This is the first time the INB will export enriched uranium from its plant in Rio de Janeiro. A four-ton provision will be split into three batches, with enrichment concentrations of 1.9%, 2.6% and 3.1%.

Uranium is enriched by only 11 other countries besides Brazil. The technology used at INB was developed by the Brazil's Navy Technology Center, in collaboration with the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN) housed under the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN).

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the exports will not impact the uranium availability to Brazil's nuclear plants in Angra dos Reis. Currently, the INB's Enrichment Plant supplies about 40% of the Angra 1 plant requirements.

The agreement with Argentina covers the finished product and does not involve knowledge sharing, but it does open up possibilities. Both countries began their nuclear programs in the 1960s.

Established in 1988, the INB operates in the uranium production chain, from mining to fuel production for the nuclear plants. The company is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, with other units in Bahia, Ceará, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo states.

According to the INB, Brazil has the world's seventh-largest geological uranium reserves, which enable the country to supply its domestic needs in the long term and potentially make surplus available to export. The reserves—about 309,000 tons of uranium concentrate—are found in such states as Bahia, Ceará, Paraná, and Minas Gerais.

Brazil has only one operational uranium mine in Caetité, Bahia, with production capabilities of 400 tons of uranium concentrate per year.

Vídeo da INB


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