Energy of Eletronuclear
Eletrobrás Termonuclear S/A - Eletronuclear was established in 1997 for the purpose of operating and building thermal nuclear power plants in Brazil. A subsidiary of Eletrobrás, Eletronuclear is a government-controlled company that accounts for the generation of approximately 3% of electric power consumed in Brazil. By the interconnected electric power system, such power reaches the main consumer centers in Brazil and corresponds, for example, to more than 33% of electric power consumption in the State of Rio de Janeiro, a proportion to be considerably expanded on completion of the third unit of Admiral Álvaro Alberto Nuclear Power Station (CNAAA).
At present, nuclear power plants Angra 1 - with a generating capacity of 657 electric megawatts, and Angra 2 - rated at 1350 electric megawatts are in operation. Angra 3, to practically be a replica of Angra 2, (incorporating the technological advances made since the construction of the latter) is also planned to generate 1405 megawatts.
Admiral Álvaro Alberto Nuclear Power Station – CNAAA
Admiral Álvaro Alberto Nuclear Power Station, located at Itaorna, Angra dos Reis municipality, was so named in homage to the pioneering researcher of nuclear technology in Brazil and principal promoter of a national policy for the nuclear sector. Although the construction of the first nuclear power plant was his inspiration, the admiral, born in 1889, did not see Angra 1 generating power, as he died in 1976. But his work persists in the competence and capacity of the technicians who cause Brazil to currently have nuclear power plants rated among the most efficient on earth.
The first Brazilian nuclear power plant operates with a PWR type (pressurized water) reactor, which is the most widely used in the world today. Since 1985, when it came on line, Angra 1 has been generating electric power sufficient for meeting the demand from such a capital as Vitória or Florianópolis (1millon of inhabitants). This first nuclear power plant was procured on a turn-key basis as part of a package sale including no technology transfer on the part of the vendor. Still, the experience accumulated by Eletronuclear in all these years of commercial operation, with efficiency indicators surpassing those of many similar plants, leads the company to currently have the ability to carry out a continuous technology improvement program and incorporate the nuclear industry's most recent advances into plants like Angra 1. This enables Angra 1, for example, to make the replacement of two of the Plant's main items of equipment, the steam generators. With this new equipment capability, Angra 1's serviceable life will be extended and the plant will be capable of generating more power for Brazil.
A consequence of the Brazil-Germany nuclear agreement, the construction and operation of Angra 2 occurred in conjunction with the transfer of technology to Brazil. This also led Brazil to a technological development program on its own, culminating in the mastering of practically all steps of nuclear fuel fabrication. Thus, Eletronuclear and the domestic nuclear industry bring together professionals qualified and tuned to the industry's state-of-the-art. Angra 2 operates with a PWR (pressurized water) type reactor rated at 1350 MW. Angra 2 alone could meet the consumption demand of a metropolitan region the size of Curitiba, with two million inhabitants. Because it has the largest electric generator in the South Hemisphere, Angra 2's generated power decisively contributes to maintaining the hydro power plants' reservoirs at such levels as not to compromise electricity supply to Brazil's most economically important region, the Southeast.
ELETRONUCLEAR’S QUALITY IS NOT RESTRICTED TO ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION. IT REACHES FARTHER BEYOND.
Nuclear power plants are complex facilities but pose no risk if operated in totally safe conditions. That's what happens with Angra plants, where an accident capable of jeopardizing those working at the CNAAA or those living in the surroundings, will hardly occur. After all, Nuclear Safety is a priority and precedes the concern with productivity or economy. For that reason, Eletronuclear is proud of having a strict safety culture, well understood by employees and associates. More than twenty years of nuclear power generation at Angra, there was never an accident or incident that might endanger the plant workers, the population or the environment of the region.
The technical skills and capabilities of Eletronuclear employees and associates have a direct bearing on Angra plants' enviable performance indicators. A modern training center installed at Mambucaba (Municipality of Paraty) is provided with suitable places for the practical teaching of maintenance tasks, and with a simulator that reproduces Angra 2's control room, where foreign plants' operators are also trained.
Nuclear power plants like Angra's have a number of redundant safety systems that prevent radiation from being released to the environment and protect the health and physical integrity of all those working there or living in the surroundings. Even so, there exists an emergency plan covering an area with a radius of fifteen kilometers around the CNAAA. Such plan, involving different organizations, even contemplates the need for orderly evacuation; for that reason, drills are periodically conducted in order to test the functioning of the plan.
The energy of nuclear origin is today the form of large-scale electricity generation causing the least impact on the environment. Nuclear power plants like Angra's work in relatively small areas, with no gas emissions to warm up the atmosphere, and all of their waste is kept in facilities under permanent monitoring. Such industry was born prior to the Kyoto protocol and is governed by the same principles of respect for the planet.
Radioactive substances resulting from nuclear energy generated at Angra plants are suitably stored in facilities owned by CNAAA itself, at Itaorna. In these categories are included cleaning materials, replacement parts, clothing, safety slippers and gloves worn inside the reactor buildings, impurities, filters, etc. High radioactive substances as the nuclear fuel itself used in reactors are stored inside the plants. The material is suitably shielded and cooled off, and may be reused in the future by other plants as it currently happens in other countries.
Aware of its social responsibility, Eletronuclear invests in basic sanitation, public health, education, maintenance of roads, restoration of historical landmarks, equipping of the Civil Defense services, fire and police services in the municipalities within its area of influence, in addition to a number of other social-environmental projects.