Nuclear energy

Atucha Nuclear Power Plant, Argentina

Atucha Nuclear Power Plant, Argentina

The Atucha I Nuclear Power Plant is located 100 km from the City of Buenos Aires (Argentina), near the town of Lima on the right bank of the Paraná de las Palmas River.

It has been operating for more than 30 years. During this time the nuclear reactor has generated more than 65,000 million Kwh of electrical energy using 1,400 tons of Uranium.

The fuel used by the Argentine nuclear power plant I is uranium enriched at 0.85%. For cooling and moderation heavy water (D20) is used. It belongs to the type of nuclear reactors PHWR (pressurized heavy water reactor).

The nuclear power plant was mainly built by Siemens AG of the Federal Republic of Germany. Using a design based on one of the PWR ( pressurized water reactor) type together with the experience obtained in the German MZFR 50 MWe reactor.

The core of the nuclear reactor consists of 252 positions with cooling channels. Inside each of these cooling channels are the Fuel Elements that contain the uranium in the form of sintered uranium dioxide (UO2) tablets.

On a maximum power day an average of one fuel element is used.

History of the Atucha Plant

Construction of the station's first block began in 1968 and was completed in 1974. At the same time, the Atucha nuclear power plant became the first nuclear power plant in Latin America.

In 1981 the Siemens company was building the second unit to start, but in 1984 it was suspended due to lack of funds.

In 1992, the work was continued and in 1994, with 80% preparation, it was frozen again until 2006, when it was decided to complete the block.

In October 2011, Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA published a message about the completion of the power unit and the transition to its operational tests.

The unit connected to the network on June 27, 2014.

In the spring of 2011, plans were announced for the construction of a third power unit. In February 2016, it became known that the new power unit could be built in accordance with the Russian project.

Reactor typePHWR
Reactor modelPHWR KWU
Grid connection1974-03-19
OwnerNucleoelectrica Argentina S.A.
OperatorNucleoelectrica Argentina S.A.

Published: January 6, 2013
Last review: February 24, 2020

Nuclear power plants in Argentina