Argentina Nuclear Industry Sees Big Promise In Its Small Reactors

Argentina’s long-established nuclear power industry is facing financial difficulties as the government seeks to balance the budget. This could delay important projects, not least as Argentina aims to be a player in what may well develop into a growing global market for small-scale reactors. Julián Gadano, deputy nuclear energy secretary, says sustaining nuclear’s share in the electricity system is key for meeting demand. “We must install more solar panels, more wind turbines and, of course, more nuclear power plants”. Arguably Argentina’s key nuclear objective is that of building a prototype Carem, a small modular reactor, which could provide big opportunities for export. In 2014, the Argentine national atomic energy commission began the project, with plans for the Carem to operate from 2022 or 2023.  Carems have low capital costs in nuclear industry terms and can be transported by truck to remote areas off the main electricity grid.  Mr Gadano says “It is the biggest technological bet that our country has today.” Financial Times