Nonproliferation
Resource
Fact Sheet

Spent Nuclear Fuel in Brazil

Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Brazil

  • June 1, 2020
  • 4:23 pm

Highlights

584 MTU spent nuclear fuel in storage (2016)
2,854 MTU* spent nuclear fuel projected by 2050
1985 First year of commercial nuclear operation
2 operating nuclear power reactors
4 operating research and test reactors
1 nuclear power reactor under construction (expected by 2026)
1.99 GW(e) installed nuclear capacity (2017)
2.69% nuclear share of domestic energy production (2018)

Regulator: National Nuclear Energy Commission
Power Operator: Eletronuclear

*Estimated by our calculation method

Nuclear Power stations in Brazil (as of 2019)

Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Practices

  • Spent fuel is stored wet onsite at Angra Nuclear Power Plant
  • The only research reactor producing enough spent fuel to report is the IEA-R1
  • Research reactor fuel is returned to origin countries after removal
  • 127 fuel elements (LEU and HEU) were returned from the IEA-R1 to the U.S. in 1999 and 33 spent fuel elements were returned in 2007 under the RERTR program
  • Brazil has participated in the Generation IV International Forum on next-generation reactors and participates in the IAEA International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel

Obligations

  • Brazil is a party to a unique quadripartite safeguards agreement with Argentina, the IAEA, and the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control since 1994 (INFCIRC/435)
  • Brazil signed the Joint Convention in 1997 and ratified in 2006
  • The National Policy on Nuclear Energy (1963) forms the foundation for safety and regulation
  • There is no published policy yet regarding reprocessing or final disposal, but spent fuel is still considered reusable and as such is only considered to be in interim storage, pending a decision on reprocessing
  • The National Nuclear Energy Commission, CNEN, is responsible for regulation and final disposal of radioactive waste
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