Westinghouse Electric Company praised the news that the government of Brazil will increase nuclear power generation in the country, according to a company statement. The U.S.-based nuclear technology provider released the statement after Brazil's Minister of Mines and Energy Eduardo Braga announced it will build four new nuclear power units by 2030.
Brazil's government announced this new energy plan to National Congress in April. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Brazil mainly relies on petroleum energy resources to meet its significant energy needs. Not only does Brazil house the third-biggest power sector in the Americas - only surpassed by the U.S. and Canada - it is also the eighth-largest global consumer of energy.
Brazil currently has two operating nuclear reactors, Angra I and II, accounting for approximately 3 percent of its electricity, and a third nuclear reactor, Angra III under construction. The Angra III project began in 1984, but was halted two years later and then resumed again in 2010. Angra III is now anticipated to begin operations in 2018.
Brazil in position to diversify portfolio
With new opportunities to grow in Brazil's nuclear power industry, Westinghouse and other companies look to expand in the country.
Mark Marano, president of Westinghouse in the Americas, said the expansion of Brazil's nuclear power program shows that it is dedicated to having a balanced energy mix.
"The construction of new units will add needed baseload generation to the country's energy mix, building on the strength of its current operating plants," Marano said in a statement.
In 2014, Westinghouse formed Westinghouse Electric do Brasil to increase its presence in Latin America.
Jeff Benjamin, senior vice president of nuclear power plants at Westinghouse, said Brazil is a good position to increase nuclear energy.
"The Westinghouse AP1000 plant's proven passive safety features, strong licensing pedigree and modular construction provide superior delivery certainty - a key factor for countries looking to establish or expand their nuclear energy infrastructure," Benjamin said in a statement in 2014.
Currently, Westinghouse is engaged the future of the nuclear energy industry in Brazil by helping develop nuclear power professionals through the country's Science Mobility Program.