Mexican government to invest in nuclear power

The Federal Government and the CFE have turned their eyes to nuclear power in hopes of doubling its capacity by 2032
Mexican government to invest in nuclear power
The company hasn’t ruled out the possibility of enhancing the Laguna Verde (CNLV) plant’s capacity, which is the only nuclear power plant in the country - Photo: Alma Rodríguez Ayala/EL UNIVERSAL
22/06/2018
19:21
Noé Cruz Serrano
Mexico City
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The Federal Government of Mexico, in cooperation with the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) have turned their eyes to nuclear power and are now planning to take up an agenda to expand this energy sector in the future.

First off, the company hasn’t ruled out the possibility of enhancing the Laguna Verde (CNLV) plant’s capacity, which is the only nuclear power plant in the country. They’re planning to turn it into a mega plant with a 4,408 megawatts (MW) capacity.

At the same time, the Ministry of Energy has added the possibility of building three more nuclear power plants between 2018 and 2032 to their planning strategies for the energy sector, with an estimated cost of 307,350 million pesos, or 102,450 pesos each.

The program for the capacity expansion of the Laguna Verde power plant has been postponed once again due to the prevailing uncertainty surrounding the presidential election. The expansion will be left for the next administration.

According to the CFE, studies to enhance the power plant’s capacity had been outlined since 2016. The plant is located In the Alto Lucero de Gutiérrez Barrios municipality, in the state of Veracruz.

Nuclear Power Management from the CFE had estimated the need of 66,714 extra megawatts in order to fulfill energy demand from 2021 to 2030. Out of the needed capacity, 41% will correspond to clean technologies, and 5% to nuclear power.

In order to achieve that goal, 2,800 MW would be added to the plant’s current capacity, which more than doubles its current capacity (608 MW).

Laguna Verde is the first and only nuclear power plant in Mexico. It started operations in 1990 and it currently accounts for 15% of power generation in the country.

The Ministry of Energy expects the expansion, which is to be installed between 2018 and 2032, to consist of 55% conventional technologies, and 45% clean energy technologies.

The combined cycles, along with wind power and hydroelectric power stations will prevail. On the other hand, nuclear energy will double its current 3% participation.

The Indicative Program for the Installment of Power Plants 2018-2032 states that the first of these power plants will begin operating on 2029, in the state of Veracruz; the second will start on 2030 in the state of Tamaulipas, and the third will begin operating on 2031, also in Veracruz.

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