The President of the Republic, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, was at the Nuclear Fuel Factory (FCN) of Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil – INB, on 11/29, for the opening ceremony of the 8th uranium enrichment ultracentrifuge cascade. On the occasion, Bolsonaro visited the enrichment plant together with Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo, the head of the Institutional Security Office (GSI), General Augusto Heleno, INB President Carlos Freire, and other authorities of the Federal Government and the Brazilian Navy.
The minister of Mines and Energy spoke about the representativeness of the event, which, for him, means recognizing the success of a state policy established 40 years ago related to the nuclear fuel cycle domain. During his speech, Albuquerque announced the release of R$ 20 million for INB to complete from 2020 the ninth and tenth cascade. The minister also said that the INB should resume uranium production in 2020, with a possible opening to private participation. "In this same direction, INB's efforts to become an independent company of the National Treasury are commendable, which will certainly bring more agility and efficiency to the enterprise," he emphasized.
For Navy Commander, Squadron Admiral Ilques Barbosa Junior, the planning that began more than thirty years ago was instrumental in producing results such as uranium enrichment made in Brazil. "We will sail with all strength in the way of autonomy of nuclear fuel production, reducing external dependence and thus producing a high value input," he said.
INB President Carlos Freire thanked the Federal Government for its support to the nuclear sector, demonstrated through the presence of Ministers and President Bolsonaro. ”A historic day for INB. For me it is doubly special because it was the inauguration of the first cascade as director and now participate as president, confirming that we are moving gradually, in na efficient and planned manner ". Freire also spoke about the importance of partnerships such as the Navy Technology Center in São Paulo (CTMSP) and praised the participation of the company's employees. “This achievement is a source of pride for all of us Brazilians,” he said.
EVOLUTION- With the start of the 8th cascade, INB will increase the production of enriched uranium by 20% in the country, being able to produce 60% of what is needed to supply the Angra 1 Nuclear Power Plant. In 2019, the Federal Government invested R $ 18 million in the project. With the increase in production, INB will add the equivalent of R$ 6 million of currency savings to the amount of R$ 36 million annually already saved with the production of the seven waterfalls in operation. With each advance in the expansion of the Uranium Enrichment Plant, INB reduces the need to purchase enriched uranium abroad for fuel production for national nuclear plants.
PROJECT- The inauguration is part of the first phase of the implementation of the Uranium Isotope Enrichment Plant, a project in partnership with the Brazilian Navy, aimed at the installation of ten ultracentrifuge cascades. Expected to be completed in 2021, at the end, the project will meet 80% of Angra ‘1s demands. The 9th cascade has its structure partly completed, awaiting installation of the ultracentrifuges by the Navy. It is expected to be inaugurated at the end of 2020.
Brazil is part of a select group of 12 countries internationally recognized by the nuclear sector as having uranium enrichment facilities with different industrial production capacities. They are: United States, China, France, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Netherlands, India, Iran, Germany and England.