Venezuelan parliament OKs construction of nuclear reactor

12:39, November 10, 2010      

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The Venezuelan National Assembly approved a bill Tuesday to construct and operate a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes in Venezuela.

The law will allow the implementation of a nuclear agreement recently signed with Russia, which aims at developing a nuclear-electric center in Venezuela and producing radioisotopes in the health and industry areas.

The bill was approved with support of the assemblymen of the ruling United Socialist Party. However, the opposition considers this agreement a disadvantage for Venezuela, which is facing an electricity crisis.

The legislation is based on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed by Venezuela on June 23, 1978, the state-run news agency Agencia Venezolana de Noticias said.

Meanwhile, Electric Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez Araque said the reactor is expected to generate 4,000 megawatts in the next 10 years, aiming at reducing Venezuela's dependency on hydroelectric and thermoelectric energies.

Mexico, Argentina and Brazil are the only Latin American countries developing nuclear energy, while Bolivia and Chile have expressed their interest in the area.

Source: Xinhua


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