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Brazil to achieve uranium self-sufficiency in 2014

Brazil will be able to fulfill its domestic demand for enriched uranium by 2014, the chief of Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB) announced Tuesday. INB President Alfredo Tranjan said that an enrichment plant is currently undergoing tests.

Brazil is expected to be enriching in 2012 the equivalent of 60% of the uranium needed by the country’s two nuclear power plants Angra I and II, located in Rio de Janeiro, according to the official. He also said that the country’s uranium production will quadruple in the next five years, which means it will rise from the current 400 tons per year to an annual 1,600 tons in 2012. To that end, INB will start exploring a mine in Ceara state, and expand operations at another in the Bahia state, both in northeastern Brazil, the official said.

The company, which is subordinated to the Ministry of Science and Technology, will adopt a new exploration technique, aimed at increasing efficiency in the ore extraction process by 20%, he added. “If the country grows by 4.1% per year, we will have four more plants by 2030 and, if it grows 5.1% per year, we will have eight other plants. Then, INB needs to be prepared,” said Tranjan, referring to GDP rise prospects supplied by the government.

Brazil takes the sixth place in the world in terms of proven reserves of uranium, with an estimated at 309,000 tons. Tranjan said the figure could rise to 800,000 tons in the future. (