[:en]Argentina’s energy deputy secretary Julian Gadano confirmed this week that China and Argentina will sign contracts on May 17 for construction of two nuclear reactors, comprising Atucha III, which will be constructed in the province of Buenos Aires close to Atucha II.
Gadano said there were still a few details “to iron out,” but that the basic framework for the contract was intact and that it would be signed by President Mauricio Marcri in a visit to Beijing later this month.
Financing includes a 4.5 percent 20-year plus eight-year loan covering the $12.5 billion estimated cost of the project. The additional eight years is for payments made after the plant begins to generate electricity.
The work, lead by the China National Nuclear Corporation, is expected to begin on Atucha III in 2018.
Argentina currently has three nuclear reactors, which produce about 10 percent of the country’s electricity. Atucha I, a 335 Net MWe reactor, began operations in 1974, while Atucha II (net MWe 692) began in 2014. The 600 MWe Candu-6 model reactor in Embalse began operations in 1983. Combined, the three reactors have 1627 net MWe.[:]