Nuclear Power In Mexico

Páginas: 6 (1466 palabras) Publicado: 1 de septiembre de 2011
Mexico has two nuclear reactors generating almost 5% of its electricity.
Its first commercial nuclear power reactor began operating in 1989.
There is some government support for expanding nuclear energy to reduce reliance on natural gas.
Mexico is rich in hydrocarbon resources and is a net energy exporter. The country's interest in nuclear energy is rooted in the need to reduce its relianceon these sources of energy. In coming years Mexico will increasingly rely on natural gas.
Energy growth was very rapid in the decades to the late 1990s, but then levelled off for a few years. From about 2007 electricity demand is expected to grow again at an average rate of almost 6% a year. In 2007, 257 billion kWh was generated. The electricity supply is quite diverse, with gas supplying126 TWh (49%), oil 52 TWh (20%), coal 32 TWh (12.5%) and hydroelectric dams 27 TWh (10.5%) in 2007. Per capita power use is about 1800 kWh/yr.
In 2009 Mexico got about 10 billion kWh net from nuclear, about 4.8% of the electricity used.
Of total 54 GWe capacity in 2006, nuclear was 1.37 GWe (gross), hydro 10.7 GWe, geothermal 960 MWe and the balance fossil fuels.

Nuclear industry developmentMexico's interest in nuclear energy was made official in 1956 with the establishment of the National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN). That organisation took general responsibility for all nuclear activities in the country except the use of radioisotopes and the generation of electric power. The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), one of the two state-owned electricity companies, wasassigned the role of future nuclear generator.
Preliminary investigations to identify potential sites for nuclear power plants were begun in 1966 by CNEN and CFE and in 1969 CFE invited bids for proven power plant designs with a capacity of around 600 MWe. In 1972 a decision to build was made, and in 1976 construction began at Laguna Verde on two 654 MWe General Electric boiling-water reactors(BWRs).
Although Mexican industry did not supply major components for the Laguna Verde plant, Mexican companies undertook the civil engineering work and Mexican staff maintain the reactor and train to operate it at CFE's simulator.
CNEN was later transformed into the National Institute on Nuclear Energy (INEN), which in turn was split in 1979 into the National Institute of Nuclear Research (ININ),Mexican Uranium (Uramex) and the National Commission on Nuclear Safety and Safeguards (CNSNS). Uramex's functions were taken over by the Ministry of Energy in 1985.

Operating Mexican power reactors

Reactors Model Net MWe First power
Laguna Verde 1 BWR 800 approx 1989
Laguna Verde 2 BWR 800 approx 1994
Total (2)

1600 MWe

In February 2007 CFE signed contracts withSpain's Iberdrola Engineering and also Alstom to fit new turbines and generators to the Laguna Verde plant at a cost of US$ 605 million. The main modifications consist of a turbine and condenser retrofit and the replacement of the electric generator, main steam reheater and the feedwater heater. With approval from the CNSNS, the reactors were uprated progressively by 138 MWe each from 2008 toJanuary 2011. As a first step, 11.6 MWe uprates to both units were achieved in 2007 through better flow control. In February 2011 Iberdrola announced that both units were operating at 820 MWe gross, about 800 MWe net, a 20% increase from the previous 665.5 MWe net.
New capacity
High-level government support exists for an expansion of nuclear energy, primarily to reduce dependence on natural gas,but also to cut carbon emissions - the country's energy policy calls for increasing carbon-free power generation from 27% to 35% of total by 2024. The CFE in May 2010 had four scenarios for new power generation capacity from 2019-28, ranging from a heavy reliance on coal-fired power plants to meet growing demand, to a low-carbon scenario that calls for big investments in nuclear and wind power....
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