Updated 2:00 PM EDT, Wed, May 20, 2020

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China to Help Construct Argentina's Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

Atucha Complex

(Photo : Wikimedia)

Buenos Aires on Wednesday announced that China will help in the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant in Argentina.

China and Argentina went into a long-term financial agreement reportedly worth US$2 billion, wherein china will provide material and services support for the construction of Argentina's fourth nuclear power plant.

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After signing the deal in Beijing on Wednesday, officials representing Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez announced that the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) will supply technical and logistics support in building the Atucha III.

Nucleoelectrica Argentina, a state-owned company, will be responsible for the building and operation of the plant, which will have a power generating capacity of about 800 megawatts.

Besides providing instrumental support for the construction of the power plant, the CNNC will also provide the equipment for the plant.

Atucha III will be located at the Atucha nuclear complex in Lime, where two of the four power plants, the Atucha I and Atucha II, is also located.

The complex is about 70 miles northeast of the capital.

The fourth power plant will use a CANDU reactor, which is similar as the one used by Embalse, the country's third power plant, which is located in Cordoba province.

The three operating nuclear power reactors in Argentina generate one-tenth of the total electricity in the country.

The first nuclear reactor in the country, the Atucha I, first operated in 1974, using a special uranium fuel which lessens the operating cost by about 40 percent.

The next nuclear power plant to be built, the Embalse, is larger that the Atucha I, and is fueled by regular uranium.

The Embalse started operating in 1984 and worked under a CANDU reactor.

Atucha II, also known as Kirchner, was initially constructed in 1981, but due to insufficient financial backing, construction was suspended in 1994.

It wasn't until September 2011 that the construction of Atucha II was finally completed, after Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NASA) took over construction.

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