Peru: nuclear plant to replace Inambari hydro project?

Rolando Páucar, president of the Lima-based Institute for the Investigation of Energy and Development (IEDES), hailed the Peruvian government’s official cancellation of the Inambari hydro-electric complex, saying that while he is not opposed to hydro-power in general, projects that would flood vast expanses of land must be rethought. “the Inambari project alone would inundate 47,000 hectares of Amazon rainforest,” he said. But he proposed nuclear energy as an alternative to the project, calling upon president-elect Ollanta Humala to pursue development of a nuclear plant in Peru, as pledged in his official Plan of Government. The platform pledges that within his first 100 days in power, Humala will approve an expansion of uranium mining in Peru, as a first step towards a nuclear development plan. Páucar also proposed that Peru and Brazil jointly build a “binational” nuclear plant as a substitute for the 1,200-megawatt Inambari project, which would have exported electricity to Brazil. (La Republica, June 13)

Páucar said Humala must reverse the inactivity at the Peruvian Institute of Nuclear Energy (IPEN) under the administration of the outgoing President Alan García. He protested that the Huarangal Nuclear Center research facility (Carabayllo district, north of Lima) has been practically “abandoned” under the current administration. (La Republica, June 12)

Peru’s government last year approved a uranium exploration project by the Canadian-based Solex Resources in the Macusani Plateau of the conflicted Puno region—the same where the Inambari project was slated.

See our last posts on Peru, the struggle for uranium, and the nuclear threat.

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