Nucleoeléctrica Argentina successfully reached criticality in the reactor of the Embalse Nuclear Power Plant.
The plant's reactor, located in the province of Córdoba, Argentina, begins its second operating cycle for a period of 30 years.
Nuclear Energy Undersecretary Julián Gadano, along with other authorities of the nuclear industry and mayors of the region, witnessed this remarkable milestone.
"We have shown that with clear objectives it is possible to carry out activities that allow us technological development and innovation"
Credit was given to the President of Nucleoeléctrica Argentina and Director of the Life Extension Project, Omar Semmoloni, and the professionals and technicians who were in charge of this achievement.
Semmoloni said that "the investment made for the development of the nuclear industry is fully justified. We have shown that with clear objectives it is possible to carry out activities that allow us technological development and innovation".
The first criticality is the most anticipated moment of the project to extend the life of the plant since it implies the beginning of the nuclear operation.
Tests will begin at different power levels and the behavior of the systems will be verified until the start of commercial operation.
Moreover, the plant will start delivering power to the grid progressively until it reaches its full capacity of 683 MWe, six percent more than its previous capacity.
Among the most important tasks of the Life Extension Project of the Embalse Nuclear Power Station are reactor retubing, replacing the steam generators and increasing power.
The plant completed its first operating cycle on December 31, 2015. Throughout its history, the international community of the nuclear sector recognized it for its excellent performance and always remained among the top ten in the world ranking of nuclear power plants.