Brazil wants U.S. help managing nuclear waste
U.S. Water News Online
BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazil has asked the United States for help managing waste from its nuclear reactors during a visit recently from American Deputy Secretary of Energy Jeffery Kupfer.
Brazilian Mines and Energy Secretary Edson Lobao said the United States has made significant advances in the storage of residue from reactors.
"We can benefit from the Americans' experience," Lobao said after meeting Kupfer.
Kupfer's visit comes as Brazil is preparing to restart work on its third nuclear plant, Angra 3. One of the requirements for the plant's environmental license was the development of a better waste storage system.
Currently, Brazil's nuclear waste is stored in a system of "pools," long criticized by environmentalists who say the system risks spilling waste into the ocean.
"The United States sees nuclear energy as an essential part of its energy supply into the future. We are in the process of constructing new reactors after a long period and the theme of waste management is an essential component of that process," Kupfer said.
The officials also discussed biofuels, an area led by Brazil, which has the world's largest alcohol-powered fleet.
Brazilian ethanol, made from sugarcane, is cheaper and more efficient than American ethanol, made from corn, but the United States taxes Brazilian ethanol at 54 cents per gallon.
Kupfer said those tariffs will remain in place despite Brazilian complaints.
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