BUENOS AIRES Argentine President Cristina Fernandez inaugurated Monday a plant in the southern part of the country to produce enriched uranium for manufacturing fuel for nuclear plants in the country.
We are the only Latin American country with this degree of advancement, which was halted during the late 1980s and which we are restarting, said Fernandez, who will step down as president on Dec.10, after eight years in power.
The uranium enrichment plant is located in Pilcaniyeu, 60 km (37 miles) from Bariloche in the southern Rio Negro province and is administered by the National Atomic Energy Commission.
Argentina had produced uranium on an experimental scale in Pilcaniyeu during the 1980s when the country developed the enrichment process but production was later stopped.
We (Argentinians) will never allow external demands to limit our autonomy and our scientific development because we can really attest to the fact and reassure the world that the nuclear energy we produce, that the enriched uranium we produce are not going to bombs to destroy lives. On the contrary, they are going to energy and nuclear medicine, said Fernandez.
The ministry of federal planning said in a statement the uranium will be supplied to operational nuclear plants as well as three proposed plants and 13 nuclear medicine centers throughout the country, 11 of which are under construction.