Sunday, July 15, 2007

Brazil Going Nuclear

Brazil is best known in the energy world for using sugar cane to produce ethanol for fuel. But Brazil also has the world's largest known uranium reserves. With the passage of time, uranium is becoming more important than petroleum, for many uses.

Latin America is a place of current unrest, largely due to the influence of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Chavez supports the bloody revolutionary movement FARC in Colombia, and is trying to influence the political future of every other country in Latin America--with some success in Ecuador and Bolivia.

Brazil, with its vast mineral resources and large economy, is the main obstacle to Chavez' desire to dominate Latin America. If Chavez cannot bully Brazil through its recent huge purchases in arms from Spain, Russia, China, etc. Hugo will feel compelled to take more forceful measures.

Brazil is feeling the heat from its neighbor to the north. That is why Brazil is converting its attack submarines from closed-cycle fossil fuel to nuclear fuel.
July 15, 2007: Brazil is going to invest half a billion dollars over the next eight years to develop a nuclear power plant for submarines (SSNs, nuclear attack subs). Brazil has two nuclear power plants, and the largest deposits of Uranium on the planet. The submarine power plant would be designed to fit in an French or German submarine. Both of these countries are now building subs with closed cycle power plants, which take up nearly as much space as a nuclear power plant would. But the closed cycle plants still use fossil fuel, and Brazil wants to reduce use of fossil fuels. Thus Brazil would replace its current five conventional subs with four or five nuclear ones. These boats would be used to patrol the sea lanes off Brazil's long Atlantic coast.

For large scale electric power generation, for powering naval vessels at sea for long cruises, for powering large underground or undersea shelters, growing centers, and shelters--nothing is as good as nuclear power. And despite the best efforts of "environmentalist activists," nuclear energy is becoming safer and more reliable at every stage of its cycle.

Brazil understands the threat that Venezuela poses to the future of Latin America. Brazil does not intend to become a "client" of Chavez, nor to allow Hugo to become the regional hegemon.

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