Laguna Verde Produces 18 percent of Mexico’s Clean EnergyBy María José Goytia | Wed, 08/10/2022 - 12:59
The Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant produces 18 percent of Mexico's clean energy, according to recent data from CFE. Mexico's only nuclear plant contributes reliable and safe energy to the energy matrix.
During his presentation on the Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant to members of the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers of Jalisco (CIMEJ), Héctor López Villarreal, Nuclear Power Plants Manager and Nuclear Corporate Coordinator, CFE, underscored new data regarding Laguna Verde's contributions to national power production.
Mexico's single nuclear power plant produces between 4.5 and 4.8 percent of the electricity consumed in the country, equivalent to 8.9 percent of CFE's power production and 18 percent of the clean energy produced. This positions nuclear energy as the second-largest clean energy source in the country, beaten only by hydropower.
"Nuclear energy is the cleanest, most reliable and safest source to produce the electricity that Mexico and the world need," expressed López. There are currently 450 reactors operating worldwide and 50 more are under construction, revealed data shared by the CFE manager.
López also explained that after 32 years of operation, the initial investment in Laguna Verde has been fully amortized, making the nuclear plant's electricity the cheapest produced by CFE.
Regarding safety, he pointed out that Laguna Verde complies rigorously with the relevant national and international regulation such as the Operating License from the Ministry of Energy and the National Nuclear Safety and Safeguards Commission, the Environmental Monitoring Program and the External Radiological Emergency Plan.
"The priority is always the safety of the personnel and the surrounding population. It is extremely important that the personnel remain safe and that the 1,400 nuclear professionals working at the plant are protected,” López said, adding that "the personnel at the Laguna Verde plant are ready to operate new units and to train new nuclear professionals in case the Mexican government decides to increase nuclear power production.”
The debate surrounding Mexico's potential increase of nuclear energy capacity rekindled in 2019 when Minister of Energy Rocío Nahle said that increasing nuclear power plant capacity was under review. Moreover, Mexico recently signed an agreement with the US to strengthen their cooperation regarding the sustainable and safe development of nuclear energy for electricity generation and other peaceful purposes.
However, in 2021, CFE expressed its reluctance to develop new nuclear power projects due to the high initial capital investment required and the long time it takes to bring them online. López’s affirmations shows that these plans remain on the table.