The Córdoba governor said the plant “was an error” and questioned the National Government as to why the province was not consulted about the extension of it’s operating life.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The governor of the province of Córdoba, José Manuel de la Sota, said during a radio interview with LT8 from Rosario on the 19th July that the Embalse Nuclear Power Plant “was an error”. This has produced much optimism among the general population and environmentalist organisations who demand the nuclear disarmament of the province and that the plant is taken out of operation.

“Nobody wants to have a nuclear power plant opposite their house, even if they tell us it is safe, that it’s fantastic,” the governor said.

The Embalse Nuclear Power Plant is situated on the southern coast of the Río Tercero reservoir in the province of Córdoba, approximately 100 kilometres from the province’s capital.

It began operation in 1984, and reached the end of it’s operating life in March 2012. However, it has not been dismantled and the National Government intends to extend it’s working life by another 25 years. De la Sota questioned why the government didn’t consult the province. “It is my understanding that the corresponding company that depends on the government would have decided to extend the plant’s lifespan, alleging that it would cost the same to close it as to keep it in operation… This topic, alongside others, will have to be discussed, but I don’t think a decision will be reached before the provincial elections next year,” he continued.

In the same way, the governor also talked about safety issues, claiming that everything to do with nuclear energy is subject to questioning after Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Concerning questions of safety, the Minister of Planning and Public Investment Julio de Vido said last year during a press conference that the accident in the Japanese plant caused by a tsunami had unique characteristics related to the country’s seismology.

“It was an accident that cannot be compared and has no possibility of being repeated in Córdoba,” the minister said.

Resistance

A coalition of local and national organisations formed ‘Córdoba no nuclear’ and presented a bill to the provincial government for the “obsolete and dangerous” Embalse power plant to close permanently.

The campaign organised by the coalition gathered 30,000 signatures from people in Córdoba who support their cause and the draft law is waiting to be dealt with by the province’s lawmakers.

The Córdoba No Nuclear coalition is made up of CEDHA, Eco-Sitio, FUNDEPS, Greenpeace, Fundación Hölderlin, Los Verdes and Tierra Vida.

“Now there are more than 30,000 of us demanding the permanent closure of the Embalse power plant and we urge the governor De La Sota to support our cause in the government so this may happen,” the environmentalist Luis Tuninetti from Eco-Sitio said.

Translated by: Rachel Neal