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Mayor of Angra dos Reis asks for nuclear plant shutdown due to heavy rains

angra nuclear power plant rains
The Angra nuclear power plants. Photo: Iuliia Timofeeva/Shutterstock

Angra dos Reis Mayor Fernando Jordão stated in a video shared via social media that his administration has requested the shutdown of the Angra 1 and Angra 2 nuclear power plants. According to Mr. Jordão, the decision is in response to the heavy rains that have been causing mudslides and displacements in several regions of Rio de Janeiro state, blocking interstate roads. 

The shutdown request will be sent to state-owned Eletronuclear, responsible for the power plants’ management. The city administration alarmingly announced that it “will not be able to put in practice an emergency plan” to evacuate the city. The statement explicitly references the BR-101 highway that connects Rio de Janeiro to the São Paulo state port city of Santos, through which evacuation would take place.

In a public statement, state-owned Eletronuclear said the municipality’s emergency evacuation plan has not been compromised by road blockages, arguing that both power plant personnel and Angra dos Reis residents could be conveyed out of the city via a different road. 

Brazil’s nuclear regulator, the National Nuclear Energy Commission (Cnen), endorsed Eletronuclear’s statement, saying that the emergency plan was not at risk “despite the weather conditions.” 

Brazilian National Civil Defense reported on Sunday that there were at least 12 impassable sections on the BR-101.