From Volume 38, Issue 11 of EIR Online, Published Mar. 18, 2011

Ibero-American News Digest

'Scientifically Advanced and Sovereign Argentina' on the Move

March 14 (EIRNS)—Argentina has defeated the "mental colonialism" which dominated the country for so many years, and has returned science and technology to their "rightful place," in contributing to the country's industrial development.

This is the sentiment expressed by Héctor Oteguy, president of INVAP, the state-owned company that designs and builds nuclear reactors, among other advanced technology. He told El Argentino that because of the "political-cultural change" that has occurred under the current government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as well as under that of her predecessor and late husband Néstor Kirchner, "the industrial, scientific and technological country is advancing in a sustained way, deepening its sovereignty."

In his March 10 webcast, Lyndon LaRouche noted the importance of Argentina's scientific potential, whose development the British Empire has tried to prevent, by whatever means necessary.

But today, Oteguy proudly stated, "I feel that we are making a reality Einstein's 1940 premise, that only those nations which understand how to generate and protect knowledge, how to seek out youth who have the ability to do this, and to ensure that they stay in the country, will be successful."

As President Fernández de Kirchner has reported, since 2003, some 900 scientists who had fled the country because they saw no role for themselves, have now come home to participate in Argentina's national development. Young engineers and scientists are again welcomed at the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) and other of Argentina's prestigious scientific institutions.

Oteguy expressed particular pride in the development of the CAREM-25, the prototype for a 27 MWe modular reactor being built completely with Argentine technology, and expected to be completed by 2013. CAREM, which can also be built to capacities of between 100 and 150 MWe, will be ideal for generating electricity for small cities of 100,000 inhabitants, and the government plans to export them to other developing nations that wish to embark on their own nuclear programs.

Chile Moving Toward Nuclear Energy

March 14 (EIRNS)—During a trip to France in late February, Chile's Mining and Energy Minister Laurence Golborne signed an agreement with his French counterpart, Industry and Mines Minister Eric Besson, outlining plans by which the two nations will cooperate in the development of nuclear energy in Chile.

According to Besson, the agreement allows for "unlimited" institutional cooperation to help Chile "reflect" on its nuclear strategy. The agreement signed by the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN) and its French counterpart CEA provides for 17 Chilean "future nuclear experts" to receive training in the theory and practice of nuclear energy in France from 2012.

Nuclear energy became an issue for discussion in Chile during the 2005-09 Presidency of Michelle Bachelet. Although she stated that her government would not develop nuclear energy, Bachelet did create a committee of experts to study the matter and make proposals for a future government to examine. Current President Sebastián Piñera has shown more openness to nuclear energy development.

In 2009, the Nuclear Power Committee of the Chilean College of Engineers presented an outline for a nuclear energy program, proposing construction of four large nuclear power units of about 1,100 MWe each. The plan recommended that construction of the first unit start in 2015, with all four reactors operating by 2030.

There are Chilean business groups, especially those involved in mining, that want to move much faster than the one-to-three decades that some government sources say it might take to build a reactor in Chile. Jaime Salas, the newly named executive director of the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CChen), states that there is sufficient international experience as well as knowledge inside the country to develop nuclear energy, and that the issue is now on the table. Salas traveled with Golborne, and a large delegation of industry and business leaders, to France and Belgium. Chile currently has two experimental reactors involved in research in the fields of medicine and food.

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