Brazil is set this year to authorize building four additional atomic atomic energy stations, Energy Minister Edison Lobao said on Friday (see GSN, June 2, 2010).
"We will approve the construction of these four (plants) this year," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Lobao as saying.
The official did not provide details on the projected expense of constructing the facilities, but he said two of the sites would be built in northeastern Brazil while the other two would be constructed in country's southeast.
Brazil last year resumed work on a third nuclear reactor at its Angra dos Reis atomic energy complex after leaving the project unfinished for a quarter century. It is slated to open that plant by 2015.
Brazil has been reported to be the only Latin American nation known to be engaging in nuclear activities that could quickly be tapped for military use. The state once had a secret parallel nuclear program, but it has since signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and forsworn nuclear-weapon development. It has, though, at times clashed with the International Atomic Energy Agency over nuclear oversight (Xinhua News Agency, Jan. 8).