Cablegate: Peru: No Plans for Nuclear Energy


R 221953Z DEC 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


REF: STATE 127423

1. In response to reftel, Post notes that Peru has a civilian
nuclear authority and a small nuclear program geared to specialized
research (health, agriculture, etc.), but no plans to pursue nuclear
energy. This was confirmed on December 16 by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. With oil and gas reserves and extensive
exploration -- as well as numerous alternative energy sources that
include hydro, thermal, wind, and biofuels -- nuclear energy is not
an attractive option for Peru at the moment. Below are Post's
responses to reftel questions.

Overview of Civil Nuclear Power Program

2. There are not any current plans to pursue nuclear power in Peru.
Some uranium has been found in the southern region of Puno (1,800
metric tons "reasonably assured" in IAEA terms), and private
companies are currently exploring in Puno. GOP research indicates
that there may also be uranium in the Oxapampa region.

3. The main GOP nuclear institution is the Peruvian Institute for
Nuclear Energy (IPEN,, which has a number of
facilities. The largest of these is the Huarangal Nuclear Center
located on a 125-hectare area 42 km from the city of Lima.
Inaugurated in 1989, this center is apparently the most recent one
built in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. In this Center,
IPEN has the following compounds:

- Nuclear reactor RP-10: A nuclear reactor with 10MW of thermal
potency with Uranium 235 at its core. The reactor is surrounded by
a concrete building. The main uses for this reactor are
radioisotope production for medical and industrial use, material
analysis by non destructive techniques, analysis of the structure
and chemical composition of diverse materials, research of physical
phenomena at the atomic level and its nucleus, and development of
security criteria and radioprotection.

- Physics Experimental Reactor Laboratory

- Science Laboratory

- Radioisotope Production Plant

- Secondary laboratory for Dosimetric Calibrations, and

- Plant for Radioactive Residuals Management.

4. IPEN also has Executive Offices, a reactor RP-0 with Zero
Potency (which operates at a potency in the range of 1-10 V and is
mainly used for research and training), and the Center for Nuclear
Superior Studies (CSEN).

5. IPEN also has a Center for Nuclear Medicine located within the
GOP's main Cancer treating hospital facility (INEN). The Center for
Nuclear Medicine develops research activities, provides services for
patients from the INEN, and serves as a knowledge based tool for
both public and private physicians in these areas.

6. Finally, IPEN has a Multiple Use Irradiation Plant (PIMU), in
which products are treated mainly for microbionic decontamination
and radiosterilization.

7. IPEN is a decentralized entity under the Ministry of Energy and
Mines. The main authorities of IPEN are its President, Dr. Conrado
Seminario Arce ( and its Executive Director,
Ing. Ivan Llamas Montoya ( The GOP's National
Council for Science, Technology and Technical Innovation (CONCYTEC)
is another important stakeholder in this sector. The President of
CONCYTEC is Dr. Augusto Mellado Mendez (
The Minister of Energy and Mines is Ing. Pedro Sanchez Gamarra.

8. IPEN is the GOP entity in charge of regulating, promoting,
supervising, and developing the activities derived from nuclear
energy. The IPEN serves as the national authority, ensuring the
compliance of current norms, regulations and guidelines geared
towards the safe functioning of nuclear and radioactive facilities.
These functions are based on Law 28028 as well as the
recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
IPEN has approximately 220 employees currently working in its

9. The only laws pertaining to nuclear energy are those related to
the creation and regulations for the organization and functions of

10. Through its Center for Nuclear Superior Studies (CSEN), IPEN is
able to train and prepare individuals in the different areas of
Nuclear Sciences. It is responsible for promoting, directing and

executing academic programs in coordination with public and private
academic institutions. CSEN's main functions are to promote,
propose and implement courses, seminars, conferences, and other
academic events geared towards spreading Science and Nuclear
Technologies. The CSEN trains individuals both from public and
private companies and has also developed Master's programs in
coordination with universities. There are currently eleven Master's
Programs available: Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Chemistry, Nuclear
Energy (6), and Medical Physics (3).

Opportunities for U.S. Industry
& Foreign Competitors

11. Peru does not have any current or anticipated nuclear-related
tenders. There are no private sector competitors.


End Cable Text

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