By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the truckers’ strike currently gripping Brazil reaching its seventh day, over the weekend, Mayor of Angra dos Reis, Fernando Jordão, declared a state of emergency for the city.
“I have no choice except to declare a state of emergency in Angra dos Reis, because we no longer have fuel in the stations,” exclaimed the mayor, who added that the lack of fuel renders the city unable to exercise its emergency escape plan with respect to the Admiral Álvaro Alberto Nuclear Power Plant, located in Itaorna, Angra dos Reis.
“We have two nuclear reactors in Angra and without fuel in the city we have no emergency escape plan,” said Mayor Jordão referring to the power plant’s two active reactors: Angra I and Angra II.
According to city officials, if there is a nuclear-related problem, the city has a mandated emergency evacuation plan, which must be followed by all Angra residents. But, the plan involves escape routes along the roads, which currently an impossibility due the truckers’ strike.
Officials noted that due to the protest, all gas stations in Angra dos Reis are without gas, ethanol, diesel, or any other type of fuel.
Mayor Jordão revealed he may have to shut down the two reactors as an emergency measure. “[I]f Angra does not have priority in fuel supply in order to carry out an emergency escape plan for the nuclear power plant, Angra I and Angra II will be shut down.”
On Sunday, May 27th, Eletronuclear, a subsidiary of Eletrobrás, which operates Angra I and II, released a statement emphasizing that there is no issue regarding the power plant’s safety and that it has the resources to execute the city’s emergency escape plan.
“Although the need for evacuation in case of an emergency related to the plants is quite remote, the company points out that its fleet of buses and cars is ready and fully equipped to meet the city’s Emergency Plan…” read the statement.
The Admiral Álvaro Alberto Nuclear Power Plant in Angra dos Reis is Brazil’s only nuclear power plant. It has two active nuclear reactors: Angra I, which began operating in 1985, and Angra II, which began operating in 2002.