The Argentinean government’s planning minister, Julio De Vido, has announced a $444m deal with Candu Energy Inc in order to extend the life of the Embalse nuclear power plant by up to 30 years.

The project, which also involves Nucleoelectrica Argentina SA (NASA), will receive about $1.3bn in total from the government enabling the plant’s output capacity to be increased by about 35 MW, De Vido said.

Embalse has been online since 1984 and operates with a 650 MW Candu 6 nuclear reactor. The plant will remain online until November 2013 when it will go offline for about 20 months during additional work, De Vido said.

Embalse is fueled by non-enriched, natural uranium, according to the Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) which last year approved a $240m loan to the Argentine government to help overhaul Embalse.

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