SANTIAGO, March 19 (Bernama) -- Chile and the United States have signed a
nuclear cooperation agreement, ahead of US President Barack Obama''s visit Monday
during his Latin America trip, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
Plans for Obama to participate in the ceremony were scrapped and the signing
was pulled forward to Friday amid the post-earthquake and-tsunami nuclear crisis
at the Fukushima power plant in Japan.
Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff
signed the document instead. Chile recently reached a similar agreement with
Moreno said the agreement with the US was reached not with the intention of
building a nuclear power plant in earthquake-prone Chile but was focused on
scientific cooperation and the training of Chilean technicians.
Anti-nuclear activists in Chile have criticised the cooperation agreement,
saying any investment toward nuclear power is foolish for Chile because of the
safety issues such technology would face in the country, which has seen some of
the world''s strongest earthquakes in recorded history, including one destructive
tremor only last year that reached magnitude 8.8 and set off a deadly tsunami.
Chile''''s former president Ricardo Lagos said conditions in the country make
it impossible to even consider nuclear power.
Despite a lucrative mining sector, Chile has no meaningful reserves of
Environmentalists have argued for the country to increase conservation
efforts and to further exploit wind and solar energy and hydropower, QNA