Chile, U.S. sign agreement on nuclear energy
Chile and the United States on Friday signed an agreement to exchange experience and training in the field of nuclear energy to be used for peaceful means, Xinhua reported.
"We aspire to have technology and science to allow us to compete at a different level. To train our workers and as a country with technology, and with the development of science, the United States is an unsurpassable partner," Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said after singing the agreement with U.S. ambassador to Chile Alejandro Wolff.
Energy Minister Laurence Golborne said that the use of nuclear energy to generate electric energy had been rejected by Chile's current President Sebastian Pinera "long time ago."
Colborne said the agreement is an advance in the field of training and knowledge of the Chilean scientists as "one more step " towards the establishment of a nuclear plant in the country. He stressed, however, that Chile "does not have a program to build or develop nuclear plants" at this moment, he said.
These kinds of agreements establish a system of exchange of information and facilitate the possibility for Chileans to be trained abroad.
Moreno, meanwhile, said Chile has two centers of nuclear investigation and therefore need better trained personnel with specialized knowledge in the field. "These things point to the positive way of learning for later, if at another time, if other governments, wants to make a decision he or she could have all the available elements," he added.
The signature of the "memorandum of understanding and cooperation on the use of nuclear energy with peaceful means" is opposed by the opposition.
The Chilean government said this is just preliminary research, and not a precedent to establish nuclear centrals, other officials said.
Chile has similar agreements with Argentina and France.