Country profile: Mexico

Summary figures for 2017

The following information is from the NEA publication Nuclear Energy Data, the annual compilation of official statistics and country reports on nuclear energy in OECD member countries.

Country Number of nuclear power plants connected to the grid Nuclear electricity generation (net TWh) Nuclear percentage of total electricity supply
Mexico210.7 (b)3.3
OECD America120911.818.0
OECD Total3111 856.817.6
NEA Total 352 2 062.6 17.9
(b) Preliminary data.

Country report

Legal framework

The current Energy Policy confirms the nation's ownership of hydrocarbons in the subsoil and ensures state strategic guidance for hydrocarbon and electric power industries through stronger regulatory bodies and mechanisms. These mechanisms allow private investment and association in the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons, their transport, storage and treatment, as well as generation and commercialisation in the electric power industry, with the exception of nuclear power generation.

The state promotes the protection of the environment through sustainability principles, the use of renewables and cleaner fuels, as well as measures to reduce polluting emissions from the electric power industry.

Power generation and distribution is ensured by the National Electric System Development Program (PRODESEN) 2017-2031, in terms of the efficiency, quality, sustainability of electricity and the energy security of the country. In order to satisfy the demand for clean energy, PRODESEN also outlines the diversification of the energy matrix, in which nuclear power has a relevant share. In recent years, the Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant has taken part in the Clean Energy Certificates (CEL) scheme, an innovative instrument to integrate clean energies into power generation at lower costs and develop investment in clean electricity generation.

Moreover, on 7 December 2017, the Mexican Senate approved the accession to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, which entered into force on 17 May 2018. The instrument will strengthen the safe management of spent fuel from nuclear power generation and radioactive waste from research, medical or industrial facilities.

Operation of the Laguna Verde reactors

The18th refuelling outage of unit 1 took place in the summer of 2017 over a period of 48 days. The 15th refuelling outage of unit 2 took place in the autumn of 2017 over a period of 43 days.

Licence renewal

Laguna Verde NPP unit 1 went into commercial operation in 1990 and unit 2 followed in 1995. Both units were originally licensed for 30 years of operation. In 2015, an application for a licence renewal of both Laguna Verde units – allowing an extension of their operation for a further 30 years – was therefore submitted to the Mexican Regulatory Authority.

Spent fuel storage

An independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI), with a capacity of 11 523 fuel assemblies generated during the estimated 60-year extended lifetime of the plant, has been constructed on the Laguna Verde site and is in the final stages of the licensing process. It is expected that the operation licence for the ISFSI will be granted in 2018, and plans are underway to move the irradiated fuel from the spent fuel pools of both units.

Source: Nuclear Energy Data 2018