(Updated 2021)


This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in Mexico, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operation of nuclear power plants.

The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in Mexico.

Currently, Mexico has two operational units at the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant (LVNPP) site, which accounted for 4.7 % of total electricity production in 2020.



1.1.1. Energy policy

Through a new energy model, Ministry of Energy (SENER) leads and coordinates the energy transition in the country gradually and systematically to reach 35% of generation with Clean Energy in 2024. Although Mexico has great potential for renewable energy-based capacity, it is important to seek a balance between electricity generation, its conduction and other operations that allow reliability, security, continuity and quality in the national energy system, considering the intrinsic characteristics of each primary energy. According to the new public policy, SENER is committed to an energy transition with social inclusion that protects the environment and complies with the mitigation commitments of the climate change.

The business plan for the period 2021 to 2025, based in the Presidency of the Republic project, that is reflected in the National Plan for Development 2019–2024, which establishes: “A purpose of the strategic importance for the present administration, is the rescue of PEMEX (National Oil Company) and CFE (Federal Electricity Commission) so that they can again operate as levers of National Development”.

The new energy policy of the Mexican State will drive sustainable development by engaging communities and the population in the production of energy by using renewable resources. The energy transition will give rise to promote the emergence of a social sector in this field, as well as to encourage the reindustrialization of the country. Thus, this document will set out the CFE's strategic objectives and actions to comply with the provisions of the National Development Plan, seeking to harmonize the purposes of sovereignty, energy security, efficiency and accessible prices, with the promotion of generation of clean energy.

The Energy Sectorial Program 2020–2024 is part of the National Development Plan 2019–2024 and complies with what is included in Articles 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. The sector program is the guiding instrument of the national energy policy.

The main objective of the Energy Sectorial Program is the rescue and promote the energy sector to reach the energy self-sufficiency, as a necessary condition of the energy security and national sovereignty. With this program, Mexico guarantees the supply of the primary and secondary energies required for the economy and society, under conditions of sustainability with the environment and sustainability (in the short, medium and long term) with the participation of the individuals. The program has as objective to strengthen the Federal Electricity Commission.

With this strengthening, the energy sector guarantees the supply of energy with prices and tariffs that do not exceed inflation, supports the competitiveness of the national economy and strengthens income.

The program thus contributes to economic development and wellness and decreases inequality and social justice. The program strengthens the operative, financial, and commercial capacities of the CFE; guarantees the electricity generation required for demand and economic development, under conditions of self- sufficiently and energy sovereignty. The program has six priority objectives:

  • Objective 1. Reach and maintain the sustainable energy self-sufficiency to satisfy the energy demand of the population

  • Objective 2. Strengthen the productive companies of the Mexican State as guarantors of energy safety and sovereignty and national development to trigger a multiplier effect in the private sector;

  • Objective 3. Organize the scientific, technological and industry capacities that are necessary for the energy transitions in México during the twenty-first century;

  • Objective 4. Raise the efficiency level and sustainability in production and use of energies in the national territory;

  • Objective 5. Ensure the universal access to energy, so that the Mexican society can use it for their development;

  • Objective 6. Strengthen the national energy sector so that it constitutes the base that drives country development that is able to satisfy its own necessities with resources, trough the productive companies of the State, socials and privates.

The Development Plan of the National Electric System (PRODESEN), establishes the objectives, goals, strategies and priorities that has to be adopted to satisfy the demand of the National Electric System, guaranteeing that its operation will be realized in conditions of efficiency, quality, reliability, continuity, safety and sustainability.

The Political Constitution of the Mexican United States, establishes the principles of economic rectory of the State; planning of the national development; strategic activities and the regulation of economic activities non reserved to the State.

In terms of electric energy, the Article 27 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States defines that the planning and control of the National Electric System as well as the public service of transmission and distribution of electric energy are exclusively the responsibility of the Nation.

The Article 28 of the Constitution states that the functions that the State provides exclusively in the public service of transmission and distribution of electricity are strategic areas without constituting monopolies.

Source: National Plan of Development 2019-2024

1.1.2. Estimated available energy

Table 1 shows estimated available energy sources in Mexico.


  Fossil fuels **Nuclear Renewables
Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Other renewable
Total amount in specific units* 1 211 34 933 46 309 6 714 60 1 211
Total amount in exajoules (EJ) 0.29 222.33 48.44 26.09 0.13 0.29

*Solid, Liquid: million tonnes; gas: billion m3; uranium: metric tonnes; hydro, renewable: TW.

**Please note that uranium estimates do not make assumptions regarding recycling capabilities or a closed nuclear fuel cycle

—: data not available.

Source: IAEA/NEA Uranium ‘Red Book’, World Energy Council

1.1.3. Energy Consumption Statistics

Table 2 shows some energy statistics for Mexico.


Final Energy consumption [PJ] 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000–2019 (%)
Total 4 045 4 476 4 938 5 064 5 028 1.15
Coal, Lignate and Peat 72 145 202 194 158 4.22
Oil 2 553 2 821 3 114 3 039 2 844 0.57
Natural gas 554 501 544 606 724 1.42
Bioenergy and Waste 342 324 296 290 286 -0.94
Electricity 523 682 775 925 1 005 3.50
Heat 2 4 5 9 12 9.89

*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.

**Total energy derived from primary and secondary generation sources. Figures do not reflect potential heat output that may result from electricity co-generation.

—: data not available.

Source(s): United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1


1.2.1. Electricity system and decision making process

PRODESEN issued by the Ministry of Energy is an instrument that contains the planning of the National Electric System (SEN), such as the activities of generation, transmission and distribution.

PRODESEN incorporates relevant aspects of the following programs:

  • Indicative program for installation and removal of power plants (PIIRCE).

    In the Regulation of the Electricity Industry Law in its Article 7 it is established that the programs indicative for installation and removals of Centrals Electrical will not be a requirement for installation or removal of Power Plants and will not generate the right to obtain an authorization, permission, right or guarantee of economic results or expected financial results for Power Plants that are installed or intend to be installed.

    In accordance with the provisions of Article 13 of the Electricity Industry Law, the objective of this program is to promote the installation of sufficient resources to meet the demand of the National Electric System and meet the Clean Energy objectives, taking into account the goals set forth in the Third Transitory Article of the LTE, in which SENER was instructed to set as a goal a minimum participation in electricity generation of 25% for the fiscal year 2018, 30% for the fiscal year 2021 and 35% % for the fiscal year 2024.

    The PIIRCE serves as the basis for the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) to be able to integrate the base cases, from which it will model the optimal expansion for the National Transmission Network.

  • Programs for the expansion and modernization of the national transmission network (PAMRNT) and the general distribution networks (PAMRGD).

    The programs are the result of the centralized planning process of the National Transmission Network and the General Distribution Networks carried out by the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) and the distributors. They include the expansion and modernization works necessary to minimize the costs of providing the service, reduce the costs of congestion and encourage an efficient expansion of generation, in consideration of the criteria of quality, reliability, continuity and safety of the electrical network.

SOURCE: SENER Development Program of National Electric System

1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector

CFE Reorganization

The new administration has set as one of its main priorities the strengthening of the CFE to make it more competitive and efficient. One of the steps that will be followed to achieve this is reorganizing the company. After the reform, CFE was divided into 14 different, independent entities, each in charge of various parts of the value chain (generation, transmission, distribution, basic supply, qualified supply etc). These divisions were made to balance CFE’s market power and to encourage the participation of new players in these newly liberalized markets. The generation assets of the CFE were then divided between six of these entities. The new administration considers that this division was inappropriate and improperly weakened the CFE as it had resulted in increased costs, hampered administrative specialization, and created inefficiencies.

Figure 1 includes a brief description of the current situation of the CFE and the electricity market in Mexico, along the electric power supply chain. As a result of the restructuring required by the Energy Reform and the terms for strict legal separation (TESL), the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has constituted six Subsidiary Productive Enterprises (EPS) for Generation, one subsidiary for Transmission (7), one subsidiary for Distribution (8), one subsidiary for Basic Supply (9), one subsidiary of Internet for All (10) and diverse EFs (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and Business Units (UN) (1), (2), (3), (4).

FIG. 1.: CFE reorganization

Current conformation of Electrical System by Management of Regional Control

The National Electric System (SEN) is made up of nine control regions and a small isolated electrical system. The operation of these regions is under the responsibility of nine Control Centers Regional located in the cities of Mexico, Puebla, Guadalajara, Mérida, Hermosillo, Gómez Palacio, Monterrey, Mexicali, La Paz and a small control centre in Santa Rosalía Baja California South, for the Mulegé System. The National Center in the Mexico City in conjunction with the Alternate National Center, located in the City of Puebla coordinate the wholesale electricity market (MEM) and the safe and reliable operation of the SEN.

The National Interconnected System (SIN) is composed of the seven regions: central, eastern, western, northwest, north, northeast and peninsular. They share the resources and reserves of capacity to face the diversity of demands and operational situations; this allows the exchange of power for a more efficient operation that is economical and reliable as a whole.

The Baja California system operates while interconnected with the electricity grid of the West US-Western region Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC, for its acronym in English) by means of two lines of transmission connected at a voltage level of 230 kV in alternating current.

Baja's electrical systems California Sur and Mulegé are electrically isolated from each other, as well as from the rest of the national electrical network.

Transmission and Distribution

The current transmission network has been developed by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). The expansion of the network has been carried out with consideration to the magnitude, geographic dispersion, demand and the locations of power plants. In the future, the construction of transmission networks will be implemented to continue servicing the electrical power supply in the country and promote the use of the country's energy resources, as well as for guarantee the energy flows required by the MEM, considering the reliability of the SEN.

The National Electric System (SEN) is made up of electrical networks in different voltage levels:

  • National Transmission Network (RNT):

    The National Transmission Network is a system made up of the electrical networks used to transport energy to the General Distribution Networks and to facilities that have characteristics that require it, as well as interconnections to the electrical systems of foreign companies approved by the Secretary of Energy. The network includes tensions equal to or greater than 69 kV.

  • General Distribution Networks (RGD):

    General Distribution Networks are electrical networks used to distribute electrical energy to the general public and are composed of medium voltage networks, whose electrical supply occurs at levels greater than 1 kV and less than or equal to 35 kV, and networks in low voltage in which the power supply is equal to or less than 1 kV.

  • Private Networks:

    Private Networks are electrical networks that are not part of the National Transmission Network or the General Distribution Networks.


PRODESEN 202-2034,

CFE´s Business Plan CFE 2021-2025,

1.2.3. Main indicators

Table 3 shows electricity production in Mexico, and Table 4 contains energy related ratios.


Electricity production (GWh) 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000–2019 (%)
Total 205 675 250 768 275 538 310 712 331 184 2.54
Coal, Lignate and Peat 18 994 32 742 32 282 33 808 29 611 2.36
Oil 93 599 68 469 44 587 31 577 34 214 -5.16
Natural gas 44 129 100 642 146 995 186 251 199 121 8.25
Bioenergy and Waste 1 672 3 074 776 1 369 3 086 3.28
Hydro 33 133 27 709 37 131 30 815 24 087 -1.66
Nuclear 8 221 10 805 5 879 11 577 11 272 1.68
Wind 19 19 1 239 8 745 17 590 43.26
Solar 7 9 31 239 6 593 43.39
Geothermal 5 901 7 299 6 618 6 331 5 609 -0.27

*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.

**Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.

—: data not available.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1


2000 2010 2015 2020
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) 3.9 2.4 4.4 4.0

*Latest available data.

Source: RDS-1 and RDS-2

—: data not available.



2.1.1. Overview

The National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) was established in 1956 to pave the way to introduce nuclear power and nuclear applications in Mexico. CNEN encompassed all nuclear activities in the country (exploration for uranium, nuclear research, regulation, etc.) except for the generation of electricity by nuclear means, which was the sole responsibility of CFE, and the utilization of nuclear radioisotopes. Later, CNEN was transformed into the National Institute on Nuclear Energy (INEN), which redefined its attributions but with very few changes to its responsibilities.

In 1979, INEN was replaced by three organizations: (i) The National Institute of Nuclear Research (ININ), in charge of all the aspects related to research; (ii) Mexican Uranium (URAMEX), in charge of uranium exploration and eventually uranium production; and (iii) the National Commission for Nuclear Safety and Safeguards (CNSNS), in charge of nuclear regulation and safeguards. In 1985, URAMEX was dissolved and all its functions were passed to the Ministry of Energy.

Mexico’s interest in nuclear power dates back to the early 1960s. The first steps were taken in 1966, when a preliminary investigation of potential sites for nuclear power stations was carried out under the auspices of CFE and the CNEN. At the end of the decade, the government concluded that NPPs might play a major role in the greater energy mix. In early 1969, CFE decided to invite bids for a 600 MW(e) NPP of a proven type, and invitations to tender were sent to several manufacturers. Bids were received at the beginning of 1970, but the final decision, with up to date bids, was taken in the middle of 1972. In 1976, construction of the LVNPP was initiated, comprising two reactors of 654 MW(e) net each. The first unit went into commercial operation in July 1990 and the second in April 1995.

2.1.2. Current organizational structure

Figure 2 shows the current organizational structure of the nuclear power sector in Mexico.

FIG. 2. Current organizational structure of the nuclear power sector in Mexico.


The LVNPP reactors had an original gross capacity of 654 MW(e) per unit, but in 2010 they were upgraded to 805 for Unit 1 and 803 MW(e) for Unit 2.

In 2020, LVNPP generated 10864.272 GW(h), equivalent to 4.94 % of total generation in the country, the unit capability factor was 83.52 (85.66 for Unit 1 and 81.38 for Unit 2). With the operation of the LVNPP, Mexico avoided the emission of 3.94 million tons of CO2 in 2020.

2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants

As mentioned above, there is only one nuclear plant in operation in Mexico, with two boiling water reactors (BWRs). There is still a plan to add three power units towards 2029–2031, if financial means are met. PRODESEN demonstrates that 40% of the additional capacity to be installed through 2029 shall consist of clean technologies, contributing 32.552 MW. It is anticipated that up to 12% could consist of nuclear generation.


Reactor unit Type Net capacity
Operator Status Reactor supplier Construction date Grid
Commercial date Shutdown/
Cancellation date
for year
LAGUNA VERDE-1 BWR 777 Operational CFE GE 10/1/1976 11/8/1988 4/13/1989 7/29/1990 85.7
LAGUNA VERDE-2 BWR 775 Operational CFE GE 6/1/1977 9/6/1994 11/11/1994 4/10/1995 81.3
Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).
Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.

2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and licence renewals

On 26 December 2014, LVNPP Unit 2 received permission from Mexico’s regulatory authority to operate at the extended power uprate level (120% of the original licensed thermal power); it operated during 2015 at this new power level (2 317 MW(th), 805 MW(e) and 803 MW(e)) gross capacity per unit. Yet, the new operating licence at this power level has not yet been issued by the Ministry of Energy.

During 2017, the 18th refueling outage of LVNPP Unit 1 was extended from an original 40 days to 48 days. In the current operating cycle 19, the unit is operating at a power level of 2 317 MW(th) and 810 MW(e). For LVNPP Unit 2, the 15th refueling outage was planned for 43 days in 2017; the unit is operating at a power level of 2 317 MW(th) and 810 MW(e). LVNPP Unit 1 went into commercial operation in 1990 and Unit 2 followed in 1995. Both units were originally licensed for 30 years of operation. Therefore, in 2015, an application for a license renewal of both LVNPP units, allowing their operation for 30 more years, was submitted to Mexico’s regulatory authority (CNSNS). In 2020, the CNSNS will conclude the document "Safety Evaluation Report Related to the License Renewal of Laguna Verde Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2".

An independent spent fuel storage installation, with a capacity for storing 130 dry cask storage systems, was constructed at the LVNPP site to store fuel generated during a 60 year operational lifetime. CFE plans to store 1157 spent fuel bundles in 13 dry cask storage systems between 2018 and 2021.

As a result of the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March of 2011, the CNSNS requested LVNPP to take action to enhance the safety of the reactors following the orders issued by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, listed below:

  1. EA-12-049: Issuance of Order to Modify Licenses with Regard to Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events;

  2. EA-12-051: Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation;

  3. EA-13-109: Issuance of Order to Modify Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment Vents Capable of Operation under Severe Accident Conditions.

Furthermore, in accordance with the international community, the CNSNS requested LVNPP to reassess its safety margins in the form of a stress test. This reassessment is set to measure the ability of LVNPP to withstand damage from hazards such as earthquakes, flooding, terrorist attacks or aircraft collisions that challenge plant safety functions and may lead to a severe accident. To comply with the regulatory requirements requested by the CNSNS mentioned above, LVNPP developed flexible and diverse mitigation strategies to cope with beyond design basis events caused by extreme external events such as earthquakes and hurricanes and the loss of large areas of the facility due to large fires and explosions from any cause, including beyond design basis aircraft impacts. These strategies will allow LVNPP to maintain or restore key safety functions for all reactors on-site with installed equipment, portable equipment stored on-site, or, when needed, portable equipment stored off-site. With the implemented strategies LVNPP has the capability to mitigate beyond design basis events by maintaining or restoring key safety functions like core cooling, spent fuel pool monitoring and cooling, repowering critical control and instrumentation buses, and containment integrity to prevent the release of radionuclides and combustible gases to the environment by preventing containment overpressure failure. As part of the lessons learned after the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs) were developed by LVNPP. The SAMGs provide direction to the operators as to when actions should be taken and which strategies, of those mentioned above, will help during a severe accident scenario to terminate the progress of core damage and prevent/minimize further escalation of an accident sequence.

2.2.3. Permanent shutdown and decommissioning process

Not applicable.


2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy

There are no NPP development in the country.

2.3.2. Project management

Not applicable.

2.3.3. Project funding

Not applicable.

2.3.4. Electric grid development

Not applicable.

2.3.5. Sites

Not applicable.

2.3.6. Public awareness

Not applicable.


There are no NPP suppliers in the country. The main components of the LVNPP were acquired abroad. Initially, the main architect engineer for Unit 1 was the Electric Bond and Share Company. Later on, and especially for Unit 2, CFE acted as the architect engineering company, with the advice of the Electric Bond and Share Company and General Electric.


LVNPP is owned by CFE, and the operation and maintenance are performed by CFE personnel. In the past, operator training occurred at several similar installations in Spain and the United States of America. Nowadays, training mainly happens locally, using the simulator which has been installed on the plant’s premises.




Mexico has unexplored uranium resources, and the identified conventional uranium resources are approximately 4500 tones (NEA/IAEA Uranium 2016: Resources, Production and Demand (Red Book)). Yet, the uranium required for LVNPP BWR reloading is obtained from the world market. Uranium is currently procured as an enriched uranium product through a long-term contract with NUKEM/TENEX (Russian Federation). Fuel fabrication currently is done in the United States of America by Global Nuclear Fuel — Americas.

The spent nuclear fuel is stored in spent fuel pools at the reactor buildings. These have been re-racked to increase the original capacity in order to accommodate the spent fuel that the reactors will produce during their expected operating life.

After a period of time the spent fuel is transferred to the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI), which was constructed at the LVNPP and began its operation in 2020. With this storage facility the CFE plans to store 1157 spent fuel bundles, retired from the spent fuel pools from both Units, in 13 dry cask storage.


2.8.1. R&D organizations

The main research centres are the National Institute of Nuclear Research (ININ) and the National Institute of Power and Clean Energy (INEEL).

2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear power technologies

0 carries out actions for nuclear scientific and technological development, for the promotion, transfer, adaptation and assimilation of nuclear technologies. It also carries out research projects in response to energy sector needs and provides technical assistance to nuclear facilities. It develops disciplines from which the country could benefit in other topics for national development as well. The institute has qualified personnel, nationally and internationally recognized experts in several sciences and engineering areas, providing the ability to support multidisciplinary projects. Within the field of peaceful uses for nuclear energy, ININ has defined 11 research and development topics.

INEEL is committed to meeting energy needs through innovation, efficiency and continuous improvement of their processes, within the legal and a regulatory framework applicable to the management of quality, sustainable development, labor equality and non-discrimination, environmental management, safety and health at work.

The objectives of INEEL include the following:

  1. To carry out and promote scientific research, experimental development and technological research in order to solve the scientific and technological problems related to the improvement of the electrical industry;

  2. To contribute to diffusion and implantation, within the electrical industry, of those technologies that best adapt to the economic development of the country;

  3. To maintain effective relations with similar institutions in other countries and with academic and technological research institutes in the country;

  4. To provide courses of specialization and update knowledge in science, technology and industrial administration in the area of the electrical industry;

  5. To provide advice to CFE, the electrical manufacturing industry and engineering and consulting services related to the electrical industry;

  6. To propose to the SENER and CFE applied and technological research programmes, and the corresponding plans of operation, investment and financing in the short, medium and long term;

  7. To patent and license developed technologies and the results of the research obtained, as appropriate.

2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives

Mexico is a member of:

  • The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO);

  • The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO);

  • The Electric Power Research Institute;

  • The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency;

Mexico is an observer in the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation.


LVNPP has in place initial and continuing training programs in order to qualify and maintain the personnel’s competencies. The continuing training goal for non-licensed personnel is 15 days of training by year and around 25 days for licensed personnel. Every year LVNNP has around 2000 training activities on approximately 500 different topics. Training programs include topics required by regulation and performance-based training. Mexico is using the systematic approach to training to develop training programmes for Code of Federal Regulations Title 10 (Energy) Chapter 50 (10CFR50.120) job positions (according with the Mexican regulation). LVNPP has 1,400 workers as permanent staff and approximately 200 workers as additional personnel (as trainees) in order to guarantee the replacement of qualified personnel due to vacation, sick leave and temporary assignments, as well as replacement due to retirements. At the NPP, there is a personal development pipeline for each position, so every worker has the opportunity to achieve a higher position.

The planning for the succession of senior positions is performed according to the leadership development programme (including risk assessments, directive skills assessments and 360 degree appraisals).

Regarding academic training, the academic institutions with undergraduate and graduate programmes are the following: the Higher School of Physics and Mathematics of the National Polytechnic Institute, the Faculty of Engineering of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Division of Basic Sciences and Engineering of the Autonomous Metropolitan University — Iztapalapa Unit, the Academic Unit of Nuclear Studies of the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, the Faculty of Sciences of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico and the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering of the Veracruzana University, Xalapa campus.

These national and local institutions educate most of the human capital that works in the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards, the National Institute of Nuclear Research, the Federal Electricity Commission, LVNPP, and in some positions with Secretary of Energy. Some topics are nuclear engineering, nuclear energy systems, technology and safety of nuclear reactors, instrumentation, simulation and control of NPPs, nuclear reactor physics and radioprotection.


Regarding professional associations, the Academy of Engineering of Mexico and the Mexican Nuclear Society are the most important organizations with involvement in the nuclear power sector. The Mexican Nuclear Society organizes every year its annual meeting with the participation of professionals of these universities, the regulatory body, the research institutes and the LVNPP and is involved with undergraduate and graduate students.


The regulatory framework adopted and established by the CNSNS, the nuclear regulatory institution in Mexico, upon which the safety of LVNPP is guaranteed, is derived from the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America, the country of origin of the nuclear island. As a requirement for its operating licence, LVNPP has an internal emergency plan (PEI, by its acronym in Spanish) and a radiological external emergency plan (PERE, by its acronym in Spanish), which have the function of safeguarding its personnel and the adjacent population in case of a radiological emergency. PEI is the responsibility of CFE and it covers the real and potential radiological emergencies inside the nuclear plant.

The external radiological emergency plan comprises an 80 km zone around LVNPP, denoting the emergency planning zone, that is divided into two radii, one from 0 to 16 km, and the other up to 80 km, both of them with centres starting from the LVNPP reactor units. The area within the 16 km zone is called Zona Vía Pluma, and it contains defined protection actions for the population, including provided the emergency conditions, access control, population notification, radiological prophylaxis (ingestion of a stable iodine compound) and evacuation of the affected sectors. The area within the 80 km radius is called Zona Vía Ingestion, and the main activity is water and food monitoring to ensure that the necessary actions are taken to minimize the ingestion of food and liquids with radiation levels that may, in the long term, affect the health of those who live in the area, and also to ensure that the food produced in that zone is free of radiation, and that it does not leave the area.

PERE covers emergencies that could exceed LVNPP borders. This plan has written procedures on what to do, how to act and who must participate; consequently, these procedures provide instructions to follow and define actions to take. PERE’s mission is to be prepared with the response capacity to face any emergency at a regional level caused by an accident at LVNPP, which would go beyond the capabilities of the facilities and would require the joint and organized participation of different public agencies in order to prevent or minimize radiation exposure to the ecosystem and, mainly, to protect the health and assets of the nearby population.

The state and federal levels are involved in the emergency preparedness plan in order to have the proper support in case of a nuclear emergency. This plan is coordinated by an external radiological emergency planning committee (COPERE, by its acronym in Spanish), presided over by the Department of the Interior (whose chairman plays the role of National Coordinator of Civil Protection) and a Technical Secretary.

COPERE comprises the following agencies or government departments:

  • Department of the Interior (governance issues);

  • Department of Defense;

  • Department of the Navy;

  • Department of Communications and Transport;

  • Department of Health;

  • Department of Energy;

  • National Safety Commission;

  • Federal Police;

  • Federal Institute of Communication;

  • Ministry of Finance and Public Credit Ministry;

  • Federal Electricity Commission;

  • National Water Commission;

  • Environment Protection Federal Agency;

  • National Disaster Prevention Centre;

  • CNSNS;

  • Diconsa S.A. de C.V.;

  • Veracruz State Government;

  • Veracruz State Department of Civil Protection;

  • Veracruz State Health Department;

  • General Coordination of Social Communication of the Government of the State of Veracruz.

As in most plans, PERE requires the availability of sufficient and timely information in order to develop actions and make proper decisions. In order to help in the execution of the activities of PERE, each state department or agency must perform some activities, comprising a series of operation procedures according to its purpose and the state agencies that execute each; and each dependency work according to their own procedures, but are integrated with others.

3. National laws and regulations

3.1. Regulatory framework

3.1.1. Regulatory authority(s)

The legislative and regulatory framework is based on the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States (hereinafter called “Constitution”) from which a series of laws, regulations and standards are derived.

The Constitution, in its Article 27, establishes that nuclear energy must be used only for peaceful applications and that the use of nuclear fuels for the generation of nuclear energy, as well as the regulation of its application in all areas, falls within the purview of the Mexican State. In accordance with the Constitution, in its Article 28, the generation of electric power by nuclear means is considered strategic. The public sector is exclusively responsible for such activity, and therefore, the Mexican State has created the organizations and companies necessary for the effective management of such strategic areas under its responsibility. The Regulatory Law on Nuclear Matters of Article 27 of the Constitution (hereinafter called “Nuclear Law”) entered into effect on February 5, 1985 and gives the Federal Electricity Commission (hereinafter called “CFE”) exclusively, the right to generate electric power from nuclear fuels.

The CNSNS a deconcentrated body under SENER, CNSNS serves as the regulatory body responsible for overseeing nuclear and radiation safety, physical security, and the safeguards within the national territory. By way of SENER’s Internal Regulations, these responsibilities have been delegated from the Ministry of Energy to the Director General of CNSNS.

The Nuclear Law and SENER’s Internal Regulations empower CNSNS as the responsible agency for reviewing, evaluating and authorizing the bases for the siting, design, construction, operation, modification, cease of operations, definitive shutdown, and decommissioning of nuclear and radioactive installations, as well as everything related to the fabrication, use, handling, storage, reprocessing and transport of nuclear fuels and/or materials, radioactive materials and equipment containing them. Furthermore, everything related to processing, conditioning, dumping, and storage of radioactive wastes and any disposal of them is regulated by CNSNS.

3.1.2. Licensing process

According to the provisions of the Nuclear Law, Chapter IV Articles 25 and 28, and Chapter VI Article 50 Fractions III, IV, V, VII and XIII, CNSNS has the authority for reviewing, evaluating and authorizing the bases for the siting, design, construction, operation, modification, cease of operations, definitive shutdown, and decommissioning of nuclear and radioactive installations; has the authority for everything related to the manufacture, use, handling, storage, reprocessing and transport of nuclear materials and fuels, radioactive materials and equipment containing them; and has the authority regarding the processing, conditioning, dumping, and storing of radioactive wastes, as well as any disposal of them.

During the siting authorization, CNSNS reviews the most important aspects related to the site where the installation will be built (e.g. the parameters that may affect the design), including the site seismology, severe weather (probable maximum hurricane) and other aspects of interest. Information concerning the current and future distribution of the population is also reviewed.

Subsequently, in accordance with the provisions of the United States of America 10 CFR for the licensing process, two stages have been established. The first one starts with the formal delivery of the Construction Permit Application including a description of the characteristics of the installation and especially the safety systems provided to ensure that installation will not represent an undue risk. The documents submitted to CNSNS by CFE to support LVNPS application, are the following: (1) Preliminary Safety Analysis Report (PSAR) and (2) Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment Report (PEIA).

During this stage, CNSNS reviews the design criteria (structural, system and component – SSC - characteristics, nuclear analysis, etc.) and particularly all the issues related to the impact of the site characteristics on the SSC design of the installation and the impact of the installation on the environment.

During the review stage CNSNS may require Request for Additional Information to clarify or to supplement the safety reports. Once the review is finished, a report is prepared containing the CNSNS technical opinion on the Construction Permit application and is sent to the Ministry of Energy. Based on CNSNS opinion, SENER may issue the construction permit. The report includes recommendations and conclusions about the installation’s safety.

During LVNPS construction, CNSNS through audits and inspections supervised this phase to assure that the installation was built in accordance with the safety analysis report and the conditions set by the aforementioned construction permit.

Once the detailed design of the installation is finalized, the License for Commercial Operation can be requested. This requires that another detailed report on the plant’s safety be sent to CNSNS. This report is called the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR). This document contains the same information as the Preliminary Safety Report (PSAR); however, the information is no longer generic but specific to the installation. Also, a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) is prepared, which includes the environmental monitoring programme to be operative during the whole plant lifetime, to monitor the effect that the installation will cause on the environment. All the measurements performed during at least five years prior to the plant´s operation are used as reference.

The FSAR review by CNSNS includes assessing the actual operation conditions. The acceptance criteria for pre-operational testing, start-up testing (as well as its impact on the accident analysis) and during commercial operation (in the preliminary report they were generic) are reviewed also. The proposed Technical Specifications (TS) are also examined which, once approved by CNSNS, are part of the License for Commercial Operation to govern the operation of the installation. The scope of activities for the inspection of the major safety components that will be performed during the plant’s lifetime (In-Service Inspection) is also evaluated. The adequacy of the training of the installation’s operation personnel are verified by examinations.


Following are the essential legal texts regulating nuclear power in the country:

  1. Constitution of Mexico, Article 27, in effect;

  2. Regulatory Law of Article 27 of the Constitution on Nuclear Matters, published in the official gazette on 4 February 1985;

  3. Law on Third Party Liability for Nuclear Damage, published in the official gazette in December 1974;

  4. Radiological Safety Regulation, published in the official gazette on 8 November 1988;

  5. General Act on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, published in the official gazette on 28 January 1987;

  6. Mexican Official Guidelines NOM-OI2-STPS-1993, on health and safety at work in premises where ionizing sources are handled, stored or carried, published in the official gazette on 15 June 1994;

  7. Safe Transportation of Radioactive Material Regulation published in the official gazette on 10 April 2017.

Mechanisms in place for financing decommissioning and waste disposal include the following:

  1. For waste resulting from radioisotope applications, storage costs recuperated from the generators;

  2. For low and intermediate level radioactive waste resulting from LVNPP, storage in a repository to be located on-site;

  3. For high level radioactive waste, temporary storage at the plant until a final decision is reached.

The final disposal of radioactive waste is the responsibility of the State. In the case of waste from LVNPP, the Federal Electricity Commission will be in charge of financing its storage.

Nuclear power stations are a proven alternative in Mexico, as demonstrated by the high availability, reliability and safety indicators at LVNPP. Nuclear power is also a realistic option in order to better comply with environmental requirements that are anticipated to become stricter in the future. However, there are no immediate plans for developing new nuclear facilities due to the high initial investments required. At the moment, these are not competitive when compared with those of plants based on natural gas. The Department of Energy is responsible for nuclear fuel cycle policy and operations and can by law authorize some of these responsibilities to public entities, such as CFE and ININ. CFE has been authorized by the Department of Energy to negotiate uranium stock purchases, uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication contracts.

An interim waste repository managed by ININ collects all low and intermediate level radioactive waste produced in medical, industrial and other radioisotope applications. This repository will be replaced by a permanent one in the future. Another interim low and intermediate level radioactive waste repository is operated by LVNPP to handle its waste. Spent nuclear fuel from LVNPP is being stored in the reactors’ pools, which have been re-racked to increase the original capacity. An independent spent fuel storage installation, with a capacity for storing 130 dry cask storage systems, has been constructed at the LVNPP site to store fuel generated during an extended 60 year operational lifetime.


  1. Presidencia de la República. Presidency of the Republic,;

  2. DOF. Sectorial Program derivated from the National Development Plan 2019-2024,;

  3. SENER Development Program of National Electric System,;

  4. PRODESEN 202-2034,;

  5. Source: CFE´s Business Plan CFE 2021-2025,;

  6. Energetic Information System,;

  7. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), National Institute of Statistics and Geography,;

  8. Prospectiva de Gas Natural 2016-2030;

  9. Prontuario del Sector Energético, 2016;

  10. Prontuario Estadística de Gas Natural y Petroquímicos/Enero 2018.

APPENDIX 1: International, multilateral and bilateral agreements

NPT and Treaty of Tlatelolco related Safeguards Agreement — INFCIRC/197 Entered into force: 14 September 1973
Improved Procedures for Designation of Safeguards Inspectors Accepted: 27 February 1989
Supplementary Agreement on Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAEA Entered into force: 4 June 1981
Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the IAEA Entered into force: 19 October 1983


Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Entered into force: 21 January 1969
Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (Tlatelolco Treaty) Entered into force: 20 September 1967
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material Entered into force: 4 May 1988
Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material Entered into force: 8 May 2016
Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear Accidents Entered into force: 10 June 1988
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency Entered into force: 10 June 1988
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Entered into force: 25 July 1989
Convention on Nuclear Safety Entered into force: 24 October 1996
Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines Country Member
Acceptance of Nuclear Safety Standard codes as guidelines in preparation for and application of national requirements (Mexican nuclear safety legislation is in conformity with codes) Summary: Codes to be used by 11 July 1963
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management Entered into force: 17 May 2018


Standard Agreement concerning Technical Assistance to Mexico
United Nations Organization
International Labour Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
International Civil Aviation Organization
World Health Organization
International Telecommunications Union
World Meteorological Organization
International Atomic Energy Agency
Universal Postal Union
Transfer of enriched uranium for a research reactor
United States of America
Entered into force: 18 December 1963
Lease of source material for a subcritical assembly
United States of America
Entered into force: 20 June 1966
Lease of source material for a subcritical facility
United States of America

Entered into force: 23 August 1967
Transfer of a training reactor and enriched uranium

Entered into force: 21 December 1971
Second supply agreement for transfer of enriched uranium for a research reactor
United States of America

Entered into force: 4 October 1972
Supply of uranium enrichment services
United States of America
Entered into force: 12 February 1974
Second supply agreement for supply of uranium enrichment services for a second reactor unit
United States of America
Entered into force: 4 June 1974
Transfer of title to natural uranium
United States of America
Entered in force: 23 May 1989
Plan of operation for a UN special fund project in Latin America (eradication of Mediterranean fruit fly)
Costa Rica
El Salvador
UN Special Fund
Entered into force: 29 July 1965
Plan of operation for a UN development programme project in Latin America
Costa Rica
El Salvador
UN Special Fund
Entered into force: 31 July 1968
Preliminary study of a nuclear electric power and desalinization plant
United States of America
Entered into force: 7 October 1965
Agreement concerning provision of a dose assurance service by IAEA to irradiation facilities in its Member States (exchange of letters)

Syrian Arab Republic
South Africa
Republic of Korea

Entered into force: 18 September 1985


Agreement between the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of Australia concerning cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the transfer of nuclear material Signed on 28 February 1992; entered into force 1 October 1992
Agreement between the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of Canada for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy Signed in 16 November 1994; entered into force 9 May 1995
Agreement between the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the Republic of Argentina for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy Signed on 4 July 2002; entered into force on 20 February 2013
Agreement between the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the Republic of Korea for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy Signed on 16 June 2012; entered into force on 12 July 2013
Agreement between the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the Russian Federation for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy Signed on 24 December 2013; entered into force on 28 August 2015
Agreement between the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the French Republic for the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy Signed on 30 July 2014; entered into force on 31 July 2015

Appendix 2: Main organizations, institutions and companies


Ministry of Energy (SENER) Tel.: (+52) 55 55000 6000
Av. Insurgentes Sur 890
Col. del valle
Ciudad de Mexico, C.P. 03100
Mexico D.F.
Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) Tel.: (+52) 55 52 29 44 00
Paseo de la Reforma 164
Col. Juárez
Mexico D.F.
National Commission for Nuclear Safety and Safeguards (CNSNS) Tel.: (+52) 55 90 41 81
Fax: (+52) 55 90 61 03
Dr. José Ma. Barragán 779
Col. Narvarte
Ciudad de Mexico, C.P. 03020
Mexico D.F.

National Institute of Nuclear Research (ININ) Tel.: (+52) 55 21 94 02
Fax: (+52) 55 90 61 03
Carretera Mexico Toluca-La Marquesa s/n, Ocoyoacac, Estado de Mexico C.P. 52750
National Institute of Power and Clean Energy (INEEL) Tel.: (+52) 55 21 94 02
Fax: (+52) 55 21 37 98
Reforma 113,
Palmira, Morelos C.P. 62490
Temixco, Morelos
National Institute of Nuclear Sciences (UNAM) Tel.: +(52) 55 5622 4683
Fax: +(52) 55 5623 3375
Circuito Exterior S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Coyoacan, CDMX
Faculty of Engineering (UNAM)
Nuclear Engineering Group (GRIN)
Higher School of Physics and Mathematics (ESFM) of the National Polytechnic Institute Building 9, Av Instituto Politécnico Nacional, San Pedro Zacatenco, Nueva Industrial Vallejo, 07738 Gustavo A. Madero, CDMX
Tel.: (+52) 55 5729 6000


Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL)
Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (IMP)

Report coordinator:

Mr. Hugo Capetillo Aguirre

Institution: Laguna Verde NPP

Comisión Federal de Electricidad

Address: Km 42.5, Carret. Fed. Cardel — Naulta

91476 Mpio, Alto Lucero, Veracruz


Tel.: (+52) 229 989 9090; 47010


Liaison Coordinator:

Mr. Eneas Herrera Ricaño

Institution: Laguna Verde NPP

Comisión Federal de Electricidad

Address: Km 42.5, Carret. Fed. Cardel — Naulta

91476 Mpio, Alto Lucero, Veracruz


Tel.: (+52) 229 989 9090; 47834