Venezuela: officials meet to discuss nuclear energy options

Venezuelan officials are meeting with delegates from other Latin American countries this week to discuss nuclear energy and the feasibility of starting a peaceful nuclear program in Venezuela, the energy ministry said yesterday.

The meeting on Venezuela's Margarita Island involves representatives of Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic, along with experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Venezuelan energy ministry said in a statement. The talks are to last until Friday.

Venezuela is studying the possibility of using nuclear power to generate electricity. President Hugo Chavez has said his government will explore nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Although Venezuela has plenty of oil and natural gas, it still must increase power generation for its ambitious energy sector expansion plans.

Venezuela currently generates more than half its electricity using hydroelectric dams, reported AP. P.T.