Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant (LVNPP) is located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, in Alto Lucero, Veracruz, Mexico. It is the largest electric power generating nuclear plant in Mexico by power generation and produces about 4.5% of the country's electrical energy. LVNPP has an original installed capacity of 1,365 Megawatts (Mw). It consists of two units General Electric Boiling Water Reactors (BWR-5) using Uranium (U235 Isotope 3% enriched) as fuel. Unit-1 (U-1) started its operation on July 29, 1990. Unit-2 (U-2) started its operation on April 10, 1995. The plant is owned and operated by Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the national electric company owned by the Mexican government.

Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant (LVNPP) has been considered a strategic facility for Sistema Eléctrico Nacional (SEN/National Power System), due to its high power generation capacity, lowest operating cost, and frequency and voltage regulation capacity. All the electric power generated is delivered to its single client: Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (CENACE/National Energy Control Center). CENACE is entrusted with the function of planning, directing, and supervising the transmission and distribution of electric power to end user. CENACE has classified LVNPP as Base Load Power Plant since the beginning of its operations.

The annual generation average for LVNPP in the last 5 years has been of 10,479 GWh, electric power sufficient to meet the demand of more than 4 million inhabitants.


The generation of electric power at the CLV is based on the technology of nuclear fission of Uranium atoms, which takes place in the reactor. The energy released by the nuclear fission is transferred as heat from the fuel to the cooling water, which boils into steam. The quality of steam is controlled through a separator and dryer. The separator and dryer are part of the internal processes of the reactor pressure vessel. Power from each reactor is 3,944 Kilotons/Hour (Kt/h) of steam to generate 682 MW of electric power. Both Reactor Units (U1 and U2) operate using 444 enriched Uranium assemblies, storing power equal to 38.9 million oil barrels. This nuclear fuel is specifically designed to be admitted into the core of the reactor. The fuel is purchased only from qualified vendors worldwide.

After 18 months of operation, between 25% and 30% of the nuclear fuel is replaced. This activity is called "Refueling Outage" process. The turbine transforms power from steam (kinetic energy) into mechanical energy causing an electric generator to move (electric power production). Once the steam has gone through the turbine, it is cooled in a condenser; the water obtained in this manner is pumped again toward the nuclear reactor, to restart the generation cycle.

Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant
Country Mexico
Locale Alto Lucero, Veracruz Mexico
Status Operational
Commission date 1990 (Unit 1)
1995 (Unit 2)
Owner(s) Mexican Government
Operator(s) Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE)

Reactor information
Reactors operational 2 reactors
Reactor type(s) Boiling Water Reactors (BWR-5)
Reactor supplier(s) General Electric (GE)

Power generation information
Installed capacity 1,365 MW
Annual generation 4.782 GW-h x 2

Power Uprate

In 2007 CFE signed a contract with an investment of $600 million USD to increase the original capability of each of the units of Laguna Verde by 20%, equivalent to 255 MW, in order to tend the growth of the demand of electric power in Mexico. This power uprate will allow to LVNPP an additional annual generation of 2,122 GWh, equivalent to the demand of a city of 800 thousand inhabitants.

General Electric performed the engineering analysis to determine the necessary plant modifications and to support the safety analysis report necessary for approval of the power uprate by the Mexican nuclear regulator Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS/National Commission on Nuclear Safety and Safeguards).

Work began in 2008 by Iberdrola and Alstom and is expected to finish late 2010. The main modifications consist in a turbine and condenser retrofit and the replacement of the electric generator, main steam reheater and the feedwater heater. The budget for the project is $605 million dollars.


Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant (LVNPP) has been recognized worldwide because of its performance, competitiveness, safety, reliability, environmentally friendly, innovations and continuous improvement. To support the nuclear option in Mexico, Laguna Verde has obtained several achievements, for example, National Quality Award (IFCT 2007), and Golden Award from Iberoamerican Foundation for Quality Management (FUNDIBEQ 2009).

In 2009, Laguna Verde obtained Annual recognition as a Enterprise Social Responsibility awarded by the Mexican Centre for Philanthropy.

The following table shows the chronologic developments at Laguna Verde.

1976 Implementation of the Quality Assurance Program as part of the international nuclear standard during the construction phase
1982 Implementation of the Quality Assurance Program in the operation phase
1990 Start of Reactor Unit 1 commercial operation
1991 World record broken for reaching 250 days of continuous operation (without interruptions) during the first generation cycle
1995 Start of Reactor Unit 2 commercial operation
1995 Laguna Verde used as a base to institutionalize the Total Quality program at the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) nationwide
1995 Accreditation of the Environmental Engineering Laboratory by the Mexican Accrediting Entity
1997 For the first time, CFE awards the Total Quality institutional prize, won by the Laguna Verde
1997 ISO 9001:1994 quality standard certification is obtained as part of the Continuous improvement program
1999 ISO 14001 quality standard certification was obtained
1999 Power generation boosted by 5% (sufficient to satisfy the needs of 200,000 persons)
2002 Certification in the Mexican Industrial Safety Standard NMX-SAST-001-IMNC-2000, which is the equivalent of the international OSHAS-18000.
2003 Certification in the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Standard based on process management.
2004 Laguna Verde reached Level-3 in the WANO excellence rating (maximum 1, minimum 5)
2004 to 2007 CLV significantly reduced the duration of refueling outage periods to 27 days
2005 Prize for the Nuclear Power Station with the best performance outside the USA given by WANO/ATLANTA
2005 Approval of the Extended Power Uprate Project (EPU) with an investment of $600 million USD, which will make it possible to increase the installed capacity by 20% compared with the original and which is strategically important to extend the station's useful life up to 50 years
2006 and 2008 Clean Industry biennial certification issued by the Mexican government through the Federal Environment Protection Agency as a result of complying with the 66 environment and safety standards
2006 Laguna Verde reached Level-2 in the WANO excellence rating, the highest level obtained by a nuclear power station outside the United States according to WANO/ATLANTA
2006 Recognition for world-class operation performance in Reactor Units 1 and 2 granted by General Electric
2006 Accreditation of the Metrology Laboratory by the Mexican Accrediting Entity
2007 Environmental Excellence Recognition (the highest award for the environment) obtained by the Mexican government because of high sustainability in the preservation of natural resources
2008 Laguna Verde obtains National Quality Prize 2007, which the highest recognition for policy and strategy quality and execution in congruence with the competitiveness and sustainability results obtained
2008 to 2009 Annual recognition as a Enterprise Social Responsibility awarded by the Mexican Centre for Philanthropy in compliance with ethical values, community support and respect and care for the environment
2009 Iberoamerican Quality Prize 2009 obtained, the highest award given by the Fundación Iberoamericana para Gestión de la Calidad (FUNDIBEQ/Iberoamerican Quality Management Foundation)
2010 Laguna Verde Manager receives the Nuclear Excellence Recognition delivered by WANO during Biennial Meeting, for promoting leadership that makes an extraordinary contribution to the promotion of Safe Operation Excellence at nuclear power stations

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