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Abstract

Until 1977 it was believed that the worldwide energy problem would have to be solved by considerably increasing nuclear energy generation (Rich and others, 1977). In 1986 this is no longer the case. Mexico's 77 billion barrels of proved oil and gas reserves allow postponement of the decision to depend on nuclear energy generation to any important degree.

Prior to 1970, nuclear power plant development took the lead over coal- and oil-fueled power plants in countries, such as the Netherlands, England, Norway, and others, whose other resources were insufficient to satisfy their greater energy demand. In Mexico, the National Nuclear Energy commission was created in 1955–more for the strategic purpose of diversifying rather than developing new energy sources–after classifying all radioactive minerals as national reserves. The National Institute of Nuclear Energy replaced the commission in 1972 and was in turn replaced in 1979 by Uranio Mexicano (URAMEX), which disappeared in 1985. The Board of Mineral Resources (Consejo de Recursos Minerales) inherited the uranium exploration activities, and the Mining Development Commission (Comision de Fomento Minero) took over the development and marketing aspects.

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