Concrete Crypt for Communist Dreams: Cuba’s Unfinished Nuclear Power Plant
By Atlas Obscura | Posted Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, at 9:38 AM
In 1976, Communist companions Cuba and the Soviet Union signed a deal to
build a nuclear power plant in Juraqua. Construction on the first of two
nuclear reactors began in 1983 with a target operational date of 1993.
But a few years before the reactor’s scheduled completion, the USSR
collapsed. The flow of crucial Soviet funds ceased, 300 Russian
technicians went home, and Cuba was forced to suspend construction on
its badly needed power plant.
Lacking nuclear fuel and without the primary components installed, the
plant sat in limbo until December 2000, when Russian President Vladimir
Putin paid a visit to Cuba. Putin offered Fidel Castro a belated $800
million to finish the first reactor. Despite Cuba’s reliance on imported
oil for power, Castro declined. Project status: officially abandoned.
The unfinished plant, a huge, domed concrete structure, sits on the
Caribbean coast, across the bay from the city of Cienfuegos.
More on the Juragua Nuclear Power Plant can be found on Atlas Obscura.
Source: “The Unfinished Cuban Nuclear Power Plant Abandoned When the
USSR Collapsed” –