The Brazilian Navy will launch the first reactor for its nuclear submarine in 2014, according to the navy’s nuclear propulsion programme chief Andre Ferreira Marques.

Marques said that the reactor would initially be powered with 5% enriched uranium, and gradually increased to 20%, according to the news agency Agencia Brasil.

The submarine reactor will be used as a model for future Brazilian nuclear power plant reactors, he said.

Brazil will begin construction of its nuclear submarine, which is based on the French Scorpene Class, in 2013 and is expected to finish in 2021.