UPDATE 1-Eletrobras executives request leave during graft probe

viernes 31 de julio de 2015 11:40 GYT

(Adds details of investigation)

By Leonardo Goy

BRASILIA, July 31 (Reuters) - Two senior executives at Brazil's state-run power company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA told Reuters on Friday that they had requested leave as a corruption investigation sweeps the country's largest electric utility.

Valter Cardeal, head of generation at the holding company known as Eletrobras, and Adhemar Palocci, head of planning and engineering at the Eletronuclear unit, denied reports of their alleged involvement in a bribery scheme at the company.

On Tuesday, Brazilian police arrested two executives involved in building a nuclear power plant for Eletrobras, pulling the utility into a corruption scandal that has engulfed state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

"Operation Radioactivity" has focused on the Eletronuclear division, which is building a third nuclear-power reactor at Angra dos Reis, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Rio de Janeiro.

"We want to let the internal investigation run its course without disruptions," said Palocci, brother of the former finance minister, Antonio Palocci, who served as chief of staff to former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Law firm Hogan Lovells is expected to wrap up its internal probe for Eletrobras in October. (Reporting by Leonardo Goy; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Christian Plumb and Jeffrey Benkoe)