Russia will build the first Nuclear Research and Technology Center in Bolivia

Press release
Published March 10th, 2016 - 09:51 GMT
During the event
During the event

On 6 March, 2016, Pluronational State of Bolivia and the Russian Federation signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy and in construction of the Nuclear Research and Technology Center.

The Agreements were signed by Sergey Kirienko, Director General of Rosatom, from the Russian side, and Luis Alberto Sanchez, Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, from the Bolivian side, in the presence of Evo Morales, President of Bolivia.

The Nuclear Research and Technology Center will allow Bolivia to proceed to mastering the nuclear technologies and its application in science, medicine, geology, agriculture and other areas. In particular, the Center will providethe opportunity to start production of radioisotopes in Bolivia for their wide use in diagnostics and treatment of cancerous diseases which makes the nuclear medicine more affordable for the population of Bolivia. The application of irradiationtechnologies for food and agricultural products treatment, pest and bacteria control will make it possible to increase the products storage period while creating conditions for the increase of national agricultural products export.

The Center will be equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment for researches within the framework of the national nuclear and research program of Bolivia, contributing to the improvement of the education and science level in the country.

The Nuclear Research and Technology Center construction project is unique for the global nuclear industry. The site chosen by the Bolivian side for the Center in El Alto is at the highest altitude (4100 meters above sea level) of all the sites in the world where a nuclear objekt has ever been built.

According to Sergey Kirienko, Director General of Rosatom, the construction of the Center in El Alto will create unique conditions for development of the modern nuclear science, technologies and medicine in Bolivia. 'Today Rosatom is the only company inthe world that proposes the integrated approach to its customers. Besides the construction of the Center and research reactor for our Bolivian partners, we will also provide training for future specialists, equip laboratories and arrange nuclear fuel supplies. This will be the most advanced Center in Latin Americawith the most advanced equipment. Apart from thenuclear science development, the Center will make it possible to save hundreds of thousands of lives from various serious diseases', he said.

Background:

The Intergovernmental Agreements were signed infurtherance of the arrangements between Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, and Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation made within the framework of the meeting on the sidelines of the Third Summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum held in Teheran, on 23 November, 2015. The Agreements include the construction of the Nuclear Research and Technology Center as part of multipurpose and multifunctional gamma plants, reactor plant based on the research pooled reactor with rated capacity up to 200KW, and also a cyclotron, engineering facilities, science and other laboratory facilities.

The Agreements form the legal basis for interaction between the two countries in a wide range of areas of the nuclear power: support to creation andimprovement of the nuclear infrastructure in Bolivia; design and construction of nuclear research reactors; uranium exploration and mining in Bolivia; nuclear fuel cycle services, radioactive waste treatment; nuclear and radiation safety; production of radioisotopes and their application in industry, medicine and agriculture; instructing, training and retraining of specialists for the nuclear industry in Bolivia, etc.

Earlier, on 8 October, 2015 Rosatom and Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy signed the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

The Soviet Union was an active participant on the international market of research reactor construction.For the period from the second part of 1950th, over 130 nuclear research reactors (including training reactors) were constructed in the USSR, and over 20 research reactors were constructed outside the USSR. A number of reactors constructed by the USSR are still efficiently operated, for example, in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Germany and other countries. At present, there are 52 research reactors under operation in Russia, while the USA has about 40, and France and Germany have 10 research reactors under operation each.

Background Information

ROSATOM

The State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM is one of the global technological leaders. The company has assets and competencies to work at all stages of the nuclear production chain from uranium mining to decommissioning of nuclear facilities and spent nuclear fuel management.ROSATOM brings together about 400 enterprises and organizations, including the world's only nuclear icebreaker fleet. It is the largest electricity generating company in Russia, accounting for 18.7% of the country’s total generation of electricity. ROSATOM is the third in the world in nuclear power generation.The corporation is the global leader in simultaneous implementation of NPP power units and has the largest portfolio of foreign construction projects (36 NPP units in 12 countries). ROSATOM manufactures equipment and produces isotopes for nuclear medicine, carries out research and material studies. It also assembles supercomputers and designs software as well as different nuclear and non-nuclear innovative products. The company has business ventures covering various clean energy projects, including wind energy. ROSATOM has second largest uranium reserves and 17% of the global nuclear fuel market.

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