Construction of a reactor complex for the Nuclear Research and Technology Center begins in Bolivia in cooperation with Russia

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The Russian state corporation Rosatom began on Monday the construction of a reactor complex of the Nuclear Research and Technology Center in El Alto, Bolivia.

It is a unique project for the nuclear industry that “has no analogues in the world,” according to Rosatom. The center will be located at a height of more than 4,000 meters above sea level, the highest place of all where nuclear facilities have previously been built.

Furthermore, it is one of Russia’s largest projects in Latin America and opens up new opportunities for the export of innovations from the Russian nuclear industry to the countries of this region.

The center will have advanced technologies that can significantly improve the population’s standard of living and will serve as an engine for the development of science and high technologies in the Latin American region.

The project aims benefit the health, industry, science and technology sectors and among its applications are:

  • the production of radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases,
  • the processing of agricultural products to ensure their food safety,
  • sterilization of various medical products, including personal protective equipment,
  • increasing the shelf life of food products and increasing the production volume of agricultural products,
  • the cultivation of high-yield cereals,
  • research in the field of ecology and the rational use of natural resources,
  • the study of the properties of various materials,
  • the training of specialists in the nuclear industry.

It is planned that the construction will be carried out in four phases and that the first facilities will be able to operate this year. The construction of three complexes and an irradiation center and its laboratories are planned.

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Russia and Bolivia signed a cooperation agreement on the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes and the construction of a Nuclear Research and Technology Center in El Alto on March 6, 2016. The construction of this center has been possible in part thanks to the result of the last presidential elections in the country. The president, Luis Arce, blamed the Government of Jeanine Áñez for the setback in the development of several works.

In this sense, the legal representative of the Rosatom branch in Bolivia, Juan Vicente Bedolla, pointed out that the project “represents and symbolizes the friendship” between Russia and Bolivia and opens up new possibilities for cooperation. According to Bedolla, this center “is unprecedented” and is “of vital importance for both Bolivia and Latin America.”

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