A ceremony was organised recently to celebrate the inauguration of the multipurpose irradiation centre as well as installation of the vessel of the first research reactor at the site of the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development (CNRTD) in El Alto.Rosatom has built the project on behalf of the Bolivian Agency for Nuclear Energy (ABEN).
The reactor complex with the Russian equipment will allow Bolivia to conduct fundamental and applied scientific research, therefore providing additional tools for the development of various economic sectors, including the lithium industry. The research reactor will also ensure the production of radioisotopes and will serve as a training tool for future nuclear facilities personnel.
“The installation of a research reactor pressure vessel in the world’s highest mountain meteor at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level is a new record for the entire global nuclear industry. We have made it happen due to our successful cooperation with Bolivian partners, and, of course, relying on the unique design and engineering solutions implemented by Rosatom State Corporation. Today, together with our partners, we have also put into commercial operation a multipurpose irradiation center. We are very happy that Bolivia, with Russian support, is successfully introducing advanced nuclear technologies into socially important sectors of the economy,” said Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation.
“Thanks to the multi-purpose irradiation center, we will be able to process agricultural products and subsequently export them in accordance with the standards necessary for getting access to the international markets. This is why the multi-purpose irradiation center has such a great meaning to us it has become possible, thanks to cooperation with our brother country Russia and Rosatom State Corporation, which helps us in construction of the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development in El Alto,” said the president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Luis Alberto Arce Catacora.
In addition to a research reactor with a complex of laboratories and a multipurpose irradiation center, the CNTRD project also includes a cyclotron complex for the production of radiopharmaceuticals (commissioned in March 2023) and a laboratory of radiobiology and radioecology. The target date for the completion of the centre’s facilities construction is 2025.