On August 3, 2016, Moscow witnessed signing of the Contract on the preliminary site survey for the construction of the Nuclear Research and Technology Center (NRTC) in the Plurinational State of Bolivia between ASE Group (engineering division of ROSATOM) and Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency (ABEN - from its acronyms in Spanish).
On the same day JSC Rusatom Service (integrator of ROSATOM’ service offerings) and ABEN signed the Contract for the national nuclear infrastructure assessment as part of the NRTC construction project development.
Kirill Komarov, First Deputy CEO for Corporate Development and International Business of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, stated: “The contracts that were signed today mark the launch of actual work on the Center construction. The site survey means direct access to the site in order to collect data needed for the design and construction of the facility. Equally important is that Rosatom, as a responsible supplier, is very much concerned about the partner-countries meeting all the required conditions for nuclear power facilities operation and development and is ready to provide any assistance to our Bolivian colleagues in the development of the Bolivian nuclear infrastructure key components. In the near future we are planning to agree upon and sign a contract on the construction of the Nuclear Research and Technology Center in the Plurinational State of Bolivia and a contract on a package of life cycle services for the Center”.
The first commercial contracts were signed pursuant to the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Plurinational State of Bolivia as of March 6, 2016 on Cooperation in the Construction of the Nuclear Research and Technology Center. The Center will allow Bolivia to start nuclear technologies development and apply them in science, healthcare, geology, agriculture, and other human activity areas. In particular, the Center will help to launch the local production of radioisotopes, which can be widely used for diagnostics and treatment of cancer, thus making the nuclear health care more accessible for the Bolivian citizens. The use of the Center food and agricultural products irradiation technologies aimed at their protection and prevention of invasive pests and bacteria spread will help to increase the food storage life and provide solid ground for agricultural products export growth. The Center will also be used for training of the highly-qualified personnel in the country’s nuclear industry and the entire region. The Center’s state-of-the-art equipment will be used to carry out research under the national nuclear and research programs boosting the development of science and education in Bolivia.
The Intergovernmental Agreement provides for the NRTC construction including multipurpose experimental radiological gamma units, a reactor plant based on a research pressurized water pool-type reactor, as well as a cyclotron, an engineering complex and a range of research and other laboratories. The Nuclear Research and Technology Center is a unique project for the global nuclear industry. Selected by the Bolivian party, the El Alto construction site is located 4,100 m above the sea level, which makes it the highest construction site wh ere a nuclear facility has ever been built.
Currently, over 20% of all the operating research reactors around the world are working in Russia. Rosatom has built more than 120 research reactors globally, with 20 of them located in the foreign countries such as China, Vietnam, Egypt, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, etc.