The President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Luis Alberto Arce Catacora and Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev took part in the ceremony
A ceremony to celebrate the inauguration of the Multipurpose Irradiation Center (MIC) as well as installation of the vessel of the first research reactor in Bolivia was held at the site of the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development (CNRTD) in El Alto. The project is being built by Rosatom on behalf of the Bolivian Agency for Nuclear Energy (ABEN) at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, and is considered to be the world's highest nuclear facility.
The ceremony was attended by the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, and featured Alexei Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation (via video link).
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.
"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.
"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.
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 center's facilities construction is 2025.
The CNTRD is the most important project for the development of cooperation between Russia and Latin American countries in the field of high technologies and strengthening Rosatom's position in the global market. The contract for the construction of the CNTRD was signed in 2017 between GSPI JSC (State Specialized Design Institute, part of Rosatom State Corporation) and the Bolivian Agency for Nuclear Energy (ABEN). At the moment, the implementation of the facilities of the first and second construction stages has been completed. This is related to a preclinical cyclotron-radiopharmacological complex (PCRC) and a multipurpose irradiation center (MIC). At the same time, construction and installation works are ongoing for the third and fourth stages of the center. They include the reactor complex and laboratory buildings. In the summer of 2021, a ceremony was held to pour the first concrete of the building, where the installation of the research reactor began today.
The CNTRD project offers a range of high-tech solutions for a variety of economic sectors. These include the diagnosis and treatment of oncological diseases, the processing of agricultural products to ensure their food security, the sterilization of various medical devices (including personal protective equipment), research in the field of ecology and rational use of natural resources, the study of the properties of various materials, and the training of specialists in the nuclear industry.
Russia is consistently developing international trade and economic relations, focusing on cooperation with friendly countries. Despite external restrictions, the domestic economy is increasing its export potential, supplying goods, services and raw materials around the world. The implementation of major energy projects with foreign partners also continues. Rosatom takes an active part in this work.