Bolivia will begin construction of a Nuclear Research Center in July with the assistance of Russia’s nuclear power corporation Rosatom.
“The project is ready for launch. It looks like the works at El Alto will begin at the end of July,” Russia’s ambassador to Bolivia, Vladimir Sprinchan, said Friday.
Sprinchan explained the facility isn't intended to produce energy but will serve as “a research center with a very small reactor that doesn’t need much water… The fuel will be inserted in the reactor every 18 years, and the waste will go to an industrial plant to avoid contamination.”
In March 2016, Russia and Bolivia reached a cooperation agreement, which included building a nuclear research center in the city of El Alto. In September 2017, Bolivia signed a contract with an enterprise within Russia’s Rosatom nuclear agency to build the center.
The Center for Research and Development in Nuclear Technology will conduct studies on radiation technologies applied to agriculture includes several structures, including a multipurpose irradiation plant, a cyclotron-radiopharmacy-preclinical complex, and a nuclear research reactor. The project is expected to cost over US$300 million and has a projected functional capacity of 50 years.
Earlier this month president Evo Morales visited Russia and met with his counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss investments in the hydrocarbons sector.
During the official visit, Morales visited the headquarters of Russia’s state-owned natural gas producer and secured investments for roughly US$1 billion.
Morales has expressed his country’s interest in cooperating with the Eurasian Economic Union, which is made up of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.