July 26, 2021, El Alto, Bolivia – Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, and Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and International Business of ROSATOM, took part in the ‘First Concrete’ ceremony of the Research Reactor Complex therefore setting off the construction works for the key element of the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development (CNTRD).
Following the ceremony, Kirill Komarov and Luis Arce visited the facilities of Construction stages 1 and 2 within the Center project implementation timescale: The Cyclotron Radiopharmacy Preclinical Complex (CRPC), and the Multipurpose Irradiation Center (MIC), which will be commissioned in the next few months.
Despite the pandemic and the related restrictions, The State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM moved on with project implementation, keeping the high pace of the CNTRD construction. The center´s project is unique for the whole nuclear industry: it is located 4000 meters above sea level, and currently represents the highest nuclear facility in the world. Its construction will greatly contribute to the development of science, medicine, agriculture and education in Bolivia, along with providing more than 500 highly qualified jobs for El Alto and La Paz residents.
The CNTRD will be used to produce radiopharmaceuticals, and will allow to carry out more than 5000 oncology diagnostics and treatment procedures per year. The center will also perform radiation treatment of agricultural products to improve their quality, extend their shelf life and significantly increase exports. This kind of food treatment does not affect the taste of food products, and is absolutely safe for the consumer which makes it a much-in-demand technology worldwide. The research reactor and laboratories will allow for advanced research and training of highly qualified personnel for the nuclear industry.
“Thanks to the infrastructure [of the Center] Bolivian and foreign scientists will be able to conduct unprecedented nuclear research at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, which will help us in various industries, such as mining, water resources, agriculture, and they will also carry out a multitude of other studies for the benefit of the Bolivian people”, said Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
“The construction of the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development is one of ROSATOM’s priorities. This is our first project in Latin America of such significance, and we are doing our best to implement it successfully and meet the project time goals. Despite all the difficulties, the Russian side fully complies with its contract obligations, and I am sure that in the coming years we will maintain the momentum we have gained. With this said, we are eager to develop cooperation with our Bolivian partners,” said Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and International Business of ROSATOM.
“We have completed major construction works at Construction 1 facilities, and now we’re preparing to hand over The Cyclotron Radiopharmacy Preclinical Complex, (CRPC) and the Multipurpose Irradiation Center (MIC) to the customer by the end of 2021. The deadline for commissioning the remaining facilities of the center, including the reactor complex is set for 2024. Especially, I would like to express my gratitude to our Bolivian partners and contractors for their efficient work on our joint project. Today, over 500 Bolivian citizens work at the construction site,” said Evgeny Pakermanov, President of Rusatom Overseas JSC, the management company of JSC GSPI which is responsible for the CNTRD project implementation.
The Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development (CNTRD) in El Alto (Bolivia) is an innovative project based on the advanced nuclear technologies for the needs of healthcare, agriculture and many other sectors. The CNTRD is constructed by ABEN (the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency) in cooperation with JSC GSPI (managed by Rusatom Overseas JSC). The facilities of Construction stages 1 and 2 are currently being built at a high pace while the CNTRD’s site landscaping works are underway. This year the two major CNTRD elements will be commissioned: The Cyclotron Radiopharmacy Preclinical Complex (CRPC) and the Multipurpose Irradiation Center (MIC). The first complex is essential for the health sector in Bolivia and designed to produce a wide range of radiopharmaceuticals to be supplied to medical clinics in Bolivia for cancer diagnostics and treatment. The second facility - the MIC - is also of great importance, as it allows for treatment of agricultural and food products to ensure their safety and extend the shelf life. The MIC is also used to sterilize various medical devices.