On October 19, 2019, during the visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Belgrade, Russia and Serbia signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction of the Center for Nuclear Science, Technology and Innovations in the Republic of Serbia.
On the Russian side, the document was signed by Alexey Likhachev, General Director of Rosatom, while on the Serbian side – by Nenad Popovich, Minister of Innovation and Technological Development, witnessed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Serbian President Alexander Vucic.
The signing establishes the necessary regulatory framework that paves the way to preparation and signing of the first executive contracts.When put into operation, the Center will allow solving vital tasks including production of radioisotopes for medical, industrial and agricultural purposes; doped silicon production for various industries; composition analysis testing of minerals; ecological sampling; specialist training for nuclear industry and other activities that boost innovation and digital technologies. The Center will comprise a research reactor facility based on a multipurpose water-cooled 20 MW research reactor equipped with all necessary systems, equipment and facilities as well as laboratories and functional complexes.
"Traditionally, Serbia has very strong competencies in the area of peaceful use of atomic technologies. The Center for Nuclear Science, Technology and Innovations we join efforts to build in Serbia is an innovative project that meets the latest demands in the development of nuclear technologies. The project is based on our long-term cooperation in the field and traditional ties between Russian and Serbian nuclear scientists. We are determined to start the project as soon as possible," Alexey Likhachev stressed.
"Serbia and Russia have a long standing background in the field of atomic research; the new project will by all means strengthen our cooperation. The construction of the high-tech Center will create an independent platform for research and practical application of nuclear technologies in our country. The center will produce radioisotopes that will help to solve the problem of radiopharmaceuticals shortage for cancer treatment while radioisotopes can also address the needs of industry and agriculture. It is important to note that the project will be implemented according to international requirements for nuclear and radiation safety. In this regard, Russia has considerable expertise in implementing such projects abroad," said Nenad Popovich.
To ensure efficient and safe implementation of the project, Russian and Serbian specialists will cooperate to improve the infrastructure (including the nuclear and radiation safety regulatory system), which is necessary to follow the national policy requirements in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy based on existing Russian practical experience as well as adhere to the recommendations of the International atomic energy Agency, IAEA.
On 15 May 2018, at Atomexpo-2018, Nenad Popovich, Minister for Innovations and Technological Development of Serbian Government, and Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom, signed a Joint Statement on the principles of Russian-Serbian cooperation in the field of innovations and technological development for peaceful use of nuclear energy.
On 17 January 2019, during the official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Republic of Serbia, an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy was signed as well as the joint statement on strategic partnership between the countries on the construction of a center of nuclear science, technologies and innovations.
In April 2019, at the Atomexpo-2019 forum, Russia and Serbia signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). The first document defines the areas of cooperation in the field of personnel education and training while the second establishes the principles of shaping public opinion about peaceful use of nuclear technology.