The highest nuclear facility globally, built by Rosatom on behalf of the Bolivian Agency for Nuclear Energy (ABEN) at 4,000 meters above sea level, was officially inaugurated in Bolivia. This historic milestone witnessed the installation of the first research reactor vessel and the opening of the Multipurpose Irradiation Center (MIC) at the Center for Nuclear Technology Research and Development (CNRTD) in El Alto.
The advanced reactor complex, equipped with Russian technology, positions Bolivia to conduct both fundamental and applied scientific research. This signifies a significant leap for various economic sectors, notably the lithium industry. Furthermore, the research reactor will play a pivotal role in the production of radioisotopes and serve as a training ground for future nuclear facility personnel.
Bolivian President, Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, expressed his gratitude, emphasizing the center’s role in processing agricultural products, meeting international standards, and facilitating exports. He lauded the collaboration with Russia and Rosatom for making this achievement possible.
Alexey Likhachev, the Director General of Rosatom State Corporation, highlighted the extraordinary nature of this project, setting a global record for constructing a research reactor pressure vessel at such a high altitude. He credited the success to the strong cooperation with Bolivian partners and the innovative engineering solutions employed by Rosatom.
Notably, alongside the research reactor and the MIC, the CNRTD project includes a cyclotron complex for radiopharmaceutical production (already commissioned in March 2023) and a laboratory dedicated to radiobiology and radioecology. The anticipated completion date for all the center’s facilities is set for 2025.
The inauguration ceremony featured the presence of President Luis Alberto Arce Catacora and virtual participation of Alexei Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation.
In sum, the opening of this nuclear facility at a high altitude symbolizes the profound partnership between Bolivia and Russia, paving the way for scientific advancements and economic growth in Bolivia, particularly in industries like lithium production and agricultural exports. This collaboration stands as a testament to the power of international cooperation in driving innovation and development in critical sectors.
Source : Financial Express