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Start of commissioning at nuclear research and technology center in Bolivia

Rosatom has commissioned its first industrial facility at the Nuclear Research and Technology Center (CNRT) under construction in El Alto, Bolivia, the world’s highest nuclear center located 4,000 meters above sea level. A ceremony was held to mark the commissioning of the CNRT’s first industrial facility, the Preclinical Cyclotron Radiopharmacological Complex (PCRC) and the Multipurpose Irradiation Center (MCC). The event was attended by Ortesia Jimenez, CEO of Bolivian Atomic Energy Agency and Evgeny Pachermanov, President of JSC Lusatom Overseas.

Equipped with a cyclotron (particle accelerator), the PCRC will provide the Nuclear Medicine Center in Bolivia with radiopharmaceuticals for clinical trials in more than 5,000 patients per year. MCCs with industrial gamma plants improve food security and extend the shelf life of many types of crops. We are able to process more than 70 tons of products per day to maintain quality and consumer characteristics and increase export volumes over long distances and to other countries. MCC can also be used in the healthcare sector to sterilize various medical devices.

“We are working with Rosatom to successfully complete the first and second phases of construction. The facilities built are equipped with advanced high-tech equipment,” said Ortesia Jimenez. said Mr. “Working with our partners in Bolivia, we have done a tremendous amount of work,” said Pachermanov. “At the cyclotron complex, already today, Bolivian students who have completed a full cycle of training will receive fluoroglucose, a very important radiopharmaceutical for diagnosing oncological diseases. Just yesterday, in the history of Bolivia For the first time, I received technetium, another drug that can only be produced in a few countries in the world due to technical problems.”

After completing all tests and obtaining the necessary licenses from the Bolivian regulatory authorities, the PCRC will begin supplying radiopharmaceuticals to Bolivian clinics in the near future. The first radiation source has already been loaded and a successful trial irradiation of a batch of medical devices was carried out on August 5th.

The CNRT construction project is being carried out by the Bolivian Atomic Energy Agency (ABEN) in collaboration with JSC GSPI (part of JSC Rusatom Overseas’ control loop). Phases 1 and 2 of construction, PCRC and MCC, have been completed. In parallel, construction and installation work continues on the 3rd and 4th phases of the center, including the reactor facility and the laboratory building. In the summer of 2021, the first concrete was poured into the building that will house Bolivia’s first research reactor. The target completion date for the project is 2025.

Image: Nuclear Technology Research and Development Center in Bolivia (Photo courtesy of Rusatom Overseas)