LA PAZ – The nuclear research center that the Bolivian government plans to build in the city of El Alto will use Russian and Argentine technology, President Evo Morales said Thursday.
“This center will cost $300 million and its completion is scheduled to be in four years. It will use Russian technology and will have participation from some South American countries, like Argentina,” the president said in a press conference in El Alto.
The facilities will include a cyclotron for research and medical treatments, a nuclear reactor for research purposes, and a gamma irradiation plant, Morales said.
Russian experts will come to Bolivia to work at the nuclear center.
Officials confirmed on Wednesday that the nuclear research center would be constructed in El Alto, a city near La Paz, after residents of the capital’s Mallasilla district opposed an initial plan to put the facility in their neighborhood.
The center will allow Bolivia “to make a leap in science and technology,” Morales said, adding that it was too bad that some La Paz residents and officials had opposed the construction of the facility in Mallasilla.
The nuclear facility will not pose “any dangers” to people or the environment, Morales said.
El Alto’s Federation of Neighborhood Assemblies, or Fejuve, briefed reporters Wednesday on the new location after its representatives met with Morales, who accepted residents’ offer to host the nuclear center.
The research center is part of a peaceful civilian nuclear power program announced by the Bolivian government in 2014 and supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.