Atomic power agencies from Brazil and Argentina signed an agreement to build two nuclear reactors for research and production of radioisotopes, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT).
The agreement, signed by the Brazilian National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) and the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA), is centred on the construction of two reactors: the Brazilian Multipurpose Research Reactor (RMB) and the RA-10 in Argentina, said a spokesman from the MCT.
The action meets the Bilateral Integration and Coordination Mechanism, established in the Joint Declaration of 2008 and signed by President Cristina Fernandez and Brazil's former president Lula Da Silva, said the source.
To carry out the project, both sides created the Bi-National Commission on Nuclear Energy (COBEN) which will be in charge of the construction of both reactors.
The atomic agencies of the two countries have closely collaborated since 2008. Argentina provides Brazil 30% of the Molybdenum 99 (Mo99) radioisotopes which are indispensable in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Since 2011 both countries agreed to move forward on greater integration, and carry out a joint project to develop multipurpose reactors, demonstrating the mutual interest in increasing the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Both reactors, once manufactured and functioning, will have a total capacity to cover 40% of the world radioisotope market. At present only France, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Argentina have the technology to produce radioisotopes.