Bolivian President Evo Morales revealed on Thursday that, with Argentina's help, his country was working to develop nuclear power. Morales had previously indicated that his country had plans to go nuclear with help from both Buenos Aires and France, but this is the first time that the news was confirmed.
We are working on nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, for medical purposes, Morales said at the opening of a gas and energy seminar in Santa Cruz. We salute the Argentine people as we have begun to work on nuclear energy.
The populist leader and first indigenous president of Bolivia said he had been advised by experts from his country not to go public and therefore had begun bilateral discussions in secret and behind closed doors.
The energy produced would be first and foremost for domestic consumption but could also be exported, according to Morales.
Imagine the income Bolivia will get, he said. In his speech, Morales also said it was important to develop nuclear energy because the country that has control of energy is the country that has power, not the one that has missiles or a lot of silver.
In October 2010, Morales made public agreements with then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, an ally, for Iranian nuclear power plant technology.
In related news Morales inaugurated Bolivia's first state-owned computer assembly plant, a 60 million project that has the capacity to produce 800 computers per day.
The Quipus plant is in El Alto, a city outside La Paz, and will initially employ 60 technicians trained in China, Morales said.
The computers assembled at the plant will be distributed to public school students, giving them a tool that will expand science knowledge, the president said. The goal is to assemble 116,000 computers this year.
The government has distributed thousands of laptop computers to students and teachers since 2011. The government plans to provide scholarships to Bolivia's best students and teachers so they can earn master and doctoral degrees at foreign universities and help the Andean nation improve its educational system, Morales said.