Russia’s Rosatom and Zambia have signed an agreement for the construction of the Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) in the Southern African country.
Construction of the centre will be the first joint project between Russia and Zambia in the field of nuclear technologies.
“Signing the contract opens a new chapter in the partnership between Russia and Zambia.
“In the near future, we plan to start extensive practical works, including engineering surveys at the site of the centre, assessment of nuclear infrastructure and subsequent development in accordance with the International Atomic Energy Agency recommendations, as well as global and Russian best practice,” Rosatom general director Alexey Likhachev said at the signing in Sochi, Russia.
He added that construction of the centre would enable Zambia to become a major participant in nuclear technologies in the Central and Southern African region.
The CNST will be located 10 km from Lusaka and will include a nuclear research facility based on a multipurpose research water-cooled reactor of up to 10 MW, a laboratory complex, multipurpose irradiation center, as well as a cyclotron-based nuclear medicine centre.
The project will be implemented in several stages in three to six years.
The CNST will ensure the wide application of radiation technologies in medicine, industry and agriculture.
It will also promote the growth of national education and science through the training of highly qualified experts in various fields.
“The radioisotopes produced here will be used to diagnose and treat primarily cancer and cardiac diseases, which will generally increase availability of high-tech nuclear medicine for Zambia’s population. The use of radiation for food processing will improve food safety and create conditions for the increase of Zambian agricultural exports,” Likhachev said.
There are currently 245 operational research reactors globally, with 58 of these in Russia.
*Anine Killian is attending the AtomExpo in Sochi, Russia, as a guest of Rosatom.