Argentinian high-tech company INVAP has won a contract to supply two research reactors for Argentina and Brazil, based on the OPAL 20 MW pool-type reactor design it supplied to Australia.
The research reactors, RA-10 in Argentina and RMB (Brazilian Multipurpose Reactor), will be used to produce radioisotopes, to test materials and for other research.
INVAP claimed that the two reactors could supply 40% of the world radioisotope market; Argentina currently accounts for only 5% of the world market, but the two reactors could supply enough to radioisotopes for 40% of world demand, according to Argentinian government news agency TELAM.
Brazil and Argentina have developed close nuclear engineering links over the last 20 years that led to the creation of a binational nonproliferation agency, ABACC.
INVAP is a state-owned company that developed out of operations at the Bariloche Atomic Centre, with 800 employees and turnover of US $85 million in 2009/10. In addition to its nuclear work -- it has exported research reactors to Algeria, Egypt and Australia -- it has built satellites, digital TV systems, among other industrial projects.