During the past year, China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) and the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI), have contacted Argentina’s INVAP to discuss collaborating on issues related to experimental nuclear reactors and radioisotope production plants for medical uses, INVAP said earlier in February.
China has recently formulated a national plan to produce molybdenum-99 and other radioisotopes for medical use, the vast majority of which are currently imported. INVAP said the Chinese government seeks to build an important centre for research and production of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine.
INVAP noted that Argentina developed, through the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) during the 1990s, a new production technology for molybdenum-99 using low enriched uranium (LEU) targets. Since then, equipment and plants based on this technology have been exported, complementing the value chain of the reactors that INVAP has exported to Egypt, Australia, Algeria, India and the Netherlands.
In the past INVAP has also provided the equipment for a Cold Neutron Source for an experimental reactor in China, which is used for advanced studies in biology, chemistry and physics of materials.