Russia and Serbia have signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction of a Centre for Nuclear Science, Technology and Innovation in Serbia.Alexey Likhachov, director general of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and Nenad Popovich, Serbian minister of innovation and technological development (Image: Rosatom)
The document was signed on 19 October in Belgrade by Alexey Likhachov, director general of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and Nenad Popovich, Serbian minister of innovation and technological development, which was witnessed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Serbian President Alexander Vucic.
Rosatom said the agreement establishes the necessary regulatory framework for preparation and signing of the first executive contracts for the centre, which will enable, among other activities, production of radioisotopes for medical, industrial and agricultural purposes; doped silicon production for various industries; composition analysis testing of minerals; ecological sampling; and specialist training to boost innovation and digital technologies. It will comprise a 20-megawatt multipurpose water-cooled research reactor, as well as laboratories.
Likhachov said the project reflects Serbia's "very strong competencies" in the peaceful uses of nuclear technologies and longstanding links between Russian and Serbian nuclear scientists. "We are determined to start the project as soon as possible", he said.
Popovich added that the Centre's production of radioisotopes will help to address their shortage. "It is important to note that the project will be implemented according to international requirements for nuclear and radiation safety,” he said, adding that Russia has "considerable expertise in implementing such projects abroad".
In May, Popovich and Likhachov signed a joint statement on the principles of Russian-Serbian cooperation in the field of innovation and technological development for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy during Rosatom’s annual conference, Atomexpo. In April, the two countries signed two Memoranda of Understanding on education and training, and public acceptance of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In January, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's state visit to Serbia, the two countries signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the nuclear energy, as well as the joint statement on strategic partnership on construction of the Centre for Nuclear Science, Technology and Innovation.