Argentina, Belgium extend nuclear safety cooperation

06 July 2018

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was recently signed between Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NA-SA) and Belgium's Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN) aimed at extending cooperation on nuclear safety between the two organisations that has existed for more than 15 years.

The MoU was signed in Buenos Aires on 26 June by Derrick Gosselin, Chairman of SCK-CEN's Board of Governors, Hamid Aït Abderrahim, Deputy Director-General of SCK-CEN, and Rubén Omar Semmoloni, Director-General of NA-SA. The signing took place in the presence of Princess Astrid of Belgium and a Belgian parliamentary delegation that included Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem. The delegation was part of an economic mission by the Belgian government to Argentina and Uruguay.

The MoU defines the framework for cooperation on issues related to inspection programmes for the steel and internal components of reactor pressure vessels; aging and degradation of materials; long-term operation of nuclear power plants; waste management and disposal; and training and education.

NA-SA and SCK-CEN agreed to long-term cooperation in 2002. In 2008, they signed a framework agreement to carry out consultancy and services for the Atucha I, Atucha II and Embalse nuclear power plants.

Semmoloni noted, "The work carried out by SCK-CEN in our facilities has been very fruitful since it has allowed us to carry out the Atucha I Life Extension Programme and to have an updated Reactor Vessel Inspection Programme at Atucha II that will allow us to ensure the safe long-term operation of our plants."

Abderrahim added, "We are delighted by this extended cooperation agreement between our two countries and we think that the Belgian and Argentine expertise gives some room to manoeuver for intriguing projects in the medical field and in terms of long-term operation of Argentine nuclear power plants."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News