Russia and Paraguay forge closer nuclear power ties

20 September 2017

Russia and Paraguay have signed an agreement on cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear power. The document was signed yesterday, in Vienna, during the 61st International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, by Alexey Likhachov, director-general of Rosatom, and César Cardozo Román, minister and executive secretary of the National Radiological and Nuclear Control Agency (Autoridad Reguladora Radiológica y Nuclear, ARRN) of Paraguay.

ARRN-Rosatom - September 2017 - 460 (ARRN)
The signing of the agreement (Image: ARRN)

The Russian state nuclear corporation said the agreement will be a "starting point for active dialogue" between the two countries in nuclear energy that will "help to start practical implementation of specific cooperation projects".

In particular, the document forms a legal basis for cooperation between the two countries on the peaceful use of nuclear power in a wide range of areas, including: assistance with the creation and improvement of Paraguay's nuclear infrastructure in accordance with international recommendations; nuclear and radiation safety control, supervision of the physical protection of nuclear materials, radiation sources, nuclear materials and radioactive materials storage points, as well as accounting and control systems for nuclear materials, radioactive materials, and radioactive waste; fundamental and applied research into the peaceful use of nuclear power; production of radionuclides and their use in medicine, industrial and agricultural sectors; cooperation in the use of radiation technologies and nuclear medicine; training, education, and retraining of nuclear power specialists.

The agreement stipulates the formation of joint task force teams for specific projects and scientific research, as well as expert exchange, workshops and conferences, assistance with training and education of scientific and technical staff, scientific and technical information exchange, and supply of equipment, materials, and components.

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding Rosatom and the ARRN signed on 18 October last year. This was the first document related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to be signed between the two countries.

Paraguay is not known to have any nuclear power ambitions, but it has some uranium. In May 2015, Texas-based Uranium Energy Corporation was granted regulatory approval to advance its Yuty in-situ leach uranium project in southeast Paraguay from the exploration phase to justifying its mining potential. The Yuty project has NI 43-101 compliant measured and indicated resources of 3430 tU at an average grade of 0.052%, with an inferred resource of 856 tU at an average grade of 0.047%. The deposit - some 200 km southeast of Asuncion - is located within the Parana Basin, which is host to a number of known uranium resources, including Figueira and Amorinopolis in Brazil. UEC also has the Oviedi project in Paraguay.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News