Food Irradiation


Bolivia to begin construction of First Nuclear Complex; Telesur (November 10, 2015)

The US$300 million project will include a nuclear reactor, which the government claims will not harm the environment.

The government's first choice to build the US$300 million complex, in the town of Mallasilla south of La Paz, was universally rejected by politicians and locals, forcing President Evo Morales to abandon the site and look elsewhere as quickly as possible. The new 20 hectare site in La Paz's sprawling city of El Alto ticked all the boxes. Its remote location means there's not as many locals to object to the project, and the site has plenty of space, if little else.

Russia and Bolivia have signed a US$300 million project which will include a nuclear irradiator to process food and other items.
The hour drive from La Paz took us far away from the hustle and bustle of the city to a rural backwater with unpaved roads and the most basic of infrastructure. But in five years time the government will transform this derelict, abandoned site into a shiny new nuclear research center, the first nuclear project in Bolivian history. Residents in District 8, as the area is known, can hardly believe their luck.

As we arrived, a local leader was excitedly taking a group of residents around the site and explaining the benefits that are sure to come with the construction of the new center. "We do not fear any radiation," Henry Fernandez, president of the District 8 Urbanization group, told teleSUR. "We have been reassured by experts from the universities and from the Minister for Energy that the center poses us no health risks." District 8 is an impoverished neighborhood in El Alto. Located well off the beaten track, the site was once used as a storage facility and a place to grow plants and vegetables. But there are high hopes that the nuclear center will transform the fortunes of the area. "We have absolutely nothing here," Felisa Alvarez, a young mother, told teleSUR. "I'm in favor of this project because it will give us everything, new roads, running water, shops and restaurants," she said. The El Alto nuclear complex will include a research reactor, built with Russian technology and help from Argentina. President Morales has said the center will also include a cyclotron for radiopharmaceuticals and a multi-purpose gamma irradiation plant




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